Listening from Doing the Right Thing and Achieving All Your Goals at the Same Time
Doing the Right Thing is a book about people who work in offices, why we fight, and how we can stop fighting, solve our problems, and get back to work. All materials on this site Copyright © Marianne Powers 2002. All rights reserved.    Home    Back    Next

Doing the Right Thing and Achieving All Your Goals at the Same Time

Full Book Outline:

KNOWING
---People Are What They Are and It's Irrelevant Anyway
---We Don't Know What Other People Are Capable of Achieving
---People Are Not Accountable for Their Thoughts and Feelings
---We Don't Know What Other People are Thinking and Feeling
---People Are Accountable for Their Words and Actions
---Assume Everyone is Doing the Best They Can
---Assume Everyone Has a Good Reason for What They Say and Do

LISTENING
---Listen Very Carefully
---Welcome Information, Criticism is Information
---If You Have a Choice, Don't Choose to be Hurt
---Examine Your Motives
---Targeting Problems is Good, Targeting People is Evil
---If You Want Someone to Do Something for You, You Have to Be Completely on Their Side
---When People Don't Understand, Listen Better

SPEAKING
---State Your Position Clearly and Ask for What You Want Specifically
---Tell Them Even If You Know They Won't Understand
---All You Can Do is Tell Them, You Can't Make Anyone Do Anything
---When People Don't Meet Your Expectations, Change Your Expectations
---Give Them 100 Tries to Get It Right
---If They Can't Get It Right in 100 Tries, There Must Be Something Wrong with the Procedure
---Teach Everyone to Do Everything

Listen Very Carefully
To do the right thing and achieve your goals, you have to tell the truth. To know what the truth is, you have to listen very carefully. It is a good way to get to know people. It is a good way for people to get to know ou. I am beginning to think that really listening is what is known as charisma.

Recently, a man listened to me better than anyone I have ever met. It was a joyful and rewarding experience just having him listen to me. I listened to him right back, as best I could, so that I could find more things that I could say that he would want to listen to. I wanted to discover the truth for him and tell it to him. I wanted to do good work for him so that I could report back and he would listen to me some more, because he would know exactly how valuable what I said and what I did was, he listened so well.

This is how he listened:

Whenever I would go to talk to him, he would stop doing anything else, even though he was usually very busy. He would turn toward me. His face and body would relax. He would look me in the eye and smile. When he smiled, he always smiled with his eyes as well. Then he would look down and wait for me to speak, with the fingertips of his hands pressed together in front of him, absolutely still.

When I started talking, he would look up again and watch me intently. He would listen the whole time I was talking. When I stopped talking, he would repeat it back to me. He would say it the way I meant it, checking with me to see if he had it exactly, not changing it or turning it into something else. ďHmmm,Ē he would say, ďI see what you mean.Ē He would think about it silently then.

At this point, I would never know if he agreed with me or not, because he always did this first. He didnít reject anything out of hand Ė he tried it on, walked around in it, felt of it, and looked it all over, before he decided.

If he agreed with what I said, he would say so, and smile at me. Then he would say what I had said again, with something of his own added -- a slightly different slant, a story to illustrate. We would both smile at each other and sit there for a minute, smiling. To be understood and appreciated is a very great thing.

If he disagreed with what I said, he would say so and explain, touching on the parts that he thought were right and saying at what point he thought it was wrong and why. He would take me with him every step of the way from where I was to where he was. So we still understood each other, even if we didnít agree. Sometimes this was even more fun, as we always took some action and so found out who was closer to the truth. And he was always just as pleased when I was right as he was when he was right, because getting the job done was the important thing, not how we got there.

If you listen really well, people will be delighted to tell you what you need to know.

But sometimes people donít just come out and tell you the truth. Maybe, like me, you are not as good a listener as the man who listened well. Maybe people donít know they have the information you need. Maybe they donít want you to have the information. But you still need to know the truth.

Then you must listen even more carefully. There are always clues that what people are saying and doing, what you are saying and doing, is the truth or not. As in Boolean logic, if what someone says is true and their actions are consistent with what they say, then their actions will produce certain results. If what they say is not true or their actions are not consistent with what they say, the results will be different.

Sometimes the truth is not in what people say, but you can know the truth by what is happening all around you.



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