The Advisor Institute: Coach's Corner
Listen with intentional intensity

Practical messages intended to help you elevate the success of your practice.

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      By David RichmanNational Director, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

      Have you ever found yourself in conversation and realized that you didn't hear what the other person just said? If you have, welcome to the club.

      The pandemic is exacerbating this phenomenon — many of us spend more time than ever on the phone and in virtual meetings. The fatigue that sets in is very real, especially for us Type A personalities who tend to overschedule, literally bouncing from one call or event to the next.

      Here is a novel idea for you to consider: "Less is more." Try scheduling one less meeting each day or look to limit meetings to no more than 45 minutes. This leaves you with 15 minutes to take a breath or maybe a brisk power walk outside.

      In each meeting, see if you can bring a level of intentional intensity to your listening. If you are on the phone, close your eyes to avoid distraction. If you are on the screen, lock eyes with the person you are speaking with and try to focus on their spoken and unspoken words. Lead with and maintain genuine curiosity. Is there some subtext in their remarks that deserves further attention?

      Bottom line: If there was ever a moment to challenge yourself to become a better listener, this is that moment.