THE LOST ART OF LISTENING IN LEADERSHIP

by Hennie Vorster
Created: 04 September 2015

intro leadership listenGood leadership entails being a leader that people look up to; a front-runner who inspires people; a leader everyone wants to be around. The question is how some leaders achieve this great leadership position and where other hard working managers might miss the boat.

Often the very important skill of LISTENING is overlooked which can make the difference between being a boss, and being a respected leader.

 

WHY LISTEN TO YOUR EMPLOYEES AND YOUR CUSTOMERS?

  • It shows that you are approachable and open-minded

  • It helps you to be empathetic and more understanding

  • People will feel you value the importance of their opinions and beliefs

  • Truly listening portrays that you are not judgmental

  • You inspire by showing interest in others' perceptions and innovative ideas

  • Customers will trust you as you truly care to understand their requirements

  • Your staff will feel you are leading from the front, instead of barking from the back


6 STEPS TO BEING A FOCUSED LEADER WHO PAYS ATTENTION

  1. PARK ALL AGENDAS

    • When entering a communication, make sure that all your prior agendas and beliefs that could interfere, does not interfere. Consciously decide not to let your own values, beliefs and perceptions cloud your hearing.
  2. TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHERE OTHERS ARE COMING FROM

    • Understand that perceptions are reality. Something has happened to let that person believe their reality; and chances are that if one person believes that, others will too. Try to get an understanding of what has happened that has caused them to see things the way they do.
  3. BELIEVE THAT OTHERS ADD VALUE

    • We all have different levels of knowledge and skill. Others might know as much or more than you in a certain field of specialty. When we listen, we will be able to see things from someone else's perspective - and that adds value.
  4. SWITCH OFF. SILENCE ALL DISTRACTIONS

    • Technology is amazing, but we need to realise that technology like smart phones and tablets cause distractions. When we are not totally focused on the other person, we are allowing other distractions to interfere with hearing the other person fully. Silence all smart phones and tablets, even the vibrating, as this is also very distracting.
  5. FOCUS ON THE OTHER PERSON/S

    • Ensure that you allow yourself the privilege to get into the other person's world. When I can enter their perceptual world, I can understand them better.
  6. ZIP IT!

    • Do not speak until you have a good understanding where they are coming from. By all means ask questions to clarify, but DO NOT EVER INTERRUPT! This will set the precedent for them to also listen to you!


Master these easy steps and be that excellent leader that people love to approach and follow!

 

Article written by: Hennie Vorster

Executive and Business Coach

ALIGN SOLUTIONS www.alignsolutions.co.za

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