An old friend of mine has accepted to act as my coach at work. In the first session, on Friday, we talked about how important it is to improve listening skills. One interesting take-away that I had from this session was WAIT, which stands for:
So the next time I am talking with somebody, I will keep asking this question in my mind through the course of the conversation. This will help my extreme Extrovert self to keep in mind that an effective conversation is a two way street, and is combined of both listening and talking. Also, it will keep me focused on what the focal point of the conversation is.
The second topic we talked about was using the Questioning attitude. Instead of making statements, ask questions. This way, the person you are conversing with, will be engaged in the conversation, and will find the answer from within, as compared to being told what that should be. I believe I already do this to a great degree; but that doesn’t mean I cannot improve this skill.
My third take-away was to try making more face-to-face interactions with my co-workers, when I need them to get something done; and send a follow up email to summarize our conversation and action-items. This will improve the communication between the two parties, and will also keep things written and formal for future references.