Great leaders listen to understand, not just to reply. The quick responses of ‘Yes, but……….’, ‘I hear you, but…….’ are simple examples of listening to reply rather than understand.
Simple statements – almost reflex – and they scream that ‘I’m right’ – which means that you are wrong.
If you listen for it – in yourself and in others – you can see when someone is listening only to respond and provide their point of view rather than listening to the other person.
A skill that is fantastic for debating – seeking to listen to the ‘opponent’ just to rip their argument apart – surprisingly (!), isn’t very useful for having conversations with others.
This behaviour can be destructive as a leader – it limits the ideas available to you and over time ensures that your team provides less and less – because you don’t want to actually listen.
Listening – actually listening – is a skill. It can take effort not to launch in with a counter-point or argument; but if you want to be a good leader of people, then it is a skill worth learning.
Perhaps it starts with realising that you aren’t always the smartest in the room and perhaps, just perhaps, aren’t the only one with good ideas? ?
Listening to understand, listening to actually hear an alternative idea or view, is so much more effective for sustained leadership than just listening to reply. Don’t learn it, and the only opinion you may be listening to is your own.
#leadership #people #team #leader #listentounderstand #activelistening
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