by Kim Stangle
One of the most valuable classes in my Mini-MBA program was titled “Unlocking your Leadership Potential.” It was the final session of the 18-week program, so longtime Rollins professor Dr. Rick Bommelje had a lot to live up to. And, boy did he deliver.
Instead of being a class about how to lead people—which is what I fully expected—it was a class centered around the art of listening. Hopefully you can immediately connect the dots on how the two relate.
Two of my favorite nuggets of wisdom came from the explanation about listening for comprehension. While listening comprehension is not a new concept, the art of listening only for comprehension is an incredibly difficult practice. Many of us are guilty of listening only to answer, advise or critique. But, if you only listen to fully understand what is being said, it changes the landscape completely.
The second concept that Dr. Bommelje introduced us to is the Golden Pause. Picture that red Easy Button Staples introduced a few years back, but pretend instead that it’s a giant pause button. Now, when you’re tackling a tough subject, brainstorming with a group or trying to solve a problem, consider invoking the Golden Pause to re-center your thoughts. We are so desperate to fill the silence that we don’t take time to really listen to what is being said. The Golden Pause creates space for contemplation and reflection, and I have no doubt you’ll find it as useful as I have.