I recall many years ago listening to an interview with a Palestinian in the Occupied Territories neighboring Israel. She said something that has stuck with me ever since: “The Minority knows more about the Majority than the Majority knows about the Majority.”
The Minority - whether it be gender-based, ethnic, religious or other - has to know more about its environment in order to survive, at a minimum. Thriving as a community is a goal worth striving for, though. Members of the Minority must always, with no exaggeration, be more aware of its surroundings than participants in the Mainstream. For survival’s sake. One of the most important skills minorities -- especially diverse professionals -- must develop is Listening. Not just hearing what’s being said to them or about them, but actively sounding out their surroundings in order to compete with others who do not have the same barriers placed in front of their development and progress.
Listening is one of the most common and important things that we all do. It’s an absolutely critical faculty for diverse professionals, however. What the mainstream society in America calls “unconscious bias” (and what everyone else calls straight-up prejudice), makes honing listening skills mandatory for survival in any business environment.
Listening is an essential part of the interaction procedure. No matter the kind of task you do or the market where you work; it is crucial to comprehend the listening procedure, have an awareness of barriers to listening efficiently, and discover ways to listen actively.
The act of Hearing is merely the very first of 3 phases in the listening procedure, all of which are still worth however relatively apparent keeping in mind.
A variety of obstacles stop us from listening well. As a diverse professional, it is necessary to value what the restrictions are and ways to get rid of each of them. Obstacles to efficiently listening include:
You can resolve concrete barriers such as physical challenges or environmental elements at work, however, by changing rooms or seating arrangements (get to the meetings early). Handling internal blocks you place in your way can be harder, though. Extensive preparation can accomplish a great deal of this before you show up at any conferences or group sessions.
Practice can also be key to one of the best survival skills you can ever have as a diverse professional: active listening.