Listening power phrases.
I was reminded this week that simple is best.
This reminder came when I learned there was a law passed in 2010 that requires government to use plain English when speaking to certain audiences. To learn more visit www.plainlanuage.gov and click on the link that downloads a file really named fullbigdoc.pdf to view the 112-page guidelines. One hundred and twelve pages of guidelines to explain plain language? Wow. Ironic and comical. Life provides us with outstanding content. Reality is often better than fiction.
Back to simple. I stepped off a 22-year adventure I thought was my dream career until I discovered it was a stepping stone to building my consulting firm. I can’t wait to help leaders, teams and organizations solve problems and see things from a fresh perspective. I want to help them get to the next level, faster. In my work, I help others see clearly what they see too closely.
This starts with listening. Listening is a terrific example of an activity where less is more and simple is best. Here are some short phrases to add to your listening toolkit. They are short and powerful. They lead us to lean in and open-up.
Listening Power Phrases
5 words - Thank you for sharing that.
4 words - That’s a great question.
What do you think?
3 words - I don’t know.
Tell me more.
2 words - Why not?
1 word - Ah…
The words are simple, but making a habit of using them is not easy. We’re all human and – let’s face it – we like to hear ourselves talk. Getting better at listening (hint: this requires that we’re not talking) is not easy, but nothing worth doing hardly ever is.
Try these simple phrases a few times this week. Do any of them help you stay focused on the conversation instead of mentally preparing your “smart response”? What would happen if we all “let smart go” and poured that energy into listening and learning from others? What might that look like?
I look forward to hearing from you.