You never know how far an idea might go until you take time to genuinely listen to others. Therefore, authentic leaders create dialogues where others know their input and ideas are seriously considered. Mindful listening establishes and grows trust. In fact, such conversations often bring about disruption and change. Currently, the demand for change is creating chaos globally. Unfortunately many leaders words and promises differ significantly different from what they are delivering. Ultimately, consistency is key to establishing genuine engagement.
LISTEN AND ENGAGE
Listening to your audience allows new ideas to emerge. Furthermore, leaders who possess the strength and courage to introduce these new concepts facilitate innovation. Without these individuals notions remain on the shelf unimplemented creating stagnant situations. Furthermore, analysis and ingenuity enable ideas to become viable possibilities. Followers want leaders “to help them stretch the boundaries.” Ultimately leadership is revealed in those willing to step outside of their comfort zones and provide a different voice.
Leaders learn by inviting others, whose skills and knowledge they respect, into the conversation. Open, inclusive environments allow different perspectives to flesh out ideas. For this reason it is important to consider fresh perspectives, especially from those close to your audience. Apply judgment. Be bold. Know how much to listen to critics and naysayers. People engage and align with a vision when they see this occur.
LISTENING BUILDS ALIGNMENT
Buy-in is critical for vision to move from imagination to reality. As needs and conditions change, insight requires a dynamic, ongoing process be in place for continual monitoring and realignment. Team members view their actions differently when true alignment occurs. They embrace team decisions and organizational actions as their own.
Leaders ensure people know what they are doing and why they are doing it to facilitate the process. They touch heads and hearts by meeting both emotional and rational needs. Insight is gained about what those needs are and perhaps how they can best be met from listening.
Because of familiarity, we assume others understand, when in reality they likely do not know it like you do. Remove any mystery by communicating clearly. Eliminate confusion through over-clarification. Relationships are built and strengthened by structuring communication based on active listening. Technology makes people savvier every day.
Actively listening to others demonstrates respect. Instead of thinking about how to reply, listen to understand. It is all that may be necessary to create change.
The same letters spell silent and listen.
A FOOTNOTE FOR FATHERS
In the same way leaders impact organizations, fathers shape their children’s lives. A few words spoken by “Dad” often results in action. Imagine the possibilities when fathers practice active listening. It enables them to reach the hearts and minds of their offspring by more clearly understanding their wants and needs.
Are you ready to rise and take others with you?
Originally published in The Newsy Neighbour – June 2017