You’re Not Listening

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 11 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

I relish articles like this not only for the off-chance I somehow get thrown into a leadership position, but also because it’s a good life skill. Rands does a consistently good job of mapping engineering speak to life, imagine a career counselor who not only was good as his job, but also spoke geek—it’s as awesome as it sounds1.

The problem starts with the word: listen. Of course you know how to listen. You sit there and let the words into your head. Perhaps your definition is more refined. Maybe your definition of listening involves hearing because you’re aware of that switch in your head that you must flip to really hear what a person is saying. It’s work, right? Pulling in all the words, sorting them in your head, and mapping them against the person who is speaking. That is listening, that is hearing, but if that’s all you’re doing and you’re a leader of people, then you’re still only halfway there.

Let’s start with the most basic rule of listening: If they don’t trust you, they aren’t going to say shit.

  1. the correct answer is: very awesome