Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wood Badge: Listening to Learn

The first thing we learned about at Wood Badge was effective listening.  I don't think it was a coincidence that the foundation of leadership skills is based on effective listening.  Without effective listening, people can't connect, problems can't be solved and group decisions can't be made. 

Effective listening has two parts, active listening and empathetic listening.  Through my Wood Badge coarse, I learned I'm a very empathetic listener.  Generally that is a good thing, but sometimes I'm so concerned about what others are going through, I decide its better if I do it all myself - even its really not better if I do it all myself!

I especially liked the part about "Listening in Adversarial Situations" because these are the times I avoid.  The three tips are 
  1. Don't enable an adversarial speaker.
  2. Flip a negative to a positive.
  3. Strive to create a positive present instead of a negative past.
Now that I'm armed with this great lesson on listening, it is time to practice it.  Its one thing to know, and a whole new ball of wax to do.  The doing is how we go beyond learning and make the skill part of our character!

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