“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” This is one of the most important business quotes from Dr. Peter Drucker, Father of Modern Management. Dr. Drucker has left us with this sage advice that we can use in any area of life – – – especially with your listening.
Too many times, people have scoffed that listening can’t be measured. The costs of not listening can definitely be measured if you look at the loss that took place. Think about the last time that you were involved in a listening breakdown. Ask yourself, what was the loss? Perhaps it was a damaged relationship or loss of credibility, or loss of a sale, just to name a few.
Like any human behavior, with listening, if you can’t measure it, and know the results, you can’t possibly get better at it.
The Daily Listening Scorecard is a tool that will raise your listening awareness on a daily basis. This is important, because all growth begins with awareness. Check yourself every day, and identify the number of times you violate each of the 9 listening behaviors. It is very important to track your results in writing. Don’t do it in your head.
DAILY LISTENING SCORECARD
COUNT THE NUMBER OF TIMES YOU DID ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
Today, I ……
1. Stopped making eye contact with the speaker.
2. Asked someone to repeat herself/himself because I was not focusing.
3. Misunderstood the meaning of someone’s message.
4. Let my mind wander while someone was speaking.
5. Jumped to a conclusion about what someone was saying.
6. Let my personal judgment crowd out the speaker’s message.
7. Interrupted someone or changed the subject in the middle of the conversation.
8. Reacted emotionally to what someone was saying before they finished.
9. Forgot important information (such as a person’s name) while communicating with someone.
When you record zeroes for any of the nine items, you will know that you are making great progress. Study your results at the end of each day and see which item is being repeated the most often. Then make a conscious effort to focus on this item the next day. At the end of the week, you’ll be able to see your progress.
Educator and author Parker Palmer declared “We must learn to measure our efforts not by short-term effectiveness but by long-term faithfulness to the vision we care about.” If you aspire to be a great listener in all areas of your life, I invite you to consistently measure your results every day. LISTENING PAYS!