Leaders Listen by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
There’s an old saying that says we were born with two ears and one mouth because we should listen twice as much as we speak. This is a particularly important truth to remember when you’re a business leader. As leaders, we’re often asked our opinion. This may happen so much that we actually forget to take the time to really listen to what others that we work with have to say. Here are some reasons why you should strive to increase the amount of listening you do every day.
- You’ll learn things. There are employees in your business who know more about certain aspects of your business than you. This is ok, as it’s not always necessary for you to know every little detail about every task in your office. However, it is important to talk to your employees about the job they do. Some of the details they take for granted might have an impact on the overall business that they don’t realize. In addition, they may know about problems that exist in the way things are done. They may not have told you simply because you haven’t asked.
- You’ll gain respect. Many employees have a general opinion that their bosses don’t care what they have to say. The more you can show your employees that you are interested in what they think about your business, their job, and your leadership, the more they will open up to you. And, as they open up and see that they are taken seriously, they’ll gain more respect for you as a leader.
- You’ll enjoy it. You might not think you have time to hear what everyone wants to tell you. But, as you take the time to listen, you’ll likely find that you are gaining so much valuable insight that it’s well worth your time. You’ll also get to know your employees better. Over time, this will improve your relationship with them and you’ll find that you really enjoy spending the time with them.
As your employees begin to see that you are a listening leader, they will become your biggest business advocates. They will begin to care about the business in ways they never have, because they will begin to care about you in ways they never have. And, you’re likely to find that not only is your business more successful, but that you care more about your employees, as well.