To Influence Others, Listen to Them

Cperky's Blog

People don’t like being pushed, or even nudged, to do something. So when you need others to take action—change their behavior, adapt a new strategy—inspire them to commit rather than forcing them to.

The best way to do this is to listen, without your own needs and biases getting in the way. Try to understand where your colleagues are coming from. Resist the urge to defend yourself, explain yourself, or offer quick fixes.

You can help more effectively later, when the time is right, if you don’t pre-judge what they need (which might be very different from what you think). Instead, remember that you are listening to learn. Ask questions like: What does that mean for you? How do you feel about it? What’s your perspective on it? This is listening of the highest order.

Adapted from “For Real Influence, Listen Past Your Blind Spots” by Mark Goulston and John…

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