Listening and the PMI Code of Ethics

Posted on March 8, 2010 by

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Henri Fayol

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Listening carefully in order to understand someone is a practical skill for everyday life, but it’s also considered a matter of respect, and is so listed as the second aspirational Respect standard in the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct as “3.2.2 We listen to others’ points of view, seeking to understand them.” During a conversation, it can be easy to concentrate more on what we’ll say next rather than focus on the meaning of what the other person is saying. Not paying attention at all conveys that the other person and their thoughts are not important to us.

Just because we understand someone’s view doesn’t mean that we’ll agree with it.  We need to first understand in order to decide whether or not we agree. Also, as project managers, we can save ourselves much trouble if we seek to understand what key stakeholders want for the project and if we listen to the people in the trenches when they warn that there are some additional considerations.

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