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Why Professionals Should Remove Selective Listening from Their Repertoire

If you want to become a great leader, learn how to listen

What looked like the first “Monday Night Football” game of the season (Sept. 9) was an exercise in social listening, prompt reaction and expert communication.

To freshen its graphics package for the 100th NFL season, ESPN inserted new down and distance elements. Response from the Twittersphere was quick and direct. The new graphics, featuring a yellow color palette, made it appear that there was a penalty flag on every play. Was it a PR crisis? Probably not, but it also wasn’t a high point for the all-sports network, celebrating its 40th anniversary. Moreover, Monday Night Football is considered a crown jewel of ESPN’s kingdom.

Still, credit ESPN where credit is due: It was listening. Before the game was too far along, ESPN communicator Bill Hofheimer took to Twitter acknowledging the issue. He responded with language that made more than a few Twitterites laugh–"We have called an audible"—football terminology for a quick change of plan. He went on to note that the broadcast would return to its former graphics package ASAP.

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