Listen and learn

Dee Hock: Persuade—don’t compel—your troops

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in Leaders & Managers,Office Management,Workplace Communication

Dee Hock is founder and CEO emeritus of Visa International, now a $1.25 trillion global business. Yet he’s as modest as a bashful uncle.

Hock only loses his normally calm demeanor when he lambastes the traditional command-control hierarchical organization—with the tyrannical boss acting, well, bossy. For Hock, fast-track managers understand how to persuade gently, listen attentively and lead quietly but firmly. And they possess rock-solid integrity.

WS: Most managers realize they should listen better. What can they do to improve?

Hock: Think of the value in what you hear, not what you would like to say in reply. Most people think about how they’re going to reply. Then they miss things.

WS: Let’s say you listen and don’t like what you hear. Then what?

Hock: One of the tools I’ve always used is to look for commonality, not difference. Then I re-articulate their positions so that they see the common ground between us. To focus ...(register to read more)

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