So we’ve discussed WHAT listening humbly IS and HOW to do it in posts earlier this week.
Now, let’s talk about times WHEN it is needed.
Well, the short answer is: ALL the time. When is it NOT helpful?
AND, here are a few key times:
1. When you have to influence a colleague or key constituent. To do so, you need to focus on the whats and hows:
a. Content: Make sure you understand their point of view.
b. Relationship: Make sure they feel heard, that you “get it.”
2. When you need to have your constituents understand your vision or buy into your plan of action:
a. You need to make sure you understand their concerns, paradigm, viewpoints so you can best tailor your messages in language and currency that matters to them most and they can best understand.
3. When you find yourself having a strong emotional reaction. This can result in your shutting out new information or alienating others and damaging important relationships:
a. This is what, in neuroscience terms, is referred to as, your amygdala has just been hijacked. As Dr. Relly Nadler states, “The “amygdala hijack” is a term coined in Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence, his first book on the subject. The amygdala is the emotional part of the brain, which regulates the fight or flight response. When threatened, it can respond irrationally. A rush of stress hormones floods the body before the prefrontal lobes (regulating executive function) can mediate this reaction.”
b. The key point here is: we all have our triggers and our moments. You want to make sure you are proactive about identifying them earlier, more often and managing them more closely. Committing to practicing humble listening is one way that you can prevent hijacking. When you feel the temperature start to rise, take a deep, full-chested breath and ask a clarifying question to seek more information.
Stay tuned for more on the Amygdala Hijacking in next post…
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