Sure, every leader knows we’re supposed to actively listen to each other in the workplace.
Leaders understand that actively listening is a desirable skill. But in a popular CONNECT2Lead webinar workshop, we elicit these honest answers from leaders about the reasons why they don’t do a better job of listening.
If you’re honest with yourself, some of these reasons will be your own, too.
- I don’t know how to listen.
- I just do what others do when it comes to listening.
- I’m distracted.
- I don’t have time to listen.
- I don’t want to listen.
You’re not alone in feeling this way about listening. Admitting that these reasons are why you aren’t actively listening to others is the first step.
You know the next step. It’s overcoming these excuses and making a genuine commitment to really, truly listen to other people.
Think of it this way: you would not make these excuses if you were the person expected to do the speaking. You wouldn’t dare give yourself a free pass on making a presentation if you didn’t know how, lapsed into bad behaviors exhibited by others who were presenting, made a presentation while you were distracted, said you didn’t have time to make a presentation, or skipped it because you just didn’t want to do it.
We know we are front and center and that others are paying attention when we present. We forget that the same is true, as leaders, when we are supposed to be listening.
More than you are judged for your presentations, you are judged for the way you listen. So step it up, work through these excuses, and set a higher standard for the way you listen. You will be more effective as a leader when you do.