The Professional Listens

In a leadership position or not, you, as a professional, are a “pro” at your craft.

But being “pro” at your craft is just the beginning. You need to listen as effectively as you are flawless in your craft.

CCL’s Michael Hoppe has authored this excellent book that can improve your Active Listening Skills.

Michael has described six skills that contribute to an active listening mindset:

1) Paying attention: Listening begins with paying attention. No attention, no listening.

2) Holding judgment: Seek first to understand and then to judge.

3) Reflecting: Don’t agree or disagree; just reflect by paraphrasing key points.

4) Clarifying: When you don’t understand something that you think you should; clarify.

5) Summarizing: Restate key themes and summarize the crux of the matter. Ask others to do the same to reach the same ground.

6) Sharing: Sharing requires being comfortable with being vulnerable. Share your personal experience based on the same theme or the crux of the matter, and you will show that you have listened to what matters.

No matter how great you are as a professional, if you lack listening skills, sooner or later, you will face less than desired results.

The professional listens; you could, too!


Why Your Workplace Help is Missing the Mark (And How You Can Fix It!)

Here is why your workplace help is missing the mark and how you can fix it!

Help In Workplace: The Choice

This is a real-life happening from one of my product teams related to workplace help.

I have a technically excellent team member. We will call him P.

P has been working on an important project with a steep deadline. 

But recently, P decided to help another team member for almost the whole day on another project with somewhat lesser business importance.

He missed his deadline on an important project. The business is still suffering the consequences of P’s choice.

P is a great team member with excellent technical skills. But he could not stay on course. 

The Management Decision

Was P sacked? 

No. But he had to be reprimanded. 

“It is okay to help the others if it takes 10-15 minutes of your time.

It is also okay to help others if it takes more time but does not impact the project in focus; otherwise, that help is a waste of business resources!”

~ Some day in Feb 2021
You have power 
to make your 
choices — not outside 
Realize this, and you 
will find your 
performance mark! 
~ UV (Utpal Vaishnav Quote)

Any respectable business works on defining priorities and performance. You disregard the priority, and you are a poor performer. 

In my team, it is acceptable to make mistakes. But not the same mistake twice. 

When you are working on an important project, you get everything done to deliver that project. 

Nothing more, nothing less. 

That’s the fundamental responsibility. That’s what makes you a performer and provides the perks. 

In business, helping others is great, but not always. Not at the cost of your own performance. That’s not running an extra mile, that’s an inappreciable performance glitch!

Note to Self

  1. When you are working on a project, stay on-course. Or don’t participate in the project.
  2. Helping others is noble only if it does not impact your own performance. Put your oxygen mask first
  3. Mistakes are acceptable as long as they are used as stepping stones to learn and get better at the core craft. 

Think for yourself.