Although the world of work still has a way to go on increasing diversity and equality, thankfully, teams are becoming more diverse than ever. But one of the lesser know consequences of diversity is that it means people have to work harder at communicating with each other. For example, in mixed gender teams, men tend to talk over women and women tend to speak less often than men. Or consider cognitive diversity on teams — the differences in how we tend to think and behave — highly confident and outgoing people talk more than introverts (even if they have little useful to add).
One of the more powerful talents a team can unlock is learning to listen together — which leads to genuine dialogue.
We put together a collection of mindset prompts for you to try with your team and develop better listening skills:
Argue like you are right, listen like you are wrong.
Too often we assume ours is the one right view. This is ok, but listening to other viewpoints is a genuinely creative act. What if you are wrong?
The mind that opens to a new thought never returns to its original size.
Einstein knew a bit about original thinking. He was also an advocate of talking to all the other great physicists with whom he disagreed with.
Nothing I say will teach me anything. So if I'm going to learn, I must do it by listening.
Are you on broadcast or are you on receive?
Care less about being right and care more about being successful.
Standing firm because your ego needs you to win, dominate or not lose, is a recipe for losing your colleagues and accepting mediocrity.
Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional
The best teams are unafraid of conflict. They focus on the issue, offer their view for critique, and are curious about what the right answer might turn out to be.