A second important component of communication is listening. Top managers and heads of organizations understand that their time is among the most important things they can share with subordinates. Normally, most people (though not all, especially those with relatively low self-awareness) are sensitive about the time demands on their bosses; they get in and get out. Thoughtful bosses in turn appreciate the importance of good listening and attention to the concerns of their associates. Think for a moment about someone who is a poor listener. They may listen poorly in a number of ways: talking on the phone while you're trying to say something, texting on their cell phones, and opening and reading e-mails. How does this make you feel? Probably not unlike the way Roger Boisjoly felt.
The Challenger disaster
Roger Boisjoly was centrally involved in the most tragic accident in the history of NASA—the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle on January 28, 1986.42 On that morning, just over a minute after launch, the Challenger exploded, killing the seven astronauts on board. A commission was formed by President Reagan to investigate the causes for the disaster. The commission concluded that the explosion was caused by the failure of the rubber ...