Every great leader is a good listener. We have emphasized overtime the importance of communication in leadership development. I have learnt – through the absence of communication – how a community of vibrant thoughtful minds can become disengaged and moribund.
In as much as communication is important, listening is more important. Communication is faulty, if listening is phorny or ingenuine. I have witnessed several occasions when hearing, rather than listening is the order of the day. Thus, the essence of this post to challenge us to evaluate our listening quotients.
So, how do you measure your listening quotient? My formula for listening quotients is strength of active listening divided by unit time.
For my friends, who likes mathematics – only for the spelling, let me deviate from the mathematical expression and highlight some key elements of active listening.
When listening to the next person that speaks with you, watch the quality of attention you give out. Let it be said about you that ‘S/He listened to me like I’m the only person in the world, at that time’. Guide your attention.
One of the greatest gift you can give is your sincere and loving self. It is said that people do not care what you know until they know how much you care.
Minding your body
Body language plays an important role when listening actively to someone. Position your body, eye movement to be in unison with what your mind speaks which is ‘I care, I am listening’. Nothing is more disappointing that observing that the person you are speaking with is hearing (not listening) what you are saying and his body communicating his absence.
It is necessary to be true to yourself and whoever you are discussing with. If circumstances will impede you actively listening to anyone, tell the person with all modest sincerity and love.
Listening is critically essential!
Question: Looking back into the last few discussions you had with anyone, how effective did you actively listen? If you were told to calculate your listening quotient, what percentage will you be rated? What other element did I not mention?