Listening is critical in today’s organizations. As recent examples in the #MeToo era and numerous organizational failures and scandals illustrate, the consequences of poor listening in organizations can be significant, and in some cases, catastrophic. Listening is commonly described in terms of ethics, overlooking its strategic value.
The book guides leaders and decision-makers to question the listening habits, practices, and infrastructure within their organizations. The author lays out an argument for the benefits and challenges of strategic listening. She also develops a method for internal analysis of listening capabilities and practices, and provides a framework for building and maintaining a more robust listening culture, infrastructure, and set of practices. In order to improve organizational listening, the author argues that we need to do more than improve personal listening skills, we need to design organizations to listen.
Introduction: The Power of Strategic Listening and the Risks of Listening Failure
Chapter 1: Strategic Listening in Organizations
Chapter 2: Obstructions to Listening
Chapter 3: Important Contexts for Listening in Organizations
Chapter 4: Technology and Listening
Chapter 5: Dark Side of Organizational Listening
Chapter 6: Appraisal of Strategic Organizational Listening
Chapter 7: Building and Maintaining Strategic Listening
Appendix A: Observational Guide
Appendix B: Interview Guide
Appendix C: Questionnaire Item Bank
Appendix D: Planning Framework for Enhancing Strategic Listening
Dr. Laurie Lewis is Professor of Communication at Rutgers University. She is the author of the award-winning book Organizational Change: Creating Change Through Strategic Communication and co-Editor of the International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication as well as numerous academic publications on topics related to organizational change, collaboration, inter-organizational communication, volunteers and nonprofits, and stakeholder communication. She is the former Chair of the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association. Her work has investigated how organizations and sets of organizations work most effectively through collaboration, stakeholder engagement, input solicitation, and high quality participative processes.