Civic Leader Gets a Valuable Lesson In Listening
with Dr. Bill Lampton
Recently I spoke to the Rotary Club in Clemson, SC, at the invitation of a lifelong friend from my hometown of Columbia, MS, Dr. Jim Woods.
As a retired orthodontist, Jim enjoys using his newly created free time to serve as a volunteer for worthwhile organizations in his community. He told me that he learned something valuable about communication during my Rotary speech, which he applied with highly satisfactory results a few days later at another group’s planning session.
My Rotary speech focused on three essential steps for becoming a highly effective communicator:
1. Using clear language
2. Making the most of that unique instrument known as your voice
3. Listening intently and non-judgmentally.
A couple of days later, Jim called me tell me how my tips about listening had revolutionized his style as a moderator—and how rewarding the results were. Jim said, “Maybe you wonder if audience members ever follow the advice you give when you speak. Well, I can assure you that at least one person—me—tried what you recommended on Monday. And I guarantee, the change in the group’s response was so magical that I have overcome my tendency to do all the talking when I give a presentation. I’m going to remember, and act on, that advice you gave from Stephen Covey: “Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.”
Clearly, the lesson Jim learned about listening brought a permanent improvement in his communication. So put the power of listening to the test, as he did. The results will amaze you, and all those you lead.