Listening To Create Miracles

by Bob Poole on January 20, 2011

Samuel Stupp and his team at the Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine at Northwestern is Molecules that are allowing paralyzed rats to walk again, polymer nanofibers that could assist the body to grow cartilage, and a heart repair technique based on molecular technology. They are creating miracles.

His team is a disparate group of scientists who work together doing interdisciplinary research. Getting a group of chemists, nanotechnologists, physicists, biologists and materials scientists to work together on the same projects must be akin to herding cats.

Apparently Dr. Stupp is an extraordinary cat herder. In a Fast Company article by Elizabeth Svoboda one of his physicists, Monica Olvera de la Cruz says.

“He pays attention to human beings in a way I’ve never seen from someone at his level”

That may be the greatest compliment anyone can give to another person. Dr. Stupp is a leader and not a manager.

Dr. Stupp is also a fantastic salesperson. He understands that to convince a disparate group of people that they can work together to create miracles means you have to sell them on why they can and should do it. He knows he has to find out what makes each member of his team tick. How do they think.

He does that by asking questions and listening “in a way I’ve never seen from someone at his level.”

What do you employees, co-workers, clients and customers say about your listening skills – about how you pay attention to them?

Listen First – Sell Later. It really does work!


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