The most important skill in the future of work may be learnability

In a climate of constant disruption, we can’t possibly have all the answers for our business. Instead of pursuing answers, engaging in ‘active enquiry’ can help to harness the wisdom of the members of your team. While its well and good to formalise surveys and assessments in your company, engaging in a continuous listening process during the normal course of work and while engaged in meetings, promotes engagement while helping your team remain nimble and quick.

You can encourage your staff to simply have an authentic conversation about a current project. If this is regularly integrated in the workplace it helps build trust and encourages higher levels of social awareness. You can inject ACTIVE enquiry into the conversation by asking the listener how it felt to receive this information. What came up for the speaker when he shared it? What else is he thinking? Push in a few more questions to get more data!

Set some simple ground rules around conversation like waiting for the speaker to finish relating their story before asking the next question or suggesting a solution. There is scientific evidence that the quality of our listening determines the quality of our thinking. Paying attention shows respect and genuine interest, which improves thinking quality.

June is ‘Routine and Learnability’ month at Perch. If you freelance or consult and work on your own, join a group of people who are keen to have a good think and want to operate in a growth mindset. Inject a routine time month-to-month to reflect on where you are going and how you are planning to get there: a formal ‘active enquiry’ into your own business and objectives so that you can listen to yourself!

Laura-Ann Tomasella, is a business coach and runs Accountability Labs: Labs are based on adult learning theory, basic principles of neuroscience and systems theory.