One way to be a more impactful leader
“I want to be a better leader to my people. What’s the most important place to start?”
This is a common question we get from leaders. And whether it’s someone asking on LinkedIn or a leader going through our Leadership Bootcamp, the answer remains the same. The single most impactful skill to practice is listening with intention and attention.
Why? Because listening drives motivation. When you truly listen to another person, when you are intentional about being there to hear them and give them your full attention, you show that you care about them and what they have to say.
Listening with intention and attention also helps YOU to make more powerful decisions. You’ll gain a diversity of information that can help challenge your existing ideas and think like a scientist.
There’s a lot of roadblocks that get in the way of our listening, though. We think at about 1000 - 3000 words per minute, yet we listen at roughly 125 - 250 words per minute.
Along the way, we develop mental shortcuts to help us listen and process information more easily. While these shortcuts serve us in some ways, they also get in the way of listening with intention and attention. These are called our listening blindspots and everyone has them.
We also have unconscious biases that can affect the way we show up for the other person and listen to them. How do our beliefs, preconceptions and perceptions about stereotypes, about our team members, about issues affect how well we listen to others and absorb their information?
Being aware of our listening blindspots and biases is the first step to becoming a better listener.
The single most impactful skill to practice is listening with intention and attention.