How to Be a Great Listener

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

I have a partner who I often have to run meetings with because she is technically the senior person and provides a level of oversight. I am still in the learning phase. I can prepare for meetings, engage with clients well and I am often the only one doing the follow up. It is my meeting, but I get why I have to have her accompany me.

The issue is that she doesn’t listen. She interrupts clients. She doesn’t hear what they are saying. She will answer something by presenting information, but it often isn’t tied to what they said. I’m placed in an awkward spot because she is very senior to me. I cannot correct her or redirect her. In a meeting last week, I tried to ask the client if we had answered their question and before the client could respond my partner jumped in and said, “Of course we’ve answered, let’s move on to the next agenda item.”