The Leader Who Heard

Wouldn’t you love for someone to listen to you? 

Why not be that person for others?

5 reasons leaders have closed ears:

  1. No aspiration to listen. Have you ever heard a leader exclaim, “My aspiration is to be a great listener.”
  2. Bias toward action. You might try listening AND doing at the same time.
  3. Time pressure. Perceived lack of time dehumanizes interactions.
  4. Fearful heart. Caring for people and getting results seem to collide. The combination of #3 and #4 is deadly to listening. 
  5. Lack of skill and discipline. The challenge of listening is first skill, then the discipline to actually do it.

3 ways to listen like a leader:


#1. Listen to learn.

Set aside what you know in order to grasp what others know.

#2. Listen to care.

  1. What gestures, posture, and office arrangement communicate caring?
  2. How might you express dedication to serve the best interest of others?

Listening to care often requires talking.

#3. Listen to do.

Talking hasn’t worked when negative patterns persist.

Listening in time:

#1. Listen to the past.

Unexamined experience guarantees the past will return unchanged.

  1. What have you learned? Dig deeper than first response.
  2. What should you stop? Think about habits and behaviors that didn’t work as hoped.
  3. What should you keep doing?
  4. How did you create effective processes and build strong relationships?

Never let the past justify an unsatisfying present.

#2. Listen to the present.

  1. What’s happening?
  2. Where are the energy hotspots? Drains?
  3. Who shines?
  4. Who sits on the fringes?
  5. What are your highest points of confidence? Fear?

#3. Listen to the future.

  1. Imagine a joyful future. Who do you need to become to get there?
  2. If you succeed what will be different?
  3. What do you really want? Focus on habits, patterns, and relationships.

Listening is a gift.

What gets in the way of good listening?

How might you listen like a leader today?