Sep 23
Leadership Listening Skills

Are you listening?

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One of the main elements of great leadership is the ability to actively listen, but listening skills are often overlooked.

I’m guessing that if I asked you to rate listening skills on a scale of 1-10 most of you would say >7. Interestingly enough when I engage executive leader’s peers, direct reports and bosses it turns out it is almost always less. 

The fact is, listening does not occur until – “The other person understands that you understand them.”

What is holding people back from exceptional listening?

1. They don’t truly understand the value of listening and the impact on the business (engaged, inspired and committed employees) 

2. They are uncomfortable with this level of engagement, prefer to stick to the data and facts (EQ is not yet elevated to the level required for an executive role)

3. They prefer to tell people the answer instead of remaining bias neutral and curious (suspend judgment)

4. They ate better at communicating than connecting (stop talking and start listening so that you can understand the true needs of the other person)

5. They believe they are too busy to listen(examine the costs of not listening)

6. Don’t understand how to read non-verbal cues (body language, tone, etc.)

Consider this: As humans, we first and foremost want to be known, understood and connected. If you are not connecting with the important people in your life (business, community and home) someone else is going to fill this void. That means valuable talent is walking out the door, spouses leave and children seek out others to listen – often to their detriment.

 If your listening skills are not as high as you need them to be, which of the above factors are holding you back?

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