Question all and then listen…

james shone

By James Shone

I found myself saying this to a young person I was mentoring the other day. I was so impressed by his constant flow of questions and also by his ability to challenge the status quo. But I was frustrated by his inability to listen and adopt advice. I think that the listening brief is so important for us all – the bottom line is that we do not know everything and are often with people who know a lot more about particular subjects than we do. Asking ‘good’ questions and listening to answers helps us to grow enormously. Curiosity is often encouraged from pupils from an early age and don’t we all love the young person who is constantly asking questions? But the key follow up skill is often forgotten and that is to listen to the answers. So let’s make it a priority for us all to be good listeners. After all, as the cliché says, we have two ears and one mouth!

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