How listening to understand moves colleagues from transactional to transformational relationships
Trust in organizations, institutions, and leaders is at an all-time low in the United States. When people lose their trust, it’s nearly impossible to get ahead as an organization; additionally, with job cuts in the tech sector, that can mean less people in your organization.
Making sure the people you do have in your organization have a high level of trust with one another and the shared mission is crucial.
Regulating and understanding TRUST
Creating trust in an organization can be as simple as TRUST:
When we use this model as a roadmap, we can be aware of our mindset, intentions and impact. This puts us in our prefrontal cortex where we’re best suited to make the decisions and connections that move our companies forward.
Understanding leads the way
Human beings thrive on connection and affirmation. We wither in the face of criticism and judgment.
Listening to understand and connect is more than just listening to confirm what you know; it’s truly about focusing on the other person without judgment, and without the need to confirm or reject what is being said in order to be right.
Dave Ulrich shares statements that help turn truth into trust. Depending on your leadership role and style, these include statements like:
- How well do I understand your point of view?
- Here’s what I propose given my values and goals. What would you suggest?
- I don’t know; can we find out together?
- What information do you have that may help us make a better decision?
- What is happening in your life that is causing stress? Let’s discuss so I can support you.
Full attention leads to understanding
Listening without judgment involves paying full attention to the person who is speaking, while consciously setting aside the tendency to judge them. Listening to understand and connect is an important component of creating a conversational space that creates deeper understanding and engagement rather than fear and avoidance.
Ask yourself: what is their perspective?
When you listen, it’s about THEM, not YOU. What is their perspective? Their fear? The results they want? Listening is our gateway to connection that leads to trust.
You’ll notice the word “listen” contains the same letters as the word “silent.” When we are truly listening, we are not speaking at the same moment, internally or externally. We turn off our mind chatter.
- How does your connection change when you truly focus on the other person without judging or listening for points to counter or reject?
- How does the listener’s reaction to you change as a result?
- How do you feel when someone deeply listens to you?
- What do we do when we listen to connect?
- Notice the eyes: are they open or closed?
- Notice the whole person: is there a shift in their face?
Practice listening to understand in the next conversation you have in your organization. You’ll be surprised how far a simple intention can go.
Stay tuned for the next in our Organizational Trust series, where we’ll dive deep into Shared Success. For more information and to schedule time with one of our experts, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .