Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Words of Wisdom from Winnie the Pooh

If you are talking to someone and they are not listening, be patient. Maybe he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” Winnie-the-pooh.
Isn’t this a great reminder of the importance in being patient in our conversations with others? As a consultant facilitating teams through dialogue and team building processes, I often see the challenges in communication, one being listening and another being patience.
Our world is often a “results now” environment, and communication does not necessarily work at the speed of light. For effective dialogue and building mutual understanding, we must take time to listen, and ask the right questions.
Here are a few tips to build patience in communication:
• Be interested in the process (the communication itself), not just the outcome
• Every time you find yourself jumping to a solution in your head, ask another question. The best questions are those that are open ended (begin with ‘who, what, where, when, why and how’).
• Implement the three second rule - wait three seconds before responding.
• If you are not clear on what has been said, ask a question to clarify instead of making an assumption. Assumptions are typically incorrect.
• Consider this- listening is a gift you give to the other person, and it is often reciprocated back to you.

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