Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Power of Listening

Years ago while sitting in a hotel lobby, one of my guests asked me, "Greg, tell me about yourself." The moment I started sharing, he turned his face in a different direction and began talking with other people. I didn't continue to tell him about myself anymore, but I felt insulted. I've never forgotten this encounter. From this experience, I learned this:  
Never ask question to someone if you are not prepared to listen. 

I've had many hurtful experiences where others are not willing to listen. Lots of the mistakes leaders make is not listening enough. Listening does not always mean you approve what other people say. Listening to people's request and demands does not mean you follow their wish.

Listening to people shows  that:
(1) You value them
(2) You respect them
(3) You care about them

You will be respected as a leader if you just listen more. Spend time with people whenever you can. While task is important, people are more important than the task. 

John Maxwell used to say, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care". One way to show that you really care is to listen enough. If people know that you care about them, they will listen to you as well. As a leader, you need to show how much care before you demand something. You need to touch their heart first before you ask for their hand.