Leaders, Is Our Knowledge Too Noisy to Listen?
by Kate Nasser |
And 6 Tips To Quiet Noisy Knowledge!
Most leaders and teams hope their knowledge and experience will serve them well. We listen to it for guidance during uncertainty. Yet in times of change, is our knowledge too noisy to listen to new ideas?
How can knowledge serve us and our teams well if it screams inside when new ideas don’t fit it? Consider that:
Knowledge and experience are on a list of common listening barriers.
Interesting recent study results from the University of Pennsylvania suggest people are biased against creative (new) ideas.
Key Concerns About Noisy Knowledge
Is timely innovation in the workplace possible with bias against creative ideas that challenge existing knowledge?
When knowledge and experience are a buoy during times of change, will people ease their grip on that buoy — early on — to listen and consider creative, innovative ideas?
What are the risks of allowing noisy knowledge to slow or stop innovation? It happens and often in the shadows.
Quiet Noisy Knowledge With Awareness
- Bring the issue into the light with your teams. Start using the phrase “noisy knowledge” as a cue with yourself and anyone in the room who is not listening to new ideas.
- Position new ideas as new knowledge. If knowledge is the buoy, you can add more to the buoy instead of letting go of it. New knowledge is the buoy of security for continued success.
- Note aloud the emotional reactions to the new ideas. Then put aside the emotion to consider the substance of the ideas. By separating the emotion from the thinking, new ideas have a chance! “My emotional reaction is …, now let me consider the idea.”
- Ask yourself and others, how is my/your noisy knowledge impacting others, the business, and success? We are each responsible for the energy we bring to or drain from a workplace, a meeting, or a moment.
- Leaders, consider having everyone take a social styles indicator (Amiable, Expressive, Analytic, Driver) so that everyone can own their type and understand how others communicate. Communication styles affect listening!
- In advance of any major change initiative, help yourself and team members identify everyone’s change reactions. The KAI (Kirton Adaptive Innovation Inventory) is a great instrument to help each person see how open s/he is to change. Once known, then owned and managed!
The need for comfort and security is understandable. The need for timely change, inevitable. The pathway for both, around the noisy knowledge, is awareness, ownership, and communication.
What else would you add to overcome the barriers to listening to new ideas? What’s your #7 for this list?
With belief in everyone’s change-ability,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™
©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers consulting, training, DVDs, and keynotes that turn interaction obstacles into business success especially in tough times of change. See this site for workshops outlines and customer results. Lead change with vision, courage, and communication.