A recent New York Post profile of Marshall Goldsmith, often described as America's premier executive coach, offers some instructive insights from the master:
"When we hear what we don't want to hear, our first reaction is, 'They're confused. They don't understand, the problem isn't me, it's them.' It's hard to realize that sometimes other people can see things in us that we can't see in ourselves. So what I teach people to do is just shut up and listen and say thank you. But it's very hard to do this. Because our first reaction is, 'You're confused, you don't understand.' It's so ingrained."
"People get so wrapped up in achieving a goal that they forget the mission. I worked with a guy on Wall Street who was working 80 hours a week, and I asked him, why are you working 80 hours? He said, 'Because I need money.' I said, why do you need money? He says, 'I've been married three times, and I need to pay alimony.' Well, why have you been married three times? 'My wife didn't understand how hard I had to work.'"
"The average workplace would be a happier place if the manager regularly asked people how he or she could become a more effective leader. And if the people regularly asked each other how each person could be a more effective partner or team member, and listened and followed up on a regular basis."