Listening Excellence: Are You Historian, Eye Witness, Participant?
by Kate Nasser |
Listening Excellence: Do You Listen as Historian, Eye Witness or Participant?
When major events happen, there are participants and eye witness observers. As time passes, there are historians recounting and interpreting. How the story changes in each case can teach us much about listening excellence.
Listening Excellence: Participate!
As I watched a documentary about the 70th anniversary of D-Day invasion, it was clear that the number of surviving participants was waning. The true details of what happened at Omaha Beach will pass. The same will be true for 9/11 despite our best attempts to memorialize it. We will be left with historical reports.
This doesn’t have to happen to us when listening to others in everyday interactions. We can capture the truth each time with listening excellence. We can choose to be listening participants instead of eye witness observers or after-the-fact historians.
Historian – Filters That Distort
- Tries to find and interview surviving participants
- Pieces together a puzzle from other historical reports and artifacts
- Result: Understanding not as accurate as the listening excellence of an active participant
Eye Witness Observer – Not Always True
- Reports what they see as a non-participant
- Skewed by what they didn’t see or know prior to the event
- Result: Understanding not as accurate as participating in the moment with great listening
- Listens directly to details from other participants
- Hears the emotions of other participants
- Asks questions that uncovers more from other participants
- Understands from participants the bigger impact of the story
- Captures the picture and story in the moment not after the fact
- Result: Much more complete accurate picture
When we actively listen to others we honor them and their story. We overcome the shortcomings of purely sitting back and observing. We avoid all the historian’s challenges of piecing the truth together after the fact.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
©2016 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™