What Leaders Miss When They Don't Listen (and What to Do About It)

Posted by David Grossman on Thu,Sep 20, 2012

Listening EarLeaders, in particular, often forget to listen, and fall into the trap of controlling the message without real, meaningful communication. Here’s what we’re missing when we don’t listen:

  • The opportunity to learn something new
  • Insights that may help us be more effective
  • Context, which helps us make sense of situations
  • An alternative perspective
  • The opportunity to demonstrate respect for another person (whether you agree with that person or not)

Yet the reality is that the best communicators—and leaders—spend much of their time observing, absorbing and really listening to—and hearing—their employees. Listening can be as easy as 1-2-3.  Here are a few strategies for becoming a more effective communicator through better listening:

  1. Stop talking.
  2. Suppress the inclination to think about what you are going to say next.
  3. Don’t multitask; focus closely on the speaker.
  4. Ask questions to ensure you understand.
  5. Paraphrase what you’re hearing.
  6. Listen with an open mind, not for what you want to hear.
  7. Pay attention to what might not be said.

I think one of the greatest skills that any leader can master is becoming comfortable with silence. Many people view silence as empty space that needs to be filled, but when leaders learn to accept it—and work with it—they open the doors for others to speak and be heard. The result is often unexpected and enlightening connection and a wealth of information.

-- David Grossman


Click me

Tags: leadership effectiveness, leadership skills, listening to employees, active listening

    About leadercommunicator blog

    What does it take to be a leadercommunicator?

    The Grossman Group CEO and communications expert David Grossman shares his insights on the importance of meaningful leadership communication in today’s business climate. With high level tips on engagement and connection, insights into employee motivations and behavior, and firsthand stories from the frontlines of America’s leading companies.

    The leadercommunicator blog is instructive, entertaining, and a must-read for leaders, communicators, and leadercommunicators.

    Subscribe by Email

    iabc on demand employee engagement webinar  

    Take the Email-Free Vacation Pledge

    In the News:


    You can also find us here:

    Featured in Alltop

    Leadership Digital

    NSA Speaker Info

    Daily Dog

    Linked 2 Leadership

    Business Management Blogs

    NSA Speaker Info