“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.
We need information that is disconfirming, not confirming, says Fast Company, and we should always strive to learn something surprising after a conversation. In this article, several experts provide actionable tips to being a more active listener without an agenda.
Our expectations, preconceptions and beliefs can affect how well we listen to the other person. Tony Salvador shares how we can quiet our listening biases and be better listeners in his TED talk.
Discover Your Listening Blindspots Listening is a choice which can transform your impact as a leader. Here’s your chance to work on and practice your listening skills at our free Community Workshop. In this workshop, you will discover your listening blindspot, explore how the simple act of listening can impact workplace performance, and come away with tools to help you become a more effective listener.
Our Raise The Bar Community Workshops are a valuable and free resource that you can utilize to help your people build soft skills and explore new ideas. These interactive workshops are facilitated by our expert team of coaches and take place monthly at noon. We invite you to share these with your teams! Cheers! Aaron