If you are managing a team, the ability to listen, effectively break down, and analyze an issue in order to find a solution — will be core to your success. Whether it is an internal team issue, a technical issue, or an external dependency.
Being an active listener and ability to formulate effective questions to get others to open up is crucial. Here are a few ways to boost your ability to do this.
Hold your hypotheses loosely, Don’t be defensive.
Approach any problem with an open mind, and hold any of your hypotheses. Asking good questions can lead you to fundamentally reconsider your assumptions — but you have to be willing to do so without defensiveness.
Listen more than you talk.
Active listening allows you to fully grasp another point of view, making it easier to question your own assumptions and biases.
Leave your queries open-ended.
Avoid asking yes-or-no questions. Instead, try to get the respondent to open up at length.
Consider the counterintuitive.
Every group has someone who’s unafraid to challenge the status quo, sometimes he/she is the right person to discuss any approach or any conclusion you are formulating.
Sleep on it.
A good night’s rest can actually help your brain see a problem more clearly, be more attentive to others, and hence be able to resolve any issue faster.