05 Jul Leadership weds listening
“One of the greatest skills any leader can master is becoming comfortable with silence.” -David Grossman
Leaders understand that communication skills are important but what they miss is that they fail to understand that the rationale of communication is always two ways and this can be achieved through active Listening. For few, it may come naturally but for many they have to get married to listening skills. It is simply not possible to be a great leader without being a great communicator. The best leaders are proactive, strategic, and instinctive listeners. They know knowledge and wisdom are not gained by talking, but also by listening. If we think of any influential leader.. we will see that they are proficient at reading between the lines. A great leader always value the power of listening.
Once going through an article by Mr. Ram Ganglani, an entrepreneur, businessman, mentor, and the founder & chairman of Right Selection who very aptly said that Leaders should spend more time listening. He emphasized that leaders in this dynamic environment should spend more time listening to all the stakeholders’ right from their teams to clients since in the era of uncertainty, no leader all alone can manage with the changes faced and remain sustainable. Leaders should stop showing that they know it all and that they are the best judge of every situation. Each one has something different and special to contribute in any situation. So it means you seem to learn all your life if you are listening and never become obsolete.
Listening is a leadership responsibility that goes unwritten and may be your KRA. Those who do listen to their employees are in a much better position to lead the increasingly diverse and multigenerational workforce, according to Forbes.
Let’s understand the different levels of Listening:
Internal listening is focused on your own thoughts, worries, and priorities; even as you pretend you’re focusing on the other person.
Focused listening is being able to focus on the other person, but you’re still not connecting fully to them. The phone may be down and you may be nodding in agreement, but you may not be picking up on the small nuances the person is sharing. This mostly happens with everyone but isn’t worth!
360 listening: The person is not only listening to what the person is saying, but how they’re saying it.
Facts below will make also make you think hard about the importance of effective listening.
- 85% of what we know we have learned through listening
- Humans generally listen at a 25% comprehension rate
- In a typical business day, we spend 45% of our time listening, 30% of our time talking, 16% reading and 9% writing
- Less than 2% of all professionals have had formal education or learning to understand and improve listening skills and techniques Listening can be a challenging skill to master but a leader can improve their listening skills and here are some effective ways:
Leaders must show that they are concerned with the concerns of the audience and care about it. Employees want leaders who care about their general well-being and who can be depended upon during times of professional and personal hardships.
Leaders shall engage their employees by encourage them to put forth their opinions and views When a Leader makes accountable and follow-up with his employees, they feel valued.
Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan were masters of showing empathy towards others. Great leaders know how to balance the head and the heart.
Many a time’s leaders make strong criticisms and put them down who has different approach or view point. It is important to not to be Judgmental
Sit Back, think and Introspect, it is very important to give time oneself understanding what went right or wrong and as well as when you are sorted yourself, you can give them your full attention while talking to others.
Leaders must know how to actively listen beyond the verbal and non-verbal communication by acknowledging others via body language, facial expressions and nods.
To sum it up, Leaders must have achieved great heights but Compassionate leaders listen, learn and don’t interrupt the flow of the dialogue of others which makes the relationship more beautiful. Employees respect those leaders who listen, because they know how difficult listening can be. So, Happy Married is ensured for Leadership and Listening.
-by Prof. Pooja Goswami