To welcome December, I’d like to tie leadership with this month’s tradition of gift-giving. Why not give your team gifts that will make them feel understood and appreciated resulting in the added benefit of improved productivity? That’s what I call a win-win!
The Gift of Listening
We spoke about active listening recently and how important it is to show you are invested in your employees. Now I want you to think about this same concept as a gift you are giving. That’s right, when you think of listening as something you are giving (versus having to do) it becomes an act of generosity with many benefits. One of my favorite leaders, Stephen Covey said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” This month make the effort to listen intently and see how your team responds.
Communicating with brevity, clarity, and focus is a talent that's highly valued in business. Auditory neuroscientist Seth S. Horowitz, said that the difference between hearing and listening is attention. Listening is an active behavior that requires focus.
- Respect grows when you listen without fixing, problem-solving or advice-giving.
- You’ll better understand where others are coming from which improves relationships. By seeking to know what others are feeling, you are serving their needs while fulfilling your own.
- You’ll save time when you’re really hearing and understanding what others are saying.
- Productivity increases when instructions, ideas and tactics don’t need repeating.
Can you see how beneficial this is? Listening is a skill that we’re in danger of losing in a world of digital distraction and information overload. We’ll explore more service-oriented gifts you can share this month like demonstrating compassion, creating a sense of belonging on the team, feeding and growing employees and showing appreciation for a job well done.
In my coaching practice I long realized that many of my clients “just want to be heard”. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Do you need help listening and giving your full attention to your team? Contact me. I can guide you through what’s worked for other leaders and organizations.