Posted by: Brandon W. Jones | February 17, 2011

Listening As Leaders

I am sure many of you have experienced interactions with leaders that didn’t listen to anyone.  You may have also seen leaders that only considered the advice of their very close friends or immediate coworkers.  In these situations, was it hard to deal with the leader?  How did you manage to work together as a team? 

As leaders we need to learn the skill of listening.  To listen, you must not only hear the words that people are saying, but also understand and pay attention to people.  There are three groups of people, in particular, that we must listen to as leaders.

Employees/Subordinates  It is very important to listen to your employees because they will give you invaluable feedback.  They will give you a perspective on your leadership skills that you can’t get any other way.  They will also help you to understand the challenges they regularly face.

Coworkers/Equals  You must listen to your coworkers because they do similar work, but deal with different people and face different challenges.  When they explain how they have handled their experiences, you will be able to see a different perspective.  As you listen to them, you will learn to recognize both good and bad techniques for handling situations.

Bosses/Higher-ups  Because the bosses are the bosses, you must listen to them.  Ultimately they will help you to enjoy your work experience or they will make your life miserable.  As you listen to their advice and feedback, you will learn how to be a better employee.

As leaders, we must learn to listen to others so we can understand effectively run our organizations.  As leaders we don’t know everything or have all the answers, so we must listen to those with experience at all levels so we don’t make same mistakes others have made in the past.

 How do you listen to these three groups?

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