Skip to main content

Marshall Goldsmith: The Skill that Separates

| August 2, 2005

by Jim Bruce

Marshall Goldsmith is one of the country’s leading executive coaches.
Today’s reading is his column from the July 2005 issue of Fast Company:
In this column Goldsmith talks about the importance of being a great
listener.  He says that in listening “Your only aim is to let the
other person feel that he or she is important.”  He goes on to say
that you don’t interrupt, you don’t finish sentences, you don’t let
your eyes wander.  You maintain the dialog by asking intelligent
questions that show that you are paying attention, that move the
conversation forward, that require the person to talk while you listen.
While Goldsmith’s context does not always map into the context of
leadership and the conversations you have with your leadership, peers,
and colleagues, the advice he gives about how to listen as well as
his exercise is very good.
Also, Goldsmith could be read as implying that you do this for a self-
serving reason:  so that you will be seen as a great guy.  This is not
the leader’s motivation.  Rather, the leader listens primarily to
engage in the dialogue, to serve the conversational partner, to move
the issue forward, to build a stronger organization, and produce
Have a great week…………………………………jim