Take out a pen and paper. Write your responses to the questions that follow.
Writing is thinking.
- Record the reason you want to improve your listening skills. Purpose energizes growth. What advantages for yourself and others do you see in becoming a better listener? Write until you record all your ideas. Wait. Write some more.
- Write about the best listeners from your past. What made them good listeners? Think beyond their actions to their attitude about themselves and you. Consider their motivations.
- Make a list of the best listeners on your team. Explain why they made the list. Identify three qualities, motivations, or behaviors they regularly exhibit.
- Jot down one thing you might learn from the best listeners on your current team.
Invite your team to work on their listening skills with you. Shared projects strengthen respect, elevate enjoyment, enhance follow-through, and fuel progress.
- Say, “I’m working to become a better listener. I’d like to invite you to join me.”
- Schedule listening walk-abouts once a day. Walk around listening to learn and connect. During the process leave a bit of yourself with everyone you engage.
- Debrief with your team. What are we learning?
#1. Listening saves time. Stop answering questions that aren’t being asked and solving problems that don’t exist.
#2. Talent goes to sleep when leaders give all the answers.
#3. Answer-givers end up needing to give more answers. Teams become dependent.
- Individuals learn to wait, rather than taking initiative.
- Leaders becomes overworked and overwhelmed.
#4. Listening strengthens connections.
#5. Listening is the path to learning.
Growth happens in community.
How might leaders take their listening to the next level?
What does it mean to listen like a leader? (Assuming there’s more to it than listening to solve or answer.)
Origianlly published on Leadership Freak blog.