Six Critical Ways Leaders Listen

August 22, 2013

imagerymajesticSo if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments. Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems. A person’s toothache means more to that person than a famine in China which kills a million people. […] Think of that the next time you start a conversation. Dale Carnegie

Organizations across Indiana are realizing that the true secret sauce for improving employee engagement is to improve the skill of listening at the same time. Leaders and managers who listen well increase employee performance and create an outstanding participative culture. The willingness to listen, truly listen; to issues, concerns, ideas, and challenges makes for an increase in performance and completion of goals.

Leadership and listening blend in six critical ways:

  • Idea generation: People talk when leaders listen.
  • Manage by walking: Small conversations outside the corner office can bring positive surprises.
  • Open mind: Listening requires a sense of the good, the bad and the ugly; it often is enlightening.
  • Q & A’s: Asking questions will indeed bring the team new answers.
  • Relationship building: The best interactions involve listening.
  • Assessing courses of action: Over a short course of time, skilled listeners will develop new plans that involve current challenges. Listening brings results to those who lead.

Consistency is as critical as the listening itself. Over time, employees and clients will remember that fact when they come with ideas and issues. Get a little better every day and include listening into the daily schedule like you do lunch. In this still muddled economy, listening can be the key driver for increased success. Put it into play and see the results.


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This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Indiana. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo Credit: imagerymajestic,


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