A to Z of people skills – Understanding

December 31st, 2012

We talk about understanding and how we can learn to understand each other better. The one thing I’ve noticed most, in recent meetings, is the lack of questioning , usually combined with an excess of assumptions.

If I really want to understand more about you, the way you think about things, the knowledge you have about something then I need to ask you questions, lots of them. Working with a manager recently, we discussed how he wanted to allocate some work across his team. With a little nudging by me, he started thinking about asking those who really know the details of what needs sorting how they would approach it and this would be more likely to them putting in their best efforts to getting done what they had committed to. He also thought more about how best to approach them based on their learning styles and preferences, rather than his.

Ask questions, summarise the answers and you both really see how much you’ve understood. Which of your team would benefit from improving their questioning and listening skills, in order to improve understanding across the business?

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