How often have you found yourself in a conversation with a leader or manager where you are not being heard? There’s probably nothing more unattractive, in my view, than a leader who lacks the capacity to listen. And listening and hearing are two very different things.
An authentic leader is always paying attention, doing a lot less talking and a lot more listening. Interestingly, the capacity to listen also means that someone may share a viewpoint that is very different to yours. In these situations, great listeners to not react. They recognize and acknowledge, either verbally or through positive non-verbal cues, that they have heard the other person. When you possess the ability to listen to that viewpoint, even if it is different, it can be advantageous in your relationship dynamic to let that person know that you want to hear more about an opinion that’s different to yours. For example, you may ask: “tell me more about your perspective”, or “I would like to understand more about your point of view”, even if you disagree. You can expand on these types of questions by feeding back what was said, keeping in mind that your intention is to show genuine interest, rather than react to the other person’s opinion.
Perhaps we don’t give daily consideration to these examples of authentic listening. However, when you do find yourself in a situation where there’s a roomful of people who do have different opinions to you, the concepts of listening to understand, rather than refute, as well as the difference between hearing and listening may serve you well in the future. An individual’s capacity to genuinely listen is an attractive character trait. In addition, it is worthwhile keeping in mind that the same letters that are in the word listen are also in the word silent.
This article is a transcript of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lfpDIL0PfM&feature=youtu.be on YouTube.
Michelle Ray (Twitter) is one of the best international leadership keynote speakers in Vancouver. She helps you discover your potential through presentations, coaching and consulting. With over 20 years of experience Michelle has worked with hundreds of companies around the world. She is taking bookings for speaking engagements and can be contacted at MichelleRay.com