Everybody wants to feel connected. They want to valued, recognised and ultimately respected.
As leaders one of our key roles is to create an environment that allows those around us to flourish and grow. Organisations that rely on an all singing all dancing power house leader that calls all the shots can often falter or worse stagnate as a result of the culture of dependence that such an approach can cultivate.
If we really do want to build capacity in others then we have to learn to be better listeners. Remember there is a big difference between listening and waiting for your turn to talk!!! Real active listening requires attention and genuine interest in others as well as a deep desire to help others become their very best.
Here are some top tips on what to do and what to avoid:
- Do use open positive affirmative body language (but not too open – allow people to have their personal space!!)
- Do make eye contact (but not creepy eye contact!)
- Try to repeat back to people the essence of what they have said (but not parrot fashion!)
- Seek first to understand then to be understood 9people will be far more willing to listen to you if they feel they have been understood)
- Don’t just wait for your turn to talk – tune in to what is being said (and what not!)
- It’s impossible to pretend to be interested so make sure you are!
Now get out there and give your colleagues a damn good listening to!!