How are your leader listening skills?

One critical skill for leadership success that repeatedly comes up for my coaching clients is active listening. With your work demanding more of you as a leader, often times with fewer resources and less people, somehow the art of active listening suffers.  With so much emphasis on performance and output, most leaders find their ability to be quiet and listen is hampered. Research shows that leaders believe they listen as much as they talk, when in reality they are doing 80% of the talking in their interactions with others. So getting the “message out” is more important than ensuring you accurately receive the message of your team members.

Assess your own listening skills:  When listening to others,
1. I sit behind my desk and accept phone calls or shuffle papers.
2. I have a hard time concentrating on what is being said.
3. I get annoyed when someone slows me down.
4. I think about what I want to say, rather than what the person is saying.
5. I interrupt and show signs of impatience.
6. I give advice too soon.
7. I avoid asking questions that would encourage the other person to talk more.
8. I make it a point to talk when they are silent.

So how did you do with these questions from the book, Active Listening?  Here are a few quick tips for you to develop an active listening mindset: pay attention to your own behavior and the behavior of the other person, hold judgment on the information being shared and seek to understand, reflect what you heard said to you, ask clarifying questions, summarize what you have heard and lastly share your thoughts with your employee. Active listening also includes paying attention to the nonverbal cues being given to you. Sounds simple, right?

I also want to remind you to join me as I interview Anna Richo, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Belgium.  She is our first Inspiring Leader guest for our teleconference on February 13th at 11:30 a.m. EDT.  You will see that Anna is a powerful executive with much to share with us about her leadership journey!Join me for this complimentary event. You will also have a chance to ask her questions and get tips to further your own leadership development. There is no registration required, so click on the link to get the call in details and please mark your calendar!

All the best to your success,
Martha Forlines

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