The Art of Listening

Can you hear me now?

“Listening is an art that requires work, self-discipline, and skill. The art of communication springs as much from knowing when to listen as it does from knowing how to use words well. Ask any good salesperson or negotiator about the value of silence… To sharpen listening skill, you need patience and practice.” ~

While I embark on this new journey as the Executive Leadership Director for the SE Region, I am reminded that Leadership is very much about listening. My mother used to say to me as a child, “sit down and listen; pay attention.” I’m not sure I understood the profound nature of that saying in my younger years better yet was quite annoyed by it. I do know that behavior styles play a very important role in how easy or hard listening can be. What I have determined the real meaning behind this advice to be; if you want to move forward in life and business, you must really listen first for understanding! Only now, I choose to listen versus my mother forcing me to do so. Empowerment! Stephen R. Covey says, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply!”

One of Gary Keller’s Six Personal Perspective is Learning Based. I believe Learning Based is a subscription or commitment to Self Actualization. Simply stated, Self Actualization is the understanding that there is a better version of you to become with no destination. A Learning Based person cannot exist without a commitment to listening for understanding. This listening allows new ideas, new information, new concepts to enter into the realm of possibilities while expanding the mind!

My charge to you this month is to “Sit Down & Listen” to your family, to your employees, to your clients. You might learn something!