Next week, I’m part of a speakers’ panel at the Ohio Diversity Conference in a session titled “Mastering The Art of Leadership.” My piece of the presentation is about listening and the important role that plays in leadership communications.

I had an experience at the office yesterday that provided the perfect opening…

On my way to a meeting, I walked through a common break area. Someone was using one of the microwaves. As I walked by him I said, “Hi, Jim!”*

Jim responded, “Fine, thanks.”


Not only did Jim not really listen to what I said, but then he responded to what he thought I said.

All of us at one time or another probably have not really listened to what a team member might be saying to us. We’ve probably done the same thing Jim did; responded to what we thought someone said, or what we expected them to say. We sometimes formulate our response before the other person is even done speaking. None of this supports effective communication.

If you find yourself guilty of this behavior, try to be fully present each time someone speaks to you today. Fingers off the keyboard, pen and paper down, take a deep breath. Make eye contact. Listen carefully. Only then, speak.

*Real name changed.

Tuesday Tidbits are weekly messages I send to my leadership team. They are generally short & sweet, often focused on leadership or teamwork, always positive and, hopefully, motivational. I hope you also find some meaning in them.

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