Listening is an underrated skill posted on 18 February 2024

A common assumption is that as you become senior, you have to know everything, be loud and talk over others.

As I progressed in my career and became more senior, I personally learned to value other people’s opinions more rather than less. This might be my personal character, but looking/talking at my peers, it might also be a difference in my generation. With that being said, there are a few significant benefits from listening to others:

  • The truth is as you get more senior, your scope becomes broader and your knowledge becomes shallow. From there you will lose track of what’s happening on the ground unless you carefully listen to people working with you – you may be able to keep a close eye on details through code reviews or other means but this gets increasingly difficult over time.
  • Related to the point above, people have different expertise and unless you listen to their point of view, you won’t be able to factor their concerns well and become a better leader.
  • Last but not least, people appreciate humble and honest peers. They’ll share more of their thoughts with you if they feel heard.

On the other hand, you don’t gain anything from ignoring others or being rude to them.

I’m curious to hear what people think about this. From my personal experience, things are also different in Europe where people are naturally better listeners than in the US. Activate to view larger image,

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