I make it a habit of spending time with people smarter than I am. This past year I went to see a neuropsychologist named Tim Royer talk and within a few seconds I knew I was in the right place. 🙂
He shared a startling fact: On average, doctors diagnosing a brain disorder (ADD, ADHD, Depression, etc.) spent just under 7 minutes with their patients before making the diagnosis?
Really? I was actually relieved because the other statistic I knew from a study was that when you visit the doctor’s they spend an average of 23 seconds listening before making a diagnosis.
Good news: The brain is complex so physicians spend more time (maybe 18x) before diagnosing you. (assuming the 7 minutes is spent listening, questioning, and observing)
Bad news: Is that really enough? For an organ that has 10,000 miles of neurons, 20 terrabytes of storage, and consumes 80% of the energy your body produces – is 7 minutes long enough?
People are complex. Teams are complex. How much time do you spend listening or trying to understand peers? Your leader? People on your team?
Activity: At your next staff meeting or one on one – Keep track of the following things:
Number of questions you ask vs # of times you tell people something
Time spent listening vs time spent time talking (fyi: doodling or answering texts is not actively listening)
What does it tell you?