It’s easy to underestimate the power of active listening, especially since you probably find yourself talking more than listening. For a manager, this is pretty normal but it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ll all have had a manager who makes us cringe when they start a speech and seem to go on forever without actually saying much of value.
Certainly, for myself this has is a great challenge, I love talking – if you’re a willing listener – you may not get a chance to have your voice heard. I need to improve my listening skills and talk less. Note to self…
“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” ― Ralph G. Nichols
What I always remind myself is that sometimes you don’t need to have all the answers. There is nothing that detracts more from your leadership than a situation where you rabbit on for ages without listening.
Take a moment and step back to listen to what others think and what solutions they have – it may be a surprise.
Take a talking holiday, spend more time on facilitating others being able to talk and just listen.
My wife and I try to give each other one of those knowing looks when one of us is going on-and-on – it doesn’t always work.
You don’t have the advantage of having your significant other on a business call or in a meeting usually, but what you can do, is make a point of making someone else the focus of the dialog driver in a conversation or meeting.
This is a great way to develop that person and elevate their profile. It is also an empowerment strategy.
Clinton Jones is a seasoned writer with broadcast experience on the KenRadio Broadcasting Tech Talk Africa channel and with Road Algoa FM’s Computer bureau. He has experience in international enterprise technology and business process on four continents and has a focus on integrated enterprise business technologies, business change and business transformation. In past roles Clinton has worked for Fortune 500 companies and non-profits across the globe.