Category Archives: Respect

Listen Like a Leader

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“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So, if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.” —Larry King

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

Listening Like a Leader

One of the most important leadership skills, that outstanding leaders have mastered, is the ability to listen. Genuine listening is one of the key ways you can show your strength as a leader; it shows confidence and establishes trust. As Larry King said in the quote above, the only way you are going to learn anything is by listening. Sounds simple enough, but so few people listen like a leader. When you listen like a leader, you listen with the intent to gain true understanding, you show respect to others, you make real connections, and you build mutual trust.

Understanding

Leonardo da Vinci believed, “The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.” Outstanding leaders are insatiably curios; they ask open-ended questions that challenge the status quos and help others to reframe problems and ideas. In order to gain a true understanding you must leave your own agenda at the door and learn to recognize your biases so that you are open to really understanding what others have to say. You must encourage people to not only share their thoughts, but to dig deeper into what lies beneath those thoughts. Recognize that everyone has something valuable to contribute and take the opportunity to reach across the organization, listening like a leader with the intent to gain understanding.

Respect

Bryant H. McGill tells us, “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” Outstanding leaders understand that it’s not all about them. Listening to others is the ultimate sign of respect and it shows you care. It demonstrates how much you value and respect the experience and knowledge of others when you ask for their input. People want to be consulted and know that they’ve been heard and their ideas are taken under serious consideration. Show that you respect their opinions and are confident enough to welcome others to challenge, question, and disagree with you. Admit when you are wrong or don’t have the answer. Ask the questions that will have a real impact and then listen like a leader to what others have to offer.

Connection

Rollo May said, “Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy, and mutual valuing.” An outstanding leader looks for connections and develops personal relationships by really listening to others. You let them know you care about what they think and about their ideas when you truly listen. You must create a safe place for people to open up and share knowledge, ideas, and opinions. Listening like a leader allows you to find the connections that transform relationships and teams.

Trust

Stephen Covey explained, “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” Outstanding leaders build trust by proving they are good listeners. Leadership is all about influence and if you want to have an influence, others have to know they have been heard. Listening shows that you value the thoughts of others, that you are worthy of their trust, and encourages them to continue to communicate. Listen like a leader and develop the trusting relationships that allow you to influence others.

How to Do It

So, how do you listen like a leader? You listen without having an answer or response already in mind; don’t just listen to confirm what you already think you know. Let others know that you hear them and that you care about what they have to share. You ask questions and follow up. You put yourself in their shoes so that you can empathize with their point of view. You limit distractions and give your undivided attention. You not only pay attention to what is being said and how they say it, but also to what is not being said. You talk less and listen more to gain understanding, show respect, uncover and develop connections, and build trust. Then, and only then, will you be listening like a leader.

 

 

© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

Do You Really Want to Communicate?

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“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” —Tony Robbins

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

Communication

Just because you are talking doesn’t mean you are communicating. Are your conversations one-sided? Are you listening with judgment? Are you so busy formulating a response that you miss the message? The point of communication is to try to create a shared perception of the world. Develop the habit of really engaging in conversation. Learn to show respect when communicating. And, recognize that, while there may be differing points of view, you can still communicate effectively.

Engage

Nelson Mandela said, “A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger.” You and the other side will never get closer to the same understanding if you do not engage in good, two-way communication. It’s difficult to have a productive conversation that is confrontational, demeaning, or judgmental. To have constructive conversations, try asking questions that will draw on a positive memory or feeling; this deepens the sense of well-being and trust. When we feel at ease we are more likely to be open to having productive conversations. Interact directly whenever possible. Make others feel like they are part of the conversation and that their input is valued. In a successful conversation both parties walk away feeling that they have been heard and have a better understanding of where the other is coming from.

Respect

Bryant H. McGill believed, “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” Ask others for their perspectives or personal opinions; this shows you have respect for them and their input. Share the floor. Don’t act as if it’s your way or nothing. Be confident but not arrogant when you’re communicating. Learn to paint the big picture for others and help them to see how they fit in. Have enough respect to give credit where it is due. Only speak for yourself and remain genuine and receptive. Make it clear how much you care about the success of others and that you respect and value their opinions.

Two views

Harper Lee explained, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.” If you want to really communicate you must acknowledge that there are differences in how any two people view reality and situations. Learn to focus on what others are saying at the moment without interrupting or passing judgment. Then, confirm your understanding and ask follow-up questions. Don’t dance around uncomfortable questions, answer first and then elaborate if necessary. This open give and take is what allows you to create a shared understanding of the situation.

Make the Effort

Truman Capote stated, “A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue. That’s why there are so few good conversations: due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.” In order to have good conversations you must learn to engage not lecture. You must show respect. And, you must recognize that there are two differing points of view involved in every conversation. We all find it difficult to communicate sometimes but, good conversations can happen if you are willing to make the effort.

 

 

 

© 2014 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.