Leadership in the Heat of Battle: Transformation #1: Powerful Listening
Watch this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubNF9QNEQLA
What does this video (and listening) have to do with leading effectively?
Leaders need to be vividly present to what is happening around them, and most importantly hear exactly what others are communicating. That includes hearing what others are not saying that they are saying. This allows a leader to get critical information needed to make appropriate decisions and take effective actions. It also allows those they lead to experience that they’ve been heard. What is more frustrating than attempting to say something to someone and not experience you’ve been heard?
When a leader listens, they strengthen relationships and build trust.
The video illustrates how much we miss that is going on right in front of us, and by extension, how much is being communicated that we’re missing.
How do you know you’re not listening powerfully?
- Is there someone around you who says the same thing over and over as though they’re not being heard?
- Is there something someone else is telling you that you don’t want to hear it? that you disagree with? that you think is wrong? and you listen to them with that going on with you as they speak?
- While they’re speaking, are you evaluating, judging, diagnosing, solving?
- While someone is speaking to you, are you finishing their sentences? interrupting them with what you have to say? attempting to correct what they’re expressing? preparing to defend yourself against what they’re saying?
- Do you get impatient when others speak? do you want them to “get to the point”?
- Are you in a hurry to get somewhere or do something, and find that you don’t have time for what people are saying to you?
- Are you not hearing the people who are closest to you? that you care most for? family?
- While someone is speaking, are you predicting what they’ll say next or thinking that you already know what they’re saying?
These are some of the pitfalls leaders fall into regarding communication. So the first transformation a leader must go through is to realize how much they do not hear. The pathway to actually listen deeply is to first notice how much you habitually do not. This fact may be something you may not want to confront. However, true transformation always begins with great honesty and telling the truth about what is happening now.
Also, are there things you want to communicate to others, and you don’t have a sense they’re really hearing you? You cannot put water into a cup that is already full. Begin by hearing others completely—let them empty their cup. Then there is room for them to hear you. You have experienced wanting to say something to someone, and as they are speaking, you can’t wait to tell them what you have to say. And this makes it difficult for you to hear them.
Take on really listening to people and watch the miracles that will occur around you!