Five things that go up when leaders listen:

  1. Engagement. Verbosity encourages disengagement.  The next time you complain about disengagement, examine your listening.
  2. Energy. Think of a time when a leader really listened to you. I bet you were energized. Invite people to talk, if you want to increase their energy.
  3. Boldness. People who feel they matter act with boldness. You make people feel they matter by listening to them.
  4. Connection. Listening gives birth to connection.
  5. Commitment. People who don’t feel heard resist. People who don’t agree, but feel listened to, will commit.

What Gets in the Way?

If Listening only involved the ears it would be much simpler but the reality is that so much gets in the way of leaders listening

  • Deadlines, stress, pressure, a focus on process over results
  • Misunderstandings caused by differences in style – introverts trying to hear extroverts or sales people trying to understand engineers
  • Differences in history, priorities, perspectives