Do you only Listen through your Ears?


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Empathy is a major differentiator between the traditional process methodologies of Six Sigma, and I say this tongue–in-cheek, Lean. Many times when you review Design for Six Sigma, Lean Startup, Lean Product Development, and Lean Design (the list goes on), seldom when you search (like never) the index of the book will you find the words Empathy. I think that is a major difference in Design Thinking, Service Design and as I like to call it, EDCA.

That word empathy is a hard thing to practice. Some people may say you are born with or raised with it. I think you can acquire it, but it takes a different set of listening skills than most of us  develop. In the book, Real Influence: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In, the authors introduced me to the Ted video below. In this demonstration, deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie illustrates how listening to music involves much more than simply letting sound waves hit your eardrums.

I think the authors of Real Influence said it correctly when they said:

To truly understand and connect with others, we need to hear the music they hear and take time to appreciate it, even if it’s not our melody we’re hearing ourselves.

Listen both what they say and how they say it – their tone, pace, pitch, volume, variability, and rhythm. Also, in every important conversation you have to ask yourself: What is not being said?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.


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