We all have those times where we are deep in thought and conversing with that little voice in our head. The question is, is that little voice right, or is the answer you get back only what you really want to hear?
I am most valuable and alive when I have the ability to talk out loud, listen actively and work through problems with others. It is a skill, in the age of digital conversation, that has become quite rare. Taking the time to talk and listen and really hear what others are saying, and what they are not saying, can be the difference between coming up with a solution and a great solution. A digital conversation is not fluid. It is broken into short bits of code that need to be decoded and then responded to. This almost never happens in real time and because you cannot hear the tone of those you are having a conversation with, you can misinterpret due to the lack of intonation.
Talking out loud is a two way street. It is mostly about active listening. Our ability to not only hear the sounds coming from the other person, but to understand them, helps us create successful outcomes. We need to not only listen in terms of our own value set, but in the value set of those we speak with as well.
If you cannot ask questions to understand someone else’s point of view and then help to develop a solution that solves their problems then you have not achieved the objective of a valuable conversation. Take the time to understand, not only what people say, but how they feel when they say it and what the underlying issues that need to be brought to the service.
It is a skill worth honing, as those who can hear, understand, interpolate and help solve problems will succeed in life and business.
Here is a great Ted Talk that talks about active listening. Sit down and pay attention, you will be glad you did.