Many of you may know that great leaders are effective speakers. However, it is not as obvious that leaders are keen listeners. As computer scientists and engineers we are always solving problems. Often, the solution lies in active listening. Quoting J. G. Bennett, a British mathematician, and philosopher, “We tend to see ourselves primarily in the light of our intentions, which is invisible to others, while we see others mainly in the light of their actions which are visible to us.”

Our team was working on a release on a tight schedule.  Jane, we’ll call her, decided to stop working on her task based on a note from the architect.  She thought the architect reassigned the task to Mark.  I stepped in to resolve the situation.  I asked the architect to explain his note in detail. I refrained from asking why he chose Mark when he knew Jane was working on it.  I listened with an open mind to his words and intent.  I smiled when I realized that he had suggested Mark for a related but separate task, different from Jane’s.  

Hope you enjoyed my story.

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