In terms of communication many leaders are excellent when it comes to writing. Others are highly effective when it comes to speaking. The third key communication skill is listening. Many struggle when it comes to listening. Why? Well often the reason is that unlike speaking and writing, most of us have never been taught how to listen effectively.
So if you are in a leadership or management role, what are the 5 benefits of listening?
Benefit 1: You discover things
Many leaders spend the vast majority of their time well away from the front line so may only have a limited understanding of what is going on. When they go on walkabout and make unplanned visits to departments or teams, they get to hear about some of the worries and challenges that people have. Armed with these discoveries they can start to do something about those challenges.
Benefit 2: You take better decisions
As leader you know that complete information is a luxury and not something you have most of time. Yet by listening you can get a greater range of points of views and ideas which help you to take the best decision you can from the information you have.
Benefit 3: You gain respect
People like to be appreciated and like to know that they are important. Let’s face it we all like to be recognised. When people see you as someone who takes the time to listen to others contributions, you go up in their estimations and gain more respect.
Benefit 4: You find out more
You will discover things just by listening more and in reality, you will probably find out much more than you expected. People tend to say much more than they even anticipated they would themselves when they have the ear of someone senior in the organisation. They see it as a golden opportunity to get their issues on the table. For you as the leader you get below the surface on what is really going on in the business.
Benefit 5: You uncover opportunities
In organisations it is often those closest to the customer or product that are aware of the benefits and drawbacks. By listening, you can discover opportunities to make an existing product or service better or even uncover an opportunity for product or service expansion.
By Dominic Mccarthy