On a + note

Good Leaders are Good Listeners … part2

Posted in on a + note by Admin on May 11, 2009

Good Leaders are

Good Listeners…. part 2

I think listening is so fundamental to good leadership, especially in a crisis that I am still thinking about leaders and listening this week. So here is my second go at it!!

We exercise leadership best when we listen carefully; it shows humility (a very Canadian trait!) and mutual respect, which in turn opens our ears to change and better decision making. It’s all interconnected. To practice good listening skills, I asked the following question to a group of library leaders (who also happen to be good listeners). I asked…”In the last few months what are you hearing from you customers?” This is what they said.

· The corporate community is saying to their libraries; in these recessionary times you need to be more fundamental to the corporate goals than ever before. It’s all about focusing on the bottom line! Simply put, how can the library enhance the corporation’s profit margin?

· Schools are saying to their school media specialists; reach out to teachers and students, be essential and demonstrate student impact by being an active participant in the learning process. In these recessionary times you need to teach students that it’s ok to cut back and have less.

· The public is saying to their libraries; in the most practical of ways assist the unemployed get jobs, help us cut costs but improve the quality of our lives and that of our children. Provide us with the technology, resources and entertainment that we can no longer afford in our own homes.

· Librarians are saying to their consortiums/systems; help us stay on the cutting edge of technology so we are vital to our customers, help us cut costs but not reduce service and help us market ourselves to our communities, showing good return on the taxpayer’s investment.

There is no doubt that being a good listener and truly hearing what is said is a skill that library leaders are using to good advantage. Listening to our customer will place us in a much better position to lead our libraries…oh and our families too… thorough these recessionary times. Good listening and good leadership, it’s all interconnected!

Have a great week.

Kitty Pope #12 May/09


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