The ABC’s of Leadership (Day 12): Listen
To listen, is to be truly focused on the needs of others.
There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing. (G.K. Chesterton)
Day 12 – ‘L’
It’s amazing what you can learn when you’re silent, when you’re not talking. Everyone has a voice, and we all want to be heard. But, a good leader knows, there is more value in digesting the feedback and voices from others.
Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words. (Roy T. Bennett)
But why is listening so important? The answer is simple: a leader’s job is to be an expert on their team; to remove roadblocks, to make the crooked places straight. A leader can only do this if they know, and understand what those issues, and needs, are. The common perception is that the leader is the expert – wrong. The true experts – the team – delegate authority to the leader; allowing them to focus, and best use their expertise.
The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent’. (Alfred Brendel)
If you want to become a better leader, focus on becoming a better listener. Challenge yourself to listen twice as much as you talk. And, when you do talk, seek your team’s expertise so you can make better decisions, and add value.
Want more on leadership? Check out my partner Dale Richardson’s thoughts in his Live the Goals podcast here!
“The ABC’s of Leadership” is a web series highlighting principles of leadership.
Each day, we’ll highlight a new focus area and concept. Done in partnership with Dale Richardson, a Podcast Host and John Maxwell Team certified speaker, trainer and coach, we’ll also offer a podcast exploring each idea further.
Tune in daily!