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Make It Happen Tipsheet
Career Management and Life Balance

Two ears and one mouth

Did you ever wonder how children can so quickly learn new things? And ever hear the expression "Children should be seen, and not heard"? Maybe there is a connection between these two concepts that can help us as be better managers.

Consider: it is 100% impossible to learn from others if you are the only one who is talking. This is true during a project update from your staff, while having a personnel discussion with your manager, or even at home, when you are making a decision with your significant other.

Unfortunately, some people prefer to hear themselves speak - and therefore unwittingly cut themselves off from the information they need to make decisions - and the relationships they need to manage effectively. What differentiates a great manager - or a great anything - from the average one, is the quality of their listening skills.

During the next week, test yourself. In each conversation you have, what percentage of the time are you talking, instead of listening? Then, try setting a goal to "improve" this ratio. And remember, you have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

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Make It Happen
Copyright 2006 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved. Publication date: Mar 14, 2006