It’s very tempting, when your Bad Boss is spouting yet another load of blabla to tune out--been there, heard that, do you really need to listen?
Yes! You do. Because somewhere in your boss’s seemingly worthless yamma-yamma, there is probably something you can use to your advantage. Some nugget of how he or she really wants things done, or some clue as to how you could help resolve a problem in a way that brings you some advantage. Sure, you may have to sift through a fair amount of nonsense to get to the good stuff, but genuine listening always has a payoff in the long run.
a futurist who works for Ford Motor Co., had to say about listening during a recent TEDGlobal talk in Edinburgh:
“Focus closely on the person speaking. Don't half-listen while you check your messages… be there in full. Otherwise, you are likely to miss something.
“Listen carefully for things you don't know. Our brains home in on what's familiar because it's easy and comfortable, and it reassures us of our intelligence. But that's no way to learn anything. Listen for new information, discontinuities, things you didn't know but could learn from.”
Wise words. Listen for what you don’t know. You’d be surprised how much you can learn about your Bad Boss and how to make yourself valuable to him or her, just by training yourself to be--a better listener.