Gini Dietrich

Shut Up: How Great Leaders Listen

By: Gini Dietrich | March 4, 2013 | 
178

Shut Up- How Great Leaders ListenLast week, Jon Stow wrote an interesting blog post called, “Communicating with Our Employees and Colleagues.”

In it, he talked about the importance of having conversations, not dictatorships, with the people on your team. Part of that discussion was the Yahoo! memo that was leaked to the media.

But the underlying message? You can’t just talk. You have to listen.

Some of the world’s very best leaders are incredible listeners. Bill Clinton, no matter how you feel about his politics, is a master at this.

Next time you see him interviewed, pay attention to how he listens. You’ll notice he listens very intently, his eyes on the interviewer. When the question is asked, he pauses, thinks for a moment, and then answers.

Though he likely knows what he’s going to be asked before the question is even out of the interviewer’s mouth, and you know he already knows how he’s going to answer, he never interrupts the interviewer or finishes the question before answering.

Do We Know How to Listen?

Now look around at the people you work with every day. Sit back in a staff meeting and watch. How many times do they interrupt one another? Do they let one another finish before speaking? Do they jump in and out of conversations with no respect for the other people at the table?

This happens with your friends, too. I know my friends do it. We get excited or passionate about a topic and all begin to talk on top of one another.

No one actually listens…but we all want to talk.

I met Randy Hall about five years ago. This is the second time I’ve worked with him on my own leadership skills. He’s my Phil Jackson. The first time, though, I wasn’t as experienced and wise and he pushed me really hard.

I remember one of our first coaching sessions. I had an HR issue I needed help working through. I presented it to him and waited, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, for him to tell me what to do.

He said, “What do you think?”

I remember thinking, “Well, if I knew what to think, I wouldn’t be asking you!”

So I stumbled my way through an answer. He said, “And why is that the way you’d handle it?”

Shoot, Randy. I don’t know! I’ve never done this before.

Great Leaders Listen

But what he did was not only force me to think through the issue before presenting it to him, he made me think about the best way to handle it…without telling me what to do. Sure, he’d guide me, but he’d never give me the answer.

It’s a habit I picked up from him. My team will tell you (likely they won’t be shy about saying so in the comments here) I do this to them all the time.

It’s super frustrating. I know it is. But rather than give them the answers, I’m listening to the problem and I’m empowering them to make the decisions.

It’s not easy on this side, either. Most of the time I’m presented with a challenge I know how to fix. It would be a lot easier and a lot less time-intense if I just said, “This is how you fix it. Now be on your way.”

But a leader that does not make. A scalable business that does not make. An empowered team that does not make.

The next time you’re presented with a challenge, I encourage you to listen. Really listen. And then ask the other person, “What do you think?”

I’ll be curious to hear what happens.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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178 Comments on "Shut Up: How Great Leaders Listen"

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Caleb_Parker
Caleb_Parker
3 years 1 month ago

RT ‚Äú@ginidietrich: Shut Up: How Great Leaders Listen http://t.co/7HgsOZi8LD via @spinsucks‚ÄĚ

OneJillian
OneJillian
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich @spinsucks g’morning Gini, I totally just RT’d Yvette’s SS tweet :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@OneJillian Morning to you!

SamBroberg
SamBroberg
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich G’Mornin’ Gini.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@SamBroberg Mornin to you!

SamBroberg
SamBroberg
3 years 30 days ago

ginidietrich Happy Easter Gini!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

SamBroberg Happy Easter!

allenmireles
3 years 1 month ago
Listening is one of the great traits of effective leadership. I’m always amused when I can remember to shut up and listen and then find, after I’ve said nothing, that the person I listened to thought I was so wise. But we all want to tell our stories. We are a nation of people to whom no one is listening and when we find someone who actually does listen? Worth their weight in gold, we find ourselves thinking. And that thing you do about asking us what we would do when we ask you a question? Yup. Totally annoying. Even… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@allenmireles¬†LOL! It IS totally annoying. But it works. It’s funny you say that about the person thinking you wise even though you said nothing. shonali¬†and I were talking about that on her blog. How many times do we have clients hire us and they’ve never asked us a question about us? Happens all the time, but because we listen and ask questions, they think us wise.

Shonali
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich¬†¬†@allenmireles¬†It’s almost like we’re armchair shrinks. ūüėČ

jasonkonopinski
3 years 1 month ago

I still have a lot of work to do in becoming a better listener. Reviewing old podcast interviews has been an exercise in humility, and I have to focus on letting my guests really take the spotlight. Always learning.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@jasonkonopinski¬†Interviewing is so hard. When I did the webinar with Mitch, he’d say something and I’d want to respond by having a conversation about it. I had to remind myself several times it was an INTERVIEW.

jasonkonopinski
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich¬†Exactly. Of course, it doesn’t always help matters when so many of my guests have been long-time friends (cough, you, cough). Slipping into conversation seems almost inevitable. ūüėČ

KenMueller
3 years 1 month ago

@jasonkonopinski¬†¬†@ginidietrich¬†Taking a cue from my radio days, and based on the NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production, I would say the best interviews ARE conversations. Nothing wrong with that. It’s just knowing when to jump in and when to interject. Give a listen to David Dye on World Cafe or Terry Gross on Fresh Air and you’ll hear this. It’s not just QAQAQA

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 1 month ago

@jasonkonopinski¬†¬†@ginidietrich¬†I did the most amazing two day intensive interviewing course when I was at the CBC. Learned so much. And you’re right – interviewing is REALLY hard, and definitely a skill.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 1 month ago

Gini Dietrich: “What do YOU think?” – Every. Single. Time. ūüėČ I’m a horrible interrupter. Horrible. It’s something I’m insanely self-aware of, and try really hard to curb. I think it comes from growing up in a loud (seriously loud), boisterous family. And from being the third child – “Hey!! I’m here!! Can someone listen to ME!?” Forgive me friends and colleagues, for I have sinned. :)

jasonkonopinski
3 years 1 month ago

@belllindsay¬†TWINSIES. Well, except for the third child bit. I’m the oldest of two, but my family is most certainly boisterous and easily excitable. ūüėČ

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@belllindsay¬†I used to think it had something to do with birth order, but I think it has to do more with personality. I’m an introvert and the oldest. My sister is six years younger, the fourth child, and an extrovert. She doesn’t stop talking. I’m more comfortable listening so it’s easier for me.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich¬†I’m not convinced…..but then again I’m not really listening.

yvettepistorio
3 years 1 month ago

@belllindsay¬†¬†@ginidietrich¬†I’m not the best listener…I try. I’m the youngest of two and my sister doesn’t stop talking either. When I notice I’m about to say something and interrupt, I try to bite my¬†tongue¬†and let the other person finish their thought. I have a friend who is absolutely TERRIBLE at interrupting and she’ll just continue to talk over you. It’s so annoying!!!

Liz
3 years 1 month ago

The passion to be heard often overcomes the ability to listen. It is such a tough balancing act but if we are able to step back, it would make most businesses run so much more efficiently. I sit on several project teams and the amount of time that is wasted speaking on top of one another is astounding. It is true that in silence, the universe answers.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@Liz¬†It’s pretty scary, isn’t it? I watch it happen all the time. People will say to me, “Why aren’t you talking?” I’m just waiting for the rest of you to duke it out.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich  @Liz Cage match!

KenMueller
3 years 1 month ago

This is why I tell you to shut up all the time. Because I know that you’re a great leader.

Sean McGinnis
3 years 1 month ago

@KenMueller What? I can’t HEAR you!

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@KenMueller¬†Sometimes I have to search for reasons to remind me why we’re friends.

KenMueller
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich¬†Because I think you’re a great leader! so SHUT UP!

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes

I do this with my kids on a regular basis as well as at work. Some people are really surprised when they find out you are generally interested in their opinion.
 
It is a good way to build trust and help people feel valued.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes¬†You’re up early! Shouldn’t you be asleep right now, having written until the wee hours of the night?

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes

@ginidietrich¬†I live in the Central time zone now, so…

ElissaFreeman
ElissaFreeman
3 years 1 month ago

I was taught this in a coaching session – years ago; and I tried it out on a long-time co-worker. At first, she looked at me like I had grown a third eye – she was so used to me giving the answer and that was that! Good for me, but not for her career growth. Great post!

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@ElissaFreeman¬†Not good for anyone’s career growth. And it drives my team crazy that I do that. But I remind them all the time I’m doing it not to annoy them (well, most times anyway), but to help them grow and empower them to do what they think is right. This isn’t the Gini show. If it is, we won’t grow like we want to.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich¬†¬†@ElissaFreeman¬†“Not good for their career growth” LOL I must add this: not good for their career growth IF they are riding other people’s coattails and only relying one others to always give them the correct answer or tell them the right thing to do. SUPER for their career growth if they can grab the ball and run with it, and gain confidence and knowledge by making their own decisions.

magriebler
magriebler
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich¬†¬†@ElissaFreeman¬†I love that phrase: This isn’t the Gini show. It’s not the Marianne show either. (More’s the pity — HA.) But it’s only by shutting up that we really help team members grow into their strengths, build confidence, show their smarts and ultimately become better contributors to the overall mission. Sounds like a pretty good reason to bite our tongues.

ElissaFreeman
ElissaFreeman
3 years 1 month ago

@magriebler¬†¬†@ginidietrich¬† @belllindsay¬†I’ll tell you where else it would work – on my soon to be teenage daughter! And? Not the Gini show? Yeah, right…*giggle”

katskrieger
3 years 1 month ago

A great reminder…I am better at this than I used to be, but it’s a constant challenge. A saying of one of my mentors is: Listen without the intent to respond. If you listen in that way, you will actually hear and process what someone is asking for and therefore make better recommendations for clients.

KenMueller
3 years 1 month ago

@katskrieger¬†That’s the hard part. We all want to respond. I think it’s part of our nature.

jasonkonopinski
3 years 1 month ago

@KenMueller  @katskrieger Silence is uncomfortable. I may be flubbing this stat completely, but five seconds of silence is about the most that most people can tolerate in a social situation. It can actually be used to great effect in drawing out discussion in training groups or ice-breakers.  
 
When I was a peer mentor as an undergraduate orienting new freshmen to the realities of college life, I’d use this one all the time. It gets people talking.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@katskrieger I really love to listen without the intent to respond.

JackVincent
JackVincent
3 years 1 month ago

Agree with katskrieger that this (active listening) is a constant challenge, but, yes, also always working on it. ¬†In fact, it’s central to my sales coaching and training, AND, it’s my belief that great sales people actually LEAD buyers to make the right purchase. ¬†Central to that is listening (and asking the right questions!). ¬†Thanks!

magriebler
magriebler
3 years 1 month ago

@JackVincent¬†You’re really on target with this. Being intentional about listening gives you the information you need to tailor your pitch to the individual prospect. You’re not making assumptions about what they need. It turns a sales call into a partnership.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@JackVincent¬†I totally agree with you, Jack! Shonali and I were talking about this the other day. She asked me if people really hire us without checking us out online. It happens all the time. Sometimes it makes me laugh that we say nothing in meetings, other than ask questions, and they hire us because we’re so smart. Yeah, we’re so smart because we let you talk.

itsjessicann
3 years 1 month ago

Knowing when to interject and when to listen is an art form. And it’s all too easy to think you’re building camaraderie by sharing one of your own stories, or offering your opinion. But the harsh truth is, we often talk just to talk. It can be hard to really listen, but it’s often what leads to real solutions.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@itsjessicann¬†Human beings talk to talk. It’s just what we do so it’s hard for all of us.

allie02land
allie02land
3 years 1 month ago

@elissapr @SpinSucks Excellent article- i’ve printed it off to share!

lizreusswig
3 years 1 month ago

Great post @ginidietrich¬†– It is a really amazing skill to actually listen (and hear!)…I’m like ¬†@Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes¬†I do this with the kiddos all the time and it drives them (and me) nutso! ¬†But I know they learn and retain so much more this way.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@lizreusswig¬† So how do you do it with them? Do you ask, “What do you think?”

lizreusswig
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich¬†Yes or I’ll direct them to where they can find info – for example, if they want to know how to spell a word, I’ll have them get the dictionary. ¬†Or if it’s an issue between the two of them – I will make them work out a compromise by listening to what the other one is saying. ¬†It’s a lot more “work” for me, but so important that they learn how to stop, listen and focus.

Hansjörg Leichsenring
Hansjörg Leichsenring
3 years 1 month ago

Great post

KateFinley
3 years 1 month ago
Love this. I’ve always struggled with talking more than I listen. I’ve gotten better (ok MUCH better) over the years but it’s still something I have to keep in check. As far as leadership, I think the approach demonstrated by Randy is so smart. Instead of swooping in to solve the problem and becoming a potential crutch for your team you can ask the right questions and guide them to the answer. ¬† I’ve been on the receiving end of this, too and it can feel frustrating at first to not get the answer you know the person has and… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@kateupdates¬†Oh it’s super frustrating. I did this to @allenmireles¬†this morning. She said, “I KNEW you were going to say that!” But we worked through the challenge and she ended up being more confident about how to handle it than if I had said, “You need to say this and this.”

Marlene Drell Frykman
Marlene Drell Frykman
3 years 1 month ago

I know several people who do this. It makes me insane.

LundieP
LundieP
3 years 1 month ago

You said, ¬†“But a leader that does not make. A scalable business that does make. An empowered team that does not make.” ¬† Should that be “A scalable business that does NOT make.”?

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@LundieP¬†Oh yes…oops! It was super early when I wrote this. Thank you.

jolynndeal
3 years 1 month ago
Gini, ¬† Not only does listening change who you are as a leader, but I’ve found by striving to be a good listener, you are given opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t have. ¬†With active listening, you are observing, contemplating, evaluating and truly considering the information. ¬†My listening skills saved a former boss’s bum once, because I wrote down what our prospect wanted to see in our proposal. My boss said, “They asked for that?” ¬†Yes!!!! ¬†I also feel like technology is the new barrier to communication, especially with texting and not paying attention because of what’s on our phone. ¬†We’re missing… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@jolynndeal¬†First, I love anyone who uses the word bum. Secondly, REALLY good point about technology and not paying attention. I still take handwritten notes in meetings and that’s why.

lauraclick
3 years 1 month ago
There is a reason why people love being around my husband, garthclick¬†. He’s a terrific listener. People LOVE talking to him because he lets them talk and he doesn’t interrupt. And, because he’s such a good listener and very observant, he’ll pick up on things I often miss. We’ll go to parties together and he’ll notice things that I didn’t because I was too busy being a social butterfly. It’s truly a gift. (And coincidentally, it’s Garth’s birthday, so fitting that I should brag on him today!) ¬† I think this is a tremendous life lesson. One I’m trying to… Read more »
Tim McCoy
3 years 1 month ago

@lauraclick¬†¬†garthclick¬†Happy Birthday, Garth!¬†Laura, what a great tribute to your husband.¬†Publicly¬†praising one’s spouse isn’t done enough these days.¬†As @jolynndeal¬†perfectly stated, “With active listening, you are observing, contemplating, evaluating and truly considering the information.” That’s true for me when listening to a client, even¬†more so¬†in a trial. AS always, an excellent topic for reminders: LISTEN, so you’ll know what you’re missing.

lauraclick
3 years 1 month ago

@Tim McCoy¬†¬†garthclick¬† Thanks for the birthday wishes for Garth! I passed the message along. So, you’re an attorney? Garth is too! I think listening is especially critical in your profession. :)

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@lauraclick  garthclick Happy Birthday, Garth!

lauraclick
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich¬†¬†garthclick¬†Thanks! I passed the note along since he’s not so great about this Twitter thing. :)

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@lauraclick¬†Also…don’t get me wrong. This came with A LOT of coaching. And Randy always points out that I’m better at it at the beginning of the week than I am at the end of the week. It’s a good thing for me to be super conscientious about.

HowieG
HowieG
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich¬†¬†@lauraclick¬†coaching and lots of time outs when Gini wasn’t listening.

lauraclick
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich¬†Just curious – how frequently do you have coaching calls? I hired a coach a couple of years ago when I was just getting started with my business. I think it’s time to do it again – this time, to talk about growth. Just curious what other folks do or how they go about it.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@lauraclick¬†I do once a week plus lots of emails in between. I have a couple of very specific challenges that he’s helping me with and I’m helping him get his marketing program up and running. So we both win. I’d suggest checking out @4thGear¬†, @KensViews¬†, and blfarris

jdrobertson
3 years 1 month ago

I think it’s important to understand we speak at about 120 words a minute and listen at¬† about 400.words a minute. Given this imbalance – the speaker¬† must ascertain the listener is paying attention to him/her and not using the void ¬†staring out the window. It is also true there is no communication until there is understanding! To be sure there is understanding – have the listener repeat back¬†your instructon until you are both satisfied you’re on the same page.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@jdrobertson¬†Those are really interesting stats…I didn’t realize that. I think I must type at 120 words a minute and think at 400 words a minute, which would explain why I always type ahead of myself.

jdrobertson
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich
 I know an experienced typist can easily type 120 wpm Рbut it always boggles my mind when I remind myself that 120 wpm is 600 key strokes or 10 keystrokes per second. I just finished a book 70,740 words in length and probably hit 15 wpm on a good day. I envy your typing skills.

NicSuccess
NicSuccess
3 years 1 month ago

@LisaPetrilli @ginidietrich You can’t do today’s job with yesterday’s methods
and be in business tomorrow.

mickeygomez
3 years 1 month ago
You wouldn’t know this from my blog posts, but I really do try hard to listen. I find, though, that I often get run over in meetings, or get teased for raising my hand to speak, but it’s because I don’t want to be one of the people speaking over others. I want to hear what other people think.I love the advice I read below – listen without composing a reply in your mind. It was one of the best pieces of advice I ever received, and while I definitely struggle with making it work, I’m trying. It’s hard, though,… Read more »
Tim McCoy
3 years 1 month ago

@mickeygomez¬†Mickey, you’re correct. In certain circumstances it seems you have to jump in there and run the risk of being rude. It’s a balancing act.¬†Keep doing what you’re doing. Perhaps even vocalize more aggressively if your passion for the subject is strong. Never lose your polite nature. It’s respectful and endearing. I’m guessing it’s who you ARE.

mickeygomez
3 years 1 month ago

@Tim McCoy¬†Thanks, Tim! That’s very kind of you. It’s very much a work in progress for me, as it probably is for most folks. I’ve also found that listening and observing can tell you A LOT if you choose to truly pay attention in a conversation or a meeting.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@mickeygomez¬†I would pee my pants if I were in a meeting with you and you rose your hand. In fact, I’ve now put that on my bucket list.

mickeygomez
3 years 1 month ago

I’m also fun at parties.

allenmireles
3 years 1 month ago

@mickeygomez¬†And tending bar, from what I have observed. ūüėČ

PattiRoseKnight1
PattiRoseKnight1
3 years 1 month ago

Coming from a large agency (30+years) that didn’t “empower” admins to make decisions made working at AD challenging for me. ¬†Gini would ask me “what do you think?” And, I thought “wow no one ever, ever asked me what I thought before….what a new concept (for me anyway).” ¬†It took some time before I felt “empowered” and I still struggle with this.
 
One thing I need to point out is that just because someone is silent doesn’t always mean they are actually listening. ¬†Listening is a skill that everyone can really work on.

magriebler
magriebler
3 years 1 month ago

@PattiRoseKnight1¬†What a nice distinction. Part of listening is also showing that you’re engaged so the speaker doesn’t have to wonder whether you’re really paying attention or not.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@PattiRoseKnight1 Oh you mean like I listen to you? LOL! Not really! My favorite time of the week is Patti story time.

PattiRoseKnight1
PattiRoseKnight1
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich¬†you listen because some of my stories are beyond belief but they are real ūüėČ ¬†I tell my kids and they roll their eyes….one day they’ll wish they’d have listened like Gini did :)

allenmireles
3 years 1 month ago

@PattiRoseKnight1¬†What? ūüėČ

Jon Stow
3 years 1 month ago

A boss I had way back used to come out with “I hear what you say…” by which he meant “I’m right and I am not¬†interested¬†in your opinion”. Hearing someone is not enough. We have to listen. We might learn something and yes, @allenmireles¬†it is a great trait of effective leadership.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 1 month ago

@Jon Stow¬†“I hear what you say but..” is classic management speak. As you say, it’s “Here’s a pretend pat on the head, now bugger off and do it the way I told you to do it.” Man, how many times have I heard that one. ūüėČ It’s very refreshing to not hear that here at Arment Dietrich. ¬† ¬†@allenmireles

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@Jon Stow¬† Ug…that grates on my nerves almost as much as “with all due respect.”

allenmireles
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich¬†¬†@Jon Stow¬†And when anyone say’s “with all due respect,” you KNOW that’s code for: “Listen, you fool. You know nothing.” For realz.

allenmireles
3 years 1 month ago

@Jon Stow¬†That’s so interesting. You’re right though, we often do say “I hear you,” when we really intend the statement to preface our next great thought. Well done. *shakes head in wonderment at the ways of the world*

William Xifaras
William Xifaras
3 years 1 month ago

I’d contribute to the conversation, but in the spirit of the article, I choose to listen instead.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@William Xifaras LOL!!! HAHAHA!

HowieG
HowieG
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich  @William Xifaras bah you are just playing XBox and want us thinking you are paying attention. I know that trick.

William Xifaras
William Xifaras
3 years 1 month ago

@HowieG¬†¬†@ginidietrich¬†Lol…

Melanie Tolley Hall
Melanie Tolley Hall
3 years 1 month ago

I gotta do better at this…. I’m about a 5 1/2 on a 1 to10 scale listener! But, if I were perfect, people would just hate me, right??

onstreammedia
onstreammedia
3 years 1 month ago

Seems simple, yet apparently so hard. RT @ginidietrich: Shut Up: How Great Leaders Listen http://t.co/kq7CxFK2Iw via @spinsucks

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@onstreammedia It’s SUPER hard!

KensViews
3 years 1 month ago

Excellent post. To become a great leader, managers must make the shift from talking to listening. It’s a bigger change than most expect. When I train on “From Manager To Leader,” one of my favorite pieces of advice (if I say so myself) is “SHADDUP AND LISTEN!”¬† I always get a laugh. And I hope I’m breaking through.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@KensViews¬†That’s not why you get a laugh…

KensViews
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich I’m not even speaking to you!

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@KensViews Do I even know you?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@chillygal Wow! Thank you!!

chillygal
chillygal
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich It’s been shared and reposted several times on my FB page because people thought it was that good. Thanks for writing it!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@chillygal You’re so good to me!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@hessiejones @DannyBrown At least the “shut up” part

hessiejones
hessiejones
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich @DannyBrown that’s what I was referencing:) Somehow when he says it there is no fear from the receiving end.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@hessiejones @DannyBrown Yeah…it’s probably the accent.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@mickeygomez Shut up!

mickeygomez
mickeygomez
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich Never! I mean always! Is this when I raise my hand? #ListeningEars

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@mickeygomez We talked about your #listeningears during our staff meeting yesterday

mickeygomez
mickeygomez
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich YES! Should I get mine ready? Did anyone raise their hands? Am I an honorary staff member? #somanyquestions

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@annelizhannan LOL!!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@TheYaffeGroup Bwahahaha!

TheYaffeGroup
TheYaffeGroup
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich thought you’d like that one. Happy Monday. (enjoyed the post) ^MM

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@4thGear Grumble, grumble

4thGear
4thGear
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich You sound like those bumps on the side of the road. My 8 year old calls them grumble strips.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@4thGear Grumble strips! LOL! That’s totally what they sound like.

4thGear
4thGear
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich Kids are always right about that kind of stuff

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@LisaPetrilli OMG! I keep meaning to say I LOVE THE DANCING COSTUMES!!

LisaPetrilli
LisaPetrilli
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich :) Thank you so much, Gini!! Craziest thing I’ve ever done…and I’m loving every minute of it! :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@LisaPetrilli I imagine so! I’m kind of jealous.

LisaPetrilli
LisaPetrilli
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich :) You’d love my @FredAstaireSB instructors. When your foot has healed come take a private class, my treat! :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@LisaPetrilli OK!!

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 1 month ago

What would Fraser Crane do?
I often wonder why people few the need to overpower each other in conversation. I work with a bunch of type A personalities who consistently jump all over each other. It makes me nuts.
The best approach for me is to not talk. Eventually I get a turn and people usually wonder how I could synthesize everything so succinctly. It makes me howl everytime it happens.

HowieG
HowieG
3 years 1 month ago

@rdopping¬†I love messing with Types A’s who deserve to feel like Type Cs to keep them in reality. And really ignoring em with some patronizing works great.

JoeCardillo
3 years 1 month ago

@HowieG¬†¬†@rdopping I’m not the vindictive type but I have to admit I do a bit of this too….it’s kind of satisfying to respond in a way that lets them know, yes, we can all see you think you invented the sandwich, and no we’re not going to play that game.

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 1 month ago

@JoeCardillo @HowieG Me neither but it is kinda fun. Hehe.

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 1 month ago

@HowieG Now now Howie. Be nice.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@rdopping¬†That’s exactly how I am…I used to get scolded after big brainstorm meetings because I didn’t speak up. But then my bosses realized my best ideas came AFTER everyone was finished talking.

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich Ha. Two peas in a pod.

KensViews
3 years 1 month ago
@ginidietrich¬†¬†@rdopping¬† You just shined a light on a two great lessons for brainstorm facilitators: 1) Accept that the introverts aren’t¬† contributing ideas in the session, not because they don’t have any, but because it’s not their natural zone to share in a large group. Pair participants off during the session, have them brainstorm the ideas on their own, and then have the introverts present them. Works like a charm; and 2) Always create and offer a vehicle for all to share ideas after the brainstorm. You’ll be amazed at what your introverts offer.¬† Rumor has it that’s how the great… Read more »
rdopping
rdopping
3 years 1 month ago

@KensViews¬†¬†@ginidietrich¬†Good viewpoint.¬†Personally¬†I don’t have a problem speaking up. I just choose not to when everyone “needs” to make a point.
 
The introvert exercise works well. We normally have people write on post-it notes and stick ideas on a board. That way someone can have their idea presented without feeling like they have to present it.

KensViews
3 years 1 month ago

@rdopping¬†¬†@ginidietrich¬† Assuring both introverts and extroverts that their ideas will be considered and “protected” is one of the most important roles of a facilitator. Another is managing ideas and suggestions so that they’re focused on the needs of the “problem holder,” and not that some participants “need” to make a point, as you cite above.

StephanieBaron
StephanieBaron
3 years 1 month ago

‚Äú@howiegoldfarb: Shut Up: How Great Leaders Listen http://t.co/iUvzJBBNZN via @spinsucks @ginidietrich‚ÄĚ

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb
3 years 1 month ago

@stephaniebaron thank you for sharing @GiniDietrich ‘s post I felt bad being her only reader today

StephanieBaron
StephanieBaron
3 years 1 month ago

.@howiegoldfarb I always read @ginidietrich stuff, I wanna be her when I grow up, or Tina Fey ūüėČ

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@StephanieBaron Ohhhh! Can we both be Tina Fey?! @howiegoldfarb

StephanieBaron
StephanieBaron
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich one of us can be Amy Poehler ;D @howiegoldfarb

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb
3 years 1 month ago

@stephaniebaron @ginidietrich I think you both should be sarah palin

StephanieBaron
StephanieBaron
3 years 1 month ago

@howiegoldfarb hey! You’re not that far dude, I can drive down and kick your alien butt! @ginidietrich

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb
3 years 1 month ago

@stephaniebaron lol well @ginidietrich has read all her books and has all her fox news segments on DVD.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@StephanieBaron Deal!

HowieG
HowieG
3 years 1 month ago
Great post Gini. Clients and Employees. Colleagues and Bosses. Friends and Family. All are moire impressed if you listen and remember. My weakness is I forget people’s names the first time too often. I used to recite them in my head after first meetings. Tell me twice it is in my head for life.¬† ¬† Eye contact is very important. In fact I suggest those that have a hard time with eye contact work on it. I am fearless. Don’t care who you are I will look direct in your eyes. So important especially in Sales and marketing where everyone… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@HowieG¬†I don’t know why eye contact (and a firm handshake) are so hard. I’m going to pay attention to that and see who actually looks away.

allenmireles
3 years 1 month ago

All I can say is that I am planning to make myself some of those “Listening Ears” @mickeygomez¬†featured on Facebook. I’ll be wearing those suckers soon. And listening with ferocious concentration!

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@allenmireles  @mickeygomez LOL!! I thought those were hilarious!

Kath_San
Kath_San
3 years 1 month ago
Simple reminder of the most important task of any professional, even outside the realm of PR. You could have the most brilliant strategy or idea, but if you do not take time to list to your client, then they will not like any idea you have. People can‚Äôt hear you until you hear them. You take turns, but the client is always first. This post also does a great job of explaining listening involves an interactive component. Eye contact and acknowledgement are key to engaging with a client or coworker. Great tips of taking your leadership to the next level,… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@Kath_San¬†I also like one of the points in the comments below about how technology is preventing us from listening. I’d even add to that to either turn off your WiFi if you’re using your phone or table to take notes or to stick with good, old paper.

JoeCardillo
3 years 1 month ago
Good stuff. I would add that it’s important to do this across all levels, meaning if you are at the top of an org you should tune in to what’s happening on the ground. People appreciate it, and you tend to learn some important things that way. ¬† On that thinking thing – I’m reading Richard Feynman (well known physicist, Los Alamos project, liquid helium, etc…) and he tells this story about how he was such a whiz kid that grown-ups asked him to fix radios for them all the time. One guy had him over and Feynman stood there… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@JoeCardillo¬†My computer has a lot to say…so much so I nearly threw it out the window last week.¬†
 
I would add to your story and say this doesn’t have to be the traditional leader either – the person at the top of the ranks. Someone just starting out in business can be a leader by listening, asking questions, and learning.

JoeCardillo
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich Absolutely, and that’s something I watch out for, too. When a manager or top exec doesn’t truly foster that environment, it’s just not a fun or interesting challenge.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@JoeCardillo¬†I don’t know what I’d do if I had to go work for someone again. I’d be way too picky.

Andrea T.H.W.
3 years 1 month ago

Sometimes would-be-leaders are just like politicians, they are not at all interested in listening but only in “being the boss”. Which is a pretty unwise way to do business because your team is involved and usually interested in having a healthy business so listening to them Toyota-style should be the first thing to do.
 
Unfortunately many are bosses but few are leaders. :)

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@Andrea T.H.W. So, so true. Many are not taught how to lead, but how to micromanage and not trust people. It makes me crazy to hear some of the stories my friends tell about their bosses. I would not stay in a job if I were treated the way some of them are.

jdrobertson
3 years 1 month ago

@Andrea T.H.W.
 How right you are! A LEADER IS NOT PAID FOR WHAT HE DOES РRATHER HE IS PAID FOR WHAT HE CAN GET OTHERS TO DO. In order to do that he must a. Knows himself, b. Know his people, c. Know his job. (Not necessarily in that order. Unlike a CEO/boss whose primary interest is the bottom line Рpeople be damned.

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@jdrobertson  @Andrea T.H.W. Or she.

animal
animal
3 years 1 month ago

Shut up and kiss me – leadership lessons from Bill Clinton @jkcallas @ginidietrich – http://t.co/5vmXgBfygI

anasebrahem
anasebrahem
3 years 1 month ago

@InaBansal good article :) “To listen closely and reply well is the highest perfection we are able to attain in the art of conversation.”

InaBansal
InaBansal
3 years 1 month ago

@anasebrahem yeah true that! :-)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@InaBansal Thank you!

InaBansal
InaBansal
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich cheers! :-)

seanmcginnis
seanmcginnis
3 years 1 month ago

@HollyKatko @ginidietrich Thanks for sharing Holly. Good morning!

HollyKatko
HollyKatko
3 years 1 month ago

@seanmcginnis Good Day in this snowstorm in Chicago!

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich
3 years 1 month ago

LOL Melanie! I’ve always been a good listener because I was so painfully shy for most of my life (obviously outgrew that). But the hard part is asking questions instead of giving answers.

blfarris
3 years 1 month ago

I find that “I don’t know, what do you think?” is one of a leader’s most powerful questions. It saves you a lot of work AND it enables you to¬†gauge the¬†judgment and skills of your team members in a safe¬†environment where they can still use your experience to course correct.
 
That @4thGear¬†he’s a smart guy!

ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@blfarris¬† I like the fail safely mantra a lot. We all make mistakes, but if an organization punishes you for them, you don’t ever learn and nothing new is ever created.

barrettrossie
3 years 1 month ago
@blfarris¬†¬†¬†Well said. ¬† I once had a creative director who put a little spin on the “What do you think” question. We went to show him advertising concepts that were due to be presented in a day. He looked at them and said, “These are pretty good. Do you think they’re great?” Well no, not exactly great, but not bad. “If you had another day to really work on it, do you think you could come up with something great?” ¬†HELL YEAH!! ¬† And you know, it worked. What we came up with in the extra day blew away what… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 1 month ago

@barrettrossie  @blfarris You know, that reminds me of a supervisor I had who wanted me to sell her on why everything I wrote was my best to date. In order to that, of course, I had to believe it was my best.

blfarris
blfarris
3 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich I couldn’t find your comment, but I liked the post and left you one anyway.

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