Leaders are often considered in the category of good orators. They are dynamic and enthusiastic. They are engaging and visionary. Leaders speak with clarity and distinctness. They sound good with great tone. They carry culture in their voices. There are no errors with grammar and no offense with both words and sentences.
But with that, many leaders who speak with conviction and articulation are absolutely TERRIBLE listeners. The best of speakers can be the worst of listeners. It might be easy to use a teleprompter or a script to present a great speech, but listening is hard. It is a skill. It is not the sense of hearing, it is the focus of listening that is a unique and challenging task for many in leadership and management responsibility.
Changing the sense of hearing to the “cents” of listening is never easy. There are too many avenues of stimulus each and every day to pay attention to accurate and important information 24-7. But there are three strategies to remember and realize, your ears will make you more successful and they will indeed increase your income.
- Listening is THE key ingredient in any relationship: How many times have you watched someone in an argument say, “You never listen to me!” Eye contact and proactive attention are incredibly important in maintaining excellent rapport with people.
- Improve listening with practice: Just like with piano or baseball, you will improve your listening with practice. In your next conversation, focus only on the message and the sender. Take notes mentally and on paper, and finally, ask follow up questions; “Can you please repeat that.” “Can you tell me more?” This will provide the focus for the information.
- Listening is transactional: Just like at McDonalds where you pay money to someone at the counter or drive through and you receive food, listening is integral to communication and also has distinct give and take.
Listening is the most necessary aspect of any business communication. As leaders, listening is an incredible tool. Listen and learn and hear your income and relationships grow.
We are offering Effective Communications and Human Relations/ Skills for Success four times in January.
The classes are being held on the 15th and 26th in Troy; the 10th in Ann Arbor and the 18th in Novi! Click below.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @MarkWillDCT.