It can be hard to hold people’s attention these days.
So many distractions!
We can do what we can to reduce distractions. For example, be thoughtful when setting up a meeting place, whether it’s for a large group or one-on-one. I know one company that has a bucket in each conference room. When people enter, they put their smartphones in the bucket.
We can also do our best to speak in a way that enhances listening.
In a TED Talk, Julian Treasure lists seven deadly sins when speaking:
- Exaggeration (He jokes, “What word would we use if we were trying to describe something that was, in fact, truly awesome?”). The bigger sibling of exaggeration is lying.
- Dogmatism — the confusion of facts with opinion
He then lists characteristics of speech that enhance listening:
- Authenticity — be yourself; “stand in your own truth”
- Integrity — speaking consistently with your actions and values
- Love — wishing people well
It’s not a coincidence that the first list breeds mistrust and the second list enhances trustworthiness.
Ask a truth-teller to make you aware when you fall into the trap of the first list.
Reward your teammates with a compliment when they speak in accordance with the second list.
Be a High-Trust Leader: speak in ways that enhance listening and communication.