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Leadership Corner: When I Shut Up, I Got Way Better Data From My Team

In the leadership corner, we aim to share real stories from real leaders, highlighting the challenges and successes they’ve faced in their journey to becoming better leaders.

Here’s a story from Paul, a past Bootcamp attendee and an Open, Honest, and Direct Certified Leader, on how listening played a critical role in his development as a leader …

"One of the biggest changes to the way I manage since the bootcamp has been how I listen to my direct reports. Before, I had a strong belief that as a leader you had to run point on all issues and problems and drive towards solutions. I would try and gather as much information as I could before a meeting or 1:1 so that I could come prepared with guidance or a perceived fix. I was listening to fix things.

What I realized is, while providing guidance, insight, and support on issues and problems is extremely important, if you enter any situation headstrong on fixing the problem you never fully show up and listen.

I've found that by listening for longer - without interjecting with my thoughts, opinions, and ideas - I get way better data, my direct reports share more, and we are both better prepared to work together towards a solution. It was a slight tweak, but it’s had a significant impact on both my direct reports and myself.

I've become a more active listener for them, and on the flip side I don't feel the need to come to every meeting or 1:1 with a solution to an issue I may not fully understand."

I hope you enjoyed Paul’s story. If you have a story you’d like to share or just want to share how this story impacted you, let me know.

Have a fantastic day,


Listening with intention and attention is the first skill we work on developing in our Management Bootcamps. Want to become an Open, Honest, and Direct Certified Leader?

Find out more about our upcoming August Bootcamp here.

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