By: Mark Lenske
If you’re leader at any level, you may want to listen up.
We hear many explanations of what the experts say makes a great leader: high energy, education, training, leading by example, boldness, inspirational, experience, humility and so on. These are all valid but one that jumps out at me over and over is simply “listening”. If you’re a leader in your organization, are you a good listener?
I think listening is a life skill that is very hard for most people.
Whether I’m at home with my family, at work or with customers across the globe, listening is so hard but vital for success. It has been a challenge for me. My wife tells me all the time that I’m a fixer. Give me a problem and I want to fix it by offering my thoughts immediately to make the problem go away. At times, she says that I just need to be quiet and listen. She has a point and it’s something I work on daily. At work, I do my best to listen to customers and fellow employees to understand their points of view and to learn from them. I find myself wanting to jump and tell them what I think but at times, I just need to pull back and listen. There is a time and place to offer views and suggestions.
There was an article in the Amusement RC from March 2018 that I felt provided good insight to this topic. I liked it so much I thought I would share it with you. Take some time to think about whether or not you are a good listener. It’s a life skill we should all try to master.
The 5 Purposes of listening:
#1. Mattering. Listen to let others know they matter.
People who feel they matter courageously work to make a difference. Those who feel they don’t matter go through the motions.
- What’s important?
- What are their hopes or fears?
- What do they really want?
You infuse value into others when you attend to their words.
#2. Humility. Listen to humble yourself.
Arrogance talks. Humility listens.
No one can humble you. You must humble yourself. One way to practice humility is to let another speak their mind.
Listening elevates others.
#3. Clarity. Listen to help others find clarity.
Provide opportunity for people to hear their own voice. Those who hear their own voice learn what they really think.
“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Stephen R. Covey
#4. Effectiveness. Listen to act effectively.
It’s a waste of energy to solve the wrong problem.
Listen in order to do the right stuff.
#5. Curiosity. Listen to ask a question.
Source: Leadership Freak