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Prescription Before Diagnosis Is Malpractice

One of the hardest jobs for most managers is learning to listen. Many executives are great talkers and sometimes talking gets in the way of listening. Yet listening is far more important to leadership success than talking.

When one of your people comes to you with a problem, that person has paid you a compliment. He or she assumes that you will listen and will be able to help. Yet many busy managers find that being an attentive listener is not an easy task. The task is even tougher if the person who comes to you with an issue is emotionally upset or if that person is not a good communicator. Some people are not easy to understand even when they are not upset. Listening and understanding is hard work. You cannot do it effectively if you are interrupted by telephone calls or if you are distracted by anything.

How can you be sure that you have listened effectively? One technique is to repeat things the person just said and ask if you understood correctly. Repetition avoids misunderstanding. It helps reinforce the true meaning of what was said.

In a warehouse, some of the most important listening occurs on the floor rather than in your office. The location is unimportant, but the quality of your listening is. If there is any management skill that requires constant study and practice, it is the art of listening.


K. B. Ackerman Company
2041 Riverside Drive
Suite 204
Columbus, Ohio 43221
Phone 614-488-3165
Fax 614-488-9243

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