“Hear one side and you will be in the dark. Hear both and all will be clear.”
I love my LiveScribe™ pen…
The love affair started innocently enough. I was told about this great pen that could record conversations while writing notes and it all could be downloaded onto a computer… imagine that! My right hand is not fully functional after having having several surgeries and sustaining some permanent damage. The biggest issue with my hand is that I cannot do fine motor grasping without irritating the nerve and causing extreme nerve pain. Holding a pen is a major problem when one cannot grasp or pinch fingers together…and being right-handed makes it an even bigger problem.
So I went out and bought my pen and the dot paper that is used for the recording of information. As I went into business or 1:1 meetings with people, I would ask permission to record the conversations with the commitment that the recordings were for my ears only and would not be shared. I also asked if anyone was uncomfortable with being recorded during the course of any conversation that they tell me and I would turn off my pen immediately.
There are some conversations I never record: legal conversations, any conversation where I have never asked permission, or any conversations in which someone had requested me to not record any conversations with them. When using any recording device, I feel very strongly that full disclosure is critical from an ethical standpoint and potentially from a legal standpoint.
So how has my LiveScribe™ pen changed my leadership? Listening to my pen has moved me from just hearing the content to really hearing the conversation:
- Listening for whether I am really listening or not
- Hearing what is not being said
- When I think I communicated poorly, I listen to my pen.
- If I think my tone may have come across too loud or intimidating, I listen to my pen.
- If I need to find out what the other party(s) did or did not say, I listen to my pen.
I now have a pen for my leadership role at the insurance company where I work and I purchased another pen for use in my coaching business. My clients have all agreed for me to record our sessions and it is helping me to be a better coach. I can hear if I am not listening deeply and I can hear if I am not using powerful questions.
Yes, I am having a bit of a love-fest with this new partner of mine!
What tools do you use to help make improve your leadership?