Are You a Reader or a Listener at Work?

If you want to play to your strengths, knowing the answer is critical

Niklas Göke
Forge

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Photo: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

When Dwight Eisenhower served as supreme commander of the Allied forces during World War II, journalists raved about his press conferences. His responses to questions were always brief, but beautifully polished. He showed total command of his subject matter.

A few years later, however, when Eisenhower became the president of the United States, his interviews with the press became a source of frustration. Reporters said he rambled without direction, never answering their questions. He was criticized as ill-informed and awkward.

It turned out that back when Eisenhower was supreme commander, his aides made sure that questions from the press were submitted to him well before he answered them publicly. That way, he could think through his responses and refine them. When he later moved to an open press conference style, where questions were fired at him off the cuff, he floundered. Eisenhower didn’t know that he was a reader, not a listener.

It’s a question to ask yourself, too: Are you a reader or a listener? Do you process information better in written form or when it’s conveyed to you verbally? The late Peter Drucker, known as the founder of modern management, discussed in his Harvard

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Niklas Göke
Forge

I write for dreamers, doers, and unbroken optimists. Read my daily blog here: https://nik.art/