Hello, and welcome to the Leadership Done Right Podcast, Episode 52: Tips To Become An Effective Listener.
Hi friends, for those of you that are listening in the U.S. today is Memorial Day so I want to wish each of you a very happy Memorial Day! I also want to thank each the veterans listening. We owe a great deal to each of you for your hard work, sacrifice, and dedication to our freedom. I have had several veterans in my family so I definitely have a great appreciation for all you do!
Today, I am really excited to talk about effective listening skills! We’re going to discuss what an effective listener looks like, how to listen effectively, who you should listen to and why listening skills are important.
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Learn Effective Listening Skills
Alright, let’s take a deeper look at listening skills and why they are important for great leaders! Listening skills are extremely valuable in leadership because they allow you to connect with those you lead and enable you to develop trust. It’s almost impossible to be a great leader if you can’t listen.
Some leaders learn to be good listeners at a young age while others spend many years learning to listen and still struggle. No matter where you are at on your journey though, what’s most important is that you are do your best to improve everyday.
What Does an Effective Listener Look Like?
What does an effective listener look like? Listening effectively is far more than just hearing the words coming out of the mouths of others. When you have good listening skills, you fully engage with those you’re speak with. You not only hear the words people are saying, you pay complete attention to understand everything they are saying.
When I think of an effective listener, I think of many great leaders, friends, and family members I’ve had in my life. What made them great listeners? They listened very intently to what I said and were very engaged.
Great leaders did so much more than just hear the words coming out of my mouth. They empathized and sympathized with me. Great leaders felt my pains, frustrations, and angers in addition to the joys, happiness and good experiences. They sincerely cared for me and my wellbeing which was very evident in the way they listened.
Great leaders paid attention to the words I said and weren’t distracted by their phone, the next words they were going to say, or anything else. They just listened and focused all their energies on me.
How Can You Listen Effectively?
As leaders, it is very important to learn listening skills. So how can you become this type of effective listener? You can do this by taking steps everyday to get a little better. Little by little, day by day, you can become an effective listener.
To listen effectively, put everything else out of your mind and focus on the other person. Think about what they are saying, going through, and put yourself in their shoes. Basically, just be present.
One tip I have heard is to paraphrase or summarize what they’ve told you. That shows you are paying attention. You can also ask them questions about what they’ve told you to dig deeper. The key is to pay attention to them without letting distractions cloud your mind.
To Whom Should You Listen?
When you are a leader in a corporate setting, there are four groups of people you must listen to. They are your employees/subordinates, coworkers/equals, the bosses/higher-ups, and all other stakeholders. Let’s take a deeper look at each group.
Listen intently to your employees and subordinates. As you listen to them intently, they will give you invaluable feedback. They will give you a perspective on your leadership techniques that you won’t get from any other source. They will also help you understand the challenges they regularly face. To get that feedback and understanding, mingle with them and listen to what they say.
Listen intently to your coworkers or other equals. They do similar work, but deal with different people and face different challenges. When they explain how they have handled their experiences, you will get a different perspective. By listening carefully to what they say, you’ll gain insight and learn to recognize both good and bad techniques for handling situations.
Because the bosses are the bosses, you don’t have any choice but to listen to them. Ultimately, they will help you to enjoy your work experience or they will make your life miserable. By using your listening skills with the bosses, you get their advice and feedback which will help you to be a better employee.
All Other Stakeholders
There’s many other stakeholders that include customers, owners, community members, and people that will be impacted by the decisions you make. By listening to them, you will know what is required to meet their needs. That will help you tailer your leadership to them.
As leaders, listening skills are invaluable in understanding and effectively running your organization. As a leader, you don’t know everything or have all the answers. By listen closely, you will gain valuable insight that will help you effectively meet the needs of others. Good listening skills will help you learn from those with experience at all levels so you don’t make the same mistakes others made in the past.
Why are good listening skills important to you? How have good listening skills improved your job performance? How does listening to these four groups help you to be a better leader? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Leadership Done Right podcast. You can check out the show notes at LeadershipDoneRight.com/PodcastEpisode52. I will include information we discussed in this episode in the show notes.
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Thanks again for listening! My goal is to help you become a great leader, now go be the best leader you can be!
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