Change without listening doesn’t happen.
Why is this true?
When you don’t listen, it signals that you think you already know enough. And if you think what you already know is enough, you’re wrong.
The world is too dynamic.
It’s too complex.
It’s too confusing.
Listening is always worthwhile.
In the Culture Code, Dan Coyle observes that good leaders learn how to listen in a specific way. Like a trampoline. Absorbing the message and then adding height and perspective to the conversation by asking questions, increasing our understanding.
Even if you learn nothing from listening except “this is what this person believes,” you still enhance your understanding of the world.
If you feel 100% comfortable discounting what someone is saying, listen anyway. Because you’ll learn something. You’ll learn how they think.
And if you learn a new piece of valuable insight, you win.
If you feel your assumptions shattering as you listen, you win an even bigger prize. You escape the illusion of explanatory depth.
In fact, change can and often does happen without listening – it’s just bad change. Good change (i.e. progress) doesn’t.
Good changes come from making good decisions with awareness and thoughtfulness. And that requires good listening.