1. Practice your questioning from a better place. Are you only listening in order to confirm what you already think?
2. Be assertive, not aggressive. If you asked the ten people you work with most frequently which style you personified, what would their answer be?
3. Recognize disagreements as opportunities. How many new opportunities did you overlook yesterday because you were blinded by defensiveness?
4. Respond positively to all reports. What’s the positive learning experience in this failure?
5. Share what you’re thinking and feeling. What is causing you to be easily misunderstood?
6. Communicate before you have to. How could you communicate with this person despite your lack of need to do so?
7. Boost your communication self-awareness. When you meet people, is your first thought about what they think of you or how you can make them more comfortable?
8. Choose to attend differently to people. And what is the hidden treasure inside this person that maybe others don’t see?
9. Learn to be open to people you don’t approve of. What is preventing you from, or making it hard for you to be open TO this person?
10. Expand your openness to learning from others. What would happen to your storehouse of wisdom if you allowed everyone you came in contact with to mentor you?
11. Allow people to experience that they can change your mind. Which of your ideas are guarded by arrogance?
12. Give people permission to comfortably, confidently and consistently BE their true selves. How different would your organization feel if the people who worked there stopped bullshitting each other realized that it’s OK to be vulnerable?
13. Be someone others can be vulnerable and dumm in front of. How are you leveraging your vulnerabilities to gain people’s trust?
14. Make it easy for others to be playful around you. When does the feeling of formality keep you from communicating playfully?
15. Be empathetic to communication apprehension. What type of person would you have to become to make even the shyest people willing to open up around you?
16. Be sensitive to others’ experience. What values of this person have you violated, and how is that resulting in them shutting down communication?
17. Give others space to be who they are. What would happen to your career if you (also) became known as the best listener in your organization?
18. Meet and touch people where they are. How is it possible that this person could think or behave in this way, and under what circumstances would it make perfect sense to do so?
19. Show people that their feelings are legitimate. What needs to be developed in YOU to better handle your judgment of others?
20. Do not despise the day of small beginnings. What, specifically, could you say today to water somebody’s success seeds?
21. Make sure people like themselves when they are with you. How do most people feel when they’re around you?
22. Create an environment where people can see the solutions in themselves. Are you willing to monopolize the listening?
23. Open your receptors to the other person’s subtleties. What is this person communicating but not saying?
24. Don’t allow your emotions to arouse your personal antagonism. What is preventing you from listening to and fully connecting with this person?
25. Honestly assess what you’re prematurely discarding. At what point during a conversation do you usually start tuning people out?
26. Learn to listen over your own ego. Have you lost track of this conversation because of the inner conversation you’re having with your ego?