Hal recently said, “Listening is one of the foundational skills of project managers.” I agree, and would add writers, tech support reps, people managers to that list. What about developers and testers? I think they need to listen also. Anyone working in an agile project needs to listen (including customers or product managers). Is there anyone who doesn’t require listening skills?
Knowledge-based projects require people who have listening skills. Period. I’m tempted to say all projects require people who can listen, but I may not have thought that all the way through.
Interviews give you an opportunity to test listening skills (both ways):
- Does the candidate hear the question? Does the candidate answer the question fully?
- Does the interviewer echo back part of the answer? Does the interviewer summarize the answer?
If you’re not sure if you have Honed Your Listening Skills, practice on a friend or spouse. The friend or spouse will be thrilled you’re paying so much attention!