Listening to Listen

An attentive person actively listens, showcasing the importance of listening skills in communication.


Enhancing Communication: The Art of Active Listening in Leadership

In many conversations, our focus tends to shift from genuinely hearing the other person to formulating our responses. This tendency to respond rather than actively listen is a common but significant mistake—one that often leads to misunderstandings and strained connections.

Consider the last time you engaged with a leader who seemed distracted throughout your conversation. How did it make you feel? This scenario illustrates the negative impact of not listening.

Reflecting on personal experiences, I’ve found myself on both sides of this communication lapse. There were instances when individuals entered my office seeking conversation, and I failed to cease working, only realizing the oversight after they left. In such moments, I erroneously believed I was too busy to spare a few moments for active listening. The repercussions on their end were likely feelings of neglect and insignificance.

Conversely, I’ve been the one entering someone else’s office and met with uninterrupted work during our discussion. The delayed responses, unanswered questions, and a lack of acknowledgment left me feeling overlooked and unimportant—like my presence didn’t matter.

Ask yourself: Have you ever engaged in this behavior with your partner, kids, parents, or friends? How would it make you feel if someone disregarded your emotions during a heartfelt expression?

Taking a cue from Dean Graziosi, a seasoned negotiator, he emphasizes the practice of listening twice as much as talking during negotiations. This approach ensures a comprehensive understanding of the other party’s needs and encourages them to reveal more details, essentially negotiating with themselves. The concept is profound: listen so attentively that negotiations become unnecessary.

In your leadership journey, take a few moments to genuinely listen to what others have to say. This simple yet powerful act can foster understanding, strengthen connections, and elevate your leadership to new heights.

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