My coffee was piping hot, hazelnut with a little cream. Cheryl’s meeting was to start in a few minutes. She was determined to turn things around with her team. She was hired as a troubleshooter in Quality Control, but finding the problem and fixing the problem are two different things.
“So today, you said you were going to listen?” I asked.
Cheryl nodded “Yes.”
“What position will you be listening from?”
The question caught Cheryl off-guard. “I’m not sure what you mean.”
“The way we see the world is often influenced by our position. In fact, you have listened to your team before, but you were listening from a position of judgment, so you didn’t hear what they had to say.” I stopped to let that sink in. “What position will you be listening from today?” I repeated.
“I guess I will be trying to understand their point of view.”
“Not bad, but not aggressive enough to be effective. What position do you want to be listening from?”
Cheryl was stumped. “Curiosity?” she finally blurted out.
I nodded. “So, when you sit in your meeting today, you will be listening from the position of a curious child?”
“And curious children always have a lot more fun than stuffy Quality Control managers,” I said. “Curious children often invent interesting ways to solve problems.”