How to Evolve into an Effective Organization

The future of work is here. Gain agility through listening.

By Kaleena Murray | Chief Culture Officer

Dominic Price from Atlassian packed some serious power in his keynote when talking about how the future of work is already here, sharing 5 obsolete ways we are working and how to move from efficiency to effectiveness. 

One of the 5 was Transformation. Transformation is not equal to evolving. These two words are not uncommon in the language we use to talk about workplace culture, and are often used interchangeably. 

The difference? Transformation happens when you recognize you are behind. Only then can you evolve, and we need to evolve every single day. 

Our agility and how we adapt are outcomes from our ability to listen, learn, and change course. Price said 2 things over the course of an hour that are in big bold letters in my notes:

“Argue like you’re right, but listen like you’re wrong.”

“Listen with the desire to understand, not respond.”

Whoa. Take a minute to take that in. It’s healthy to share our ideas with vigor but make sure we check our egos at the door. Diversity among thoughts within an organization creates great things, but we must also have the ability to listen and, just as importantly, create a space for listening. There’s incredible power and opportunity for learning and growth when we talk less and listen more.   

For me, these words were also a simple reminder to be present with others. Slow down, listen, and practice empathy to understand what the other person is telling you. It can make all the difference when building relationships that are meaningful, connective, and genuine.   

We live in a busy world, a world of instant gratification, and so often we end up multi-tasking during conversations. This takes many forms: thinking about other things you have to do, getting mentally side-tracked by a comment or something going on around you, sometimes unintentionally planning our response in our head before the other person is even done talking. When this happens, you may just miss the message, diminish someone else’s experience, or lose the opportunity to activate change.

I challenge you all to one-up your self-awareness game. Check in with yourself. Are you having 2 conversations – one in your head and one out loud? Next time you have a conversation, try to be present and listen to understand. 

Wait to respond.