Good leaders are good listeners. #37: 2013
They are great leaders because they know how to listen and truly hear what was being said. Good leaders are good listeners.
You may think you are a good listener, but there is a big difference between simply hearing what is being said and actually listening. Hearing is recognizing the vibrations that take place in your ear, while listening is how you actually decode those vibrations in your brain.
Why is listening so hard?
►Most of us are distracted, or preoccupied about 75% of the time we should be listening.
►We listen at 125-250 words per minute, but think at 1000-3000 words per minute.
►Immediately after we listen to someone, we only recall about 50% of what they said and long-term, we only remember 20%.
Many times our own interests or distractions prevent us from truly listening to another person’s point of view. When leaders don’t listen, they stop learning, the team stops communicating and ultimately their indifference leads to reduced productivity and a loss of mission.
To foster better listening habits:
- Give the speaker your full and undivided attention. Stop what you are doing…YES, look away from your computer and make eye contact. This will help you remain engaged and the speaker will know they are truly being heard!
- Listen to understand, not to respond.
- Be quiet. To quote my Mom. “Listen and silent have the same letters!”
- Maintain eye contact. Listening means observing everything about the speaker’s message. People communicate with their body as much as they do with words.
- Get comfortable, stop talking, and let your ears do the work. Listen to the whole story from start to finish with no interruptions. Let the speaker finish. This sounds easy but it may be the toughest thing you do to become a better leader.
- Make notes, so you can follow up later, without interrupting the speaker.
As most of you know, I am quite a talker, so listening is a skill I struggle with on a daily basis. I think listening is a lot tougher than most of us are willing to admit. It takes discipline, practice and most importantly, patience.
A good library leader is a good listener.
Listen up and have a great week!!
Kitty Pope #37 September 2013