Thursday, May 22, 2008

Can You Top This?

Groucho Marx
Originally uploaded by Maine The Way Life Should Be

Groucho once said:

"Years ago, I tried to top everybody, but I don't anymore. I realized it was killing conversation. When you're always trying for a topper you aren't really listening. It ruins communication."

Yes...I quoted Groucho Marx in a blog on leadership. One of the most famous quipsters, Groucho was a voracious reader to make up for his grade school only education. The thoughtfulness of the quote above, from a guy who made a living out-witting others is poetic, I think.

How many times have you had conversations with people who do not listen to you? Instead, you can see it in their body language that they are forming their response rather than listening to what you are saying. Some folks don't even wait for you to respond before talking over you and asserting their position instead. Sometimes, we are that person who does not listen.

Listening gives value to the other person and validates them as an individual. In order to establish effective relationships with others, we must build respect and trust. Our ability to listen actively and reflectively to others can be a powerful way to increase our effectiveness with others.

You've read it here before (loyal readers!) that the golden rule applies as leaders. Think of how good you feel when you are listened to and realize that that feeling can be given to others simply by listening to them.

Try it. Couldn't hurt!

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