Precision Listening

Oct 6th, 2002 by Tony in QSM2

Software is a precise business. When imprecision creeps into software work, failure and crisis cannot be far behind. One of the causes of imprecision is faulty reasoning by people who can’t hear themselves speaking. By learning to listen with precision, both to themselves and to others, peoples can observe many foolish acts, which contribute to the general foolishness of the organization’s culture.

To catch certain problems before they get out of hand, you can learn some general listening techniques. No other observation skill may be more important to software engineering than precision listening.

Improving your ability to hear what people are really saying can improve interpersonal effectiveness, requirements work, analysis, design, and consultation, as well as reviews of all sorts of technical work.

— Jerry Weinberg, Quality Software Management Vol 2, Chapter 11

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