Don’t Just Hear, Listen
There’s a very big difference between hearing and listening. Whereas listening cannot be done without hearing, hearing can happen without serious attention. That intentional attention to what is being said by the other party is the meaning of LISTENING
A second definition is to say that hearing is what followers do, while listening is what leaders do. I know you understand this, but why do you think many of us don’t ‘Listen’ as it were, to our followers, employees, associates, stakeholders as much as is needed for a healthy business relationship? Because we feel we already have an idea of what they want to say or are saying. Wrong way to deal with people.
You may know 99% of what I know because you’re my boss and you’ve ‘been-there, done-that’ but you still need all of me, because you can’t know all of the remaining 1%
Many of us only hear in passing and want to listen only on paper – Just send me a mail, send me a text, don’t bother calling, I don’t have time to speak – all this makes business sense, but you shouldn’t be totally unavailable to hear and LISTEN to certain people. CREATE THOSE LISTENING TIMES.
LEARN TO LISTEN
As important as it is to communicate effectively, listening is the most rewarding part of communication. Leaders should listen more than they talk. When dealing with employees, we may simply indulge ourselves and do all the talking. But remember you don’t learn while talking. You only learn while listening.
A simple analogy is in teaching our students/pupils. When we teach, we make them listen. Great learners are equally great listeners. The more you listen and listen carefully with all your attention, the more understanding you gain of the other party’s concerns and the better you’d be able to speak and address those concerns
To be an effective communicator, you must be a very good listener. Careful listening makes you better able to respond to people and their needs. And wait a minute… :
if you really care about your people and not just about your business, you will listen to them passionately and not just as a matter of formality. So you need to develop your listening skills purposefully. One way to do so is to read more books. Not just small books, but books that will take a good volume of time to complete.
Another way to enhance your listening skills is to subject yourself to other people’s teachings – sermons, lectures, seminars and expositions. To be honest I get really impressed when school owners attend our trainings, many times the students are older than their teacher, but that won’t stop them a bit from grasping all that’s available. They listen and write down every bit of idea shared – they are students indeed! Little wonder, they come back too soon and share their testimonies.
Please, learn to be a student of somebody, somewhere. Its a sacrifice of humility you have to make, Don’t just teach, listen and be taught.