February 21, 2016
Non-Judgmental Listening as a Catalyst for Innovation

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If there is person in your life who is on the cusp of a breakthrough, big idea, or simply struggling to figure something out, there is one thing you can do that will be supremely helpful. It has nothing to do with your good ideas, insights, or intuitions, of which you probably have many. It has everything to do with your ability to listen non-judgmentally.

Being listened to is what aspiring innovators need the most, but it is often what they get the least. Well-meaning friends, spouses, and colleagues assume that their advice, ideas, and suggestions are what's needed when, in fact, their advice, ideas, and suggestions are either uninvited, poorly timed, or overwhelming.

It's a bit like that old saw: the best way to tame a horse is to give it a big meadow in which to run.

The aspiring innovators in your life need a big meadow, not your big ideas -- and it is your listening that creates the meadow.

Creative thinkers need space to roam, wander, and meander. They need the relaxed state of mind that comes when someone, non-judgmentally, really listens to them -- without attempting to fix, improve, advise, suggest, or resolve.

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Talking, in fact, is how many people think. In other words, they don't know what they think until they have a chance to "talk it out". But if there's no one listening, "talking it out" becomes very difficult.

The paradox? The smarter and more creative you are, the harder it is to really listen to others -- especially if they are frustrated, confused, or stressed. Because you don't want to see others struggling, you take on the role of "fixer", trying to resolve their issues with your insight and wisdom. Not a good idea.

While you may have a lot of insight and wisdom, your insight and wisdom is not what's needed. What's needed is listening. Authentic, non-judgmental, unhurried, no strings attached listening.

Who, in your life, do you need to listen to more deeply? And what can you do, this week, to create the conditions that will encourage them to talk?

Alerting, deciphering, and understanding
Barry Gruenberg on listening
Idea Champions

Story listening

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at February 21, 2016 12:32 AM

Comments

It's amazing every think you sugest make a lot of sense to me and actually discover thru my interaction with people that is the way to help people, " listen deeply"
Congratulation Mitch

Posted by: Roberto Piriz [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2015 10:47 AM

Believe it or not, a lot of individuals do not know how to effectively listen. This is why there are issues in homes, schools, workplaces, and in relationships. Non-judgement listening is actually the best kind. It allows for more conversation, trust, empathy, and building relationships. Mitch I really think you hit on a lot of key points. I'm guilty of this myself. I sometimes become so busy and focused on getting my point across that I'm doing more talking than actually listening. It's a really bad habit to have because no-one want to be unheard regardless if you have good points or ideals to get across. After reading this article, I can honestly say that If I plan to have a career in management I need to adjust my listening skills now.

Posted by: K.Williams [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 6, 2016 04:23 PM

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