In our final post we talk to our Finance Director, Heather Jones who describes her #LISTENINGFACE…
Describe your listening face
I would describe it more as a listening body: the laptop lid goes down, the phone out of sight and I physically turn to the person and try to maintain eye contact throughout. My face gives everything away so it is pretty obvious when I am not fully engaged.
Recount a time you listened to somebody
The need to listen to the business as a finance leader is incredibly important. Many, many times I have had to remind myself of this and fight the temptation to roll out initiatives or implement changes without consultation (which is the place we finance directors tend to naturally gravitate to). The upfront investment of time to consult and really listen to key stakeholders’ points of view pays back in spades when implementing these types of change programs.
Recount a time somebody listened to you
Many times at FHF -I think we are pretty good at it! Discussions around the board table are regularly “build on” type discussions where points of view are listened to, acknowledged and built on rather than a series of individuals simply listening and waiting to talk.
Recount a time you didn’t listen
OK so working parent guilt coming up:I recall a time my daughter was telling me something about her day at primary school and she suddenly stopped talking and said, “you are not listening to me!” and she was right. I had to admit this and confess I had drifted off and was thinking about something that had happened at work that day. We both kind of looked at each other and knew that I had screwed up on the good parenting front! Ever since I have tried to ensure I focus fully when she is telling me something and now as a teenager the times she opens up are rare and random so I need to be “ever-ready” to listen to her when these conversational nuggets present themselves. I think it is one of the best gifts we can give our kids to make them feel they are truly heard. (I still don’t get it right all the time!)