While much harder to do properly than most of us think, truly listening is one of the most important ways in which we can develop our understanding of the world around us. It’s also important for those affected by change to feel they have been heard and understood, even if there are downsides to the changes. Our favourite question is “why?”. It’s just a small word, and something we often discourage our children from using at a young age, but it’s incredibly powerful. And the answers are often surprising. When we hear “it’s always been done that way”, then we know we’re probably onto something!
In the consultancy profession, it’s common to feel we should know everything about a subject and very tempting to talk too much in order to demonstrate the fact, but as Lyndon Johnson said: “you aren’t learning anything while you are talking”.