The leaders that have the most profound influence on their organization are those that have the respect, trust and confidence of their people. We've discovered that those leaders have gained that level of influence through the intentional practice of being personable, producing valuable results and listening to their employees.
When I ask leaders who demonstrate a strong ability to listen what they consider to be the key difference between hearing and listening - the resounding anwer is attention.
"You can hear whatever you want to hear, but when you give someone your attention, that's when you really start to listen."
Asked to consider what the benefits of listening would be to a leader, and the answers reveal an attitude of honest communication and a culture of empowerment. Here are the answers that I receive the most often and I highlighted in the article/video series Leaders Listen.
THE IMMEDIATE LEADERSHIP BENEFITS OF LISTENING:
• Makes the leader approachable
• Ideas are generated.
• Concerns are identified
• Gauges alignment to priorities
• Reveals your blind spots
• Empowers others to problem solve
• Improvement to efficiency and execution
• Time management
• Reduces conflict and stress
• Trust is cultivated and/or measured
What are your employees trying to tell you? Your influence will be greatly enhanced the moment you begin to listen like a leader.
I'd like to give you a special resource that I've created based on the listening behaviors learned from industry and community leaders. There are 5 Key Tips on how to improve your listening skills and a personal development worksheet to help you put it all into practice. Click here for more info and the downloads.
~ Steven Iwersen