One of the key elements, and most challenging, in communication is the ability to listen.
We love to talk. What we have to say is important. We want others to listen. So, when someone else is talking we are just waiting to express what we have been thinking.
As a result, we are not really listening.
Add to this the fact we are easily distracted by our cell phone, computer, local environment, and a hundred other factors.
We often think of leaders as those who are out front, giving instruction, direction and orders.
However, there are several reasons it is necessary for leaders to learn the art of listening.
Learning to listen helps us connect with people.
Learning to listen helps us gain a better understanding of their needs.
Learning to listen helps us develop stronger concentration.
We must listen with our ears, eyes and heart. The message is not always conveyed through the actual words spoken. Tone of voice and body language also play a significant role in the message.
As challenging as it can be, learning to listen will change the nature of our leadership.