Byron's Babbles

WAIT and Listen

This week in Chapter 32, “Listening Is Love,” in Mindset Mondays with DTK by David Taylor-Klaus (DTK) I was reminded of two very influential books I have read this year. I wrote these notes down while reading the second revised and expanded edition of Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art Of Asking Instead Of Telling by Edgar H. Schein and Peter A. Schein:

  • We get opinionated distortions
  • We value telling over listening
  • We may need to know what others know in order to solve our own problems
  • We need to access our ignorance

Additionally I was reminded of some notes I took while reading the sixth edition of the great book by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans Love ‘Em Or Lose ‘Em. Here are a few of the many things I wrote down:

  • Ask so you don’t have to guess
  • Let your people mentor you
  • Think “what if” before you think “no”

As you can see, these two books were impactful to my own development on this topic of loving others through listening. I love (pun intended) that Kaye and Jordan-Evans taught us that loving those we work with is the correct terminology. If we want to relate with others, as DTK relates, we need to form our relationships empathically, not transactionally. Here are some of my blog posts that were inspired by these books:

DTK said, “In coaching, our job is to put all of our attention over there (on the other person) and dance with what arises, instead of pre-planning any response or follow up” (p. 236). It was also discussed in this chapter that we need to put a focus on what we want for other individuals instead of from them. To do this we must really show our love by listening. A great tool DTK introduced was WAIT – Why Am I Talking? Many times, instead of deeply listening we start thinking about what we can ask or what we know. We start telling instead of listening. So, I love this tool of asking ourselves “Why am I talking?” In the book Working, Robert Caro discussed that when doing research interviews for his biographies, he writes “Shut Up!” in his notes to remind himself he is there to listen and not do all the talking and asking. We all need to continue to hone our skills. If you’re like me, you have gone to meetings and know that you and others won’t talk much because __________ McTalksalot (yes, I actually have nicknames for some of these people) will do all the talking. Let’s show our love by listening.

Are you showing your love for those you serve by truly hearing them?

Accessing Our Own Ignorance

Posted in Global Leadership, Humble Inquiry, Humble Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on February 12, 2021

Many times our own knowledge, or love for our own knowledge gets in the way of our ability to grow and learn. We must always remember that we may need to know what others know in order to solve our own problems. I am reading an advance copy of the second revised and expanded edition of Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art Of Asking Instead Of Telling by Edgar H. Schein and Peter A. Schein. The book reminded me that when we want to influence others we need to “access our own ignorance.” It helps to come to the conversation with a genuine desire to learn; a belief that the other person has information we need in order to be successful. This gives us the potential for new knowledge to emerge that just might enhance our decisions.

If we can open ourselves to learning from others, we can collaborate to help each other. When we access our ignorance we come to conversations both confident about what we know, and humble about what we don’t know. To me, accessing our own ignorance is like becoming a sponge and soaking up all the knowledge and wisdom from those around us. In order to learn through collaboration we must acknowledge that we all need each other to accomplish our goals.