Monday, April 26, 2010


Listening is that part of communication where the message is received and understood.  Many people would say that they listen, but do they really?  It's really different than hearing. Hearing is just when the sounds enter the ear canal and make vibrations.

I've been asked a few times about the best way to listen and I've come up with really one that answers the question. It's a simple test.

You're on a plane sitting comfortably on your way to someplace adventurous and then all of a sudden the pilot comes up on the intercom system to say, "Hello, everyone. I'm sorry to inform you that the we've lost both of our engines and that we'll be making an emergency landing in the next city."  You sit at alert anticipating the next few seconds and what's to come - Yes, instructions to save your life! 

Can you see the difference this would make on your professional life? Listening to every conversation like your life depended on it?

Here are a couple more examples. You're now at a sales meeting and your client states the conditions you and your company could stand to gain their business tripling your commissions.... Or your CIO states that your company has decided to reduce headcount and that you will be impacted ... Or your CFO states that your company has exceeded their financial goals and will be handing out bonuses.

In all of these situations and others, you're required to listen. I won't go into the details of the techniques of listening, but if your life depended on it, you'd be listening.

Gil Gido
NAAAP Seattle


  1. Thank you for the post, Gil. Listening and taking positive action seems to me to be the best way to move relationships and companies forward.

  2. Thanks for the comments, Jenny.