One of my recent posts focused on listening to learn:
Fundraising leaders are pulled in multiple directions – staff meeting at 9:00 a.m., annual review of a direct report at 10, meeting with the executive director at 11, and lunch with the campaign chair and a prospective donor at Noon. The afternoon looks much the same and you have a major donor dinner to attend this evening.
You maybe are also waiting on a response to an email that you sent to a doctor this morning about the ongoing indigestion you’ve been experiencing, which is getting worse. Or you have been in touch with a highly sought-after job candidate who you are hoping will accept a job offer.
Can you as a fundraising leader successfully multitask? Multitasking Damages Your Brain And Career, New Studies Suggest (Travis Bradberry, Forbes 2014) indicates maybe not:
Returning to a Fast Company article that I referenced in my previous post, what’s a fundraising leader to do, particularly if you are heading a one-person shop? “Quiet your agenda” is the advice:
“Turn off those agendas,” says Gregersen. “Really listen to what someone else is trying to say. We need information that is disconfirming, not confirming. If we ever finish a conversation and learned nothing surprising, we weren’t really listening.”
This quieting is undoubtedly a difficult thing to do. What methods have you used to successfully “quiet your agenda”? If you are a one-person development shop, what ways have you found to move from one task to another, quieting the agenda from the previous task so that you can concentrate on the next? We can all learn from one another so I welcome hearing from you.