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Starting a New Job? Develop Better Listening Skills...

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A new day has dawned and you are starting a new job! How exciting! There is a certain level of uncertainty as you enter the building. All sorts of thoughts enter your head and lots of "what if's" begin playing out in your mind. Chances are you don't know anyone except those that interviewed you - and most employees (that will report to you) have never met you. Any baggage you had from your old job was left the day you resigned. This is your chance to experience your own NOVO: A Latin expression meaning "from the beginning," "afresh," "anew," "beginning again." Change is a good thing!

You bring a level of expertise with you that your new CEO wants to tap into. No doubt about it. And you will definitely get your chance. Your skills, your background, your education, your references and the way you handled yourself during the interview process made you the top choice by the interview team. However, you are still entering the unknown in many ways. New culture, new processes, a different way of doing business - and a new social network of employees you will soon get to know. And they will get to know you and form their own opinion of you based on how you handle yourself. This fresh start can be anything you want it to be. You are the driving your own bus. It's your call as to how you handle yourself, build new relationships and learn how your new employer does business.

That ONLY works if you know how to listen.

Some of us are intuitive and want to listen and learn and understand the dynamics of the new organization. That's a good thing. Unfortunately, some of us just can't help ourselves. We have a different plan. We have to let people know how important we are by talking 2-3 times more than we listen. It almost every case the loudmouths always lose. They don't know when to listen because they are too busy talking. Actually - they don't care. They make themselves feel better by telling people (they don't even know) how things should be done and how they did things at their former employer. In reality -they have no clue. Why? Because they never stop to listen.
Hello. News Flash. Nobody cares.

We all have two ears and one mouth. Some of us understand how important listening skills can be - particularly in a new job. Others don't get it and never will. Why? Because they prefer to talk and they refuse to listen.

Listen, learn and succeed. That is a much better plan!

It’s a powerful visual: A nest full of chirping birds asking to be fed and you have to try to spread the limited amount of resources to each. Who gets fed? Well the loudest Chirp of course! The problem with this approach is that the requirements and strategy of the organization does not always match the loudest voice.

Comments

Thanks Joe and great advice on the book!

Tim,

Great advice. We on-boarded a number of new execs within the last year. Several of them distinguished themselves with both the listening skills your describing and a degree of personal energy display what was noticeable and compelling.

In your earlier post, "Now That You've Made it to 3rd Base - Now What?", I recommended interested readers connect with "The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels", whether through the podcast, article, book, or book-on-tape. In addition to listening, there are several other self-awareness behaviors that are critical to success. Put the other way, they're common, non-recoverable ways to fail in three months or less.

Great post, thanks for the helpful links as well