Focus on listening over speaking is another adage with as much power as the last Whimsy, Hustle While You Wait that was posted last week.
I was asked by a major bank CEO to help them win the coveted Baldridge Quality Award. My assignment was to document how they were a great learning organization. I decided to sit in on a wide variety of meetings, many with the senior leadership team. I defined two columns with tally marks for the number of statements made and questions asked at each meeting.
I then reported to the CEO that I was not successful.
What I had found was a ratio of about 100 statements—participants asserting things to others—for every question asked. My reflection was that learning is not separable from curiosity and inquisitiveness. Both come from questions.
A longer blog post will soon look more deeply at the power of questions to guide thinking by others in ways that statements cannot do. Meanwhile, ask someone to use a tablet to keep the same tally I did for some meetings in your organization.