In a conscious leadership, listening with intent is one of the most important characteristics that differentiate good leaders from effective ones. In the era of self-leadership, it is important to identify weak areas in your leadership in order to succeed in your collective goal as an organization.
Find out why you need to be a good listener in order to become effective in your leadership.
What is Listening with Intent?
Listening is not enough in order to become an effective and conscious leader. You need to strive for listening with intent. Author Patrick King talked about listening with intent as the foundation of true connection, communication, and relationship in his book.
In this day and age, the ability to listen is an essential life skill that can serve you well in your personal and professional relationships. When you listen, you make someone feel appreciated and valued. There is a propensity for many people who want to be heard to feel that no one is willing to listen.
Listening with intent is also known as active listening. It is a choice you make, and something that needs conscious effort. You listen with intent when you give the individual you are speaking to your attention and you want to be present in that conversation.
However, listening is not enough; it’s the intent behind the act of listening that makes it valuable. It heightens your emotional intelligence and helps improve the ability to understand other people. It requires practice and patience to be able to listen with intent.
How Does Listening with Intent Make You a Better Leader?
The ability to listen is an important characteristic possessed by effective leaders. The moment you understand the importance of listening, you seek to understand people and the different perspectives they hold in life and in their role within your organization.
The value of listening was put to the forefront during the pandemic. A lot of businesses and organizations are now struggling to survive. In the struggle for survival, many businesses were focused on increasing productivity and hitting their profit targets. However, if there is one thing that the global crisis has taught us, it would be the value of human capital. Every employee has a significant role to play in the success (or eventual downfall) of an organization.
Due to many businesses’ focus on productivity, employees’ welfare was put to the bottom of the organization’s list of priorities. As a result, many business leaders found themselves without employees, as many were leaving or moving to other organizations that made them feel more valued and appreciated.
This is the best time for leaders to become more adept at listening – and doing so with intent and purpose. Listening with intent will enable you to be more considerate of the needs of others. As a business and organizational leader, your ability to listen will enable you to provide the support that your employees require in order to become more effective in their roles and responsibilities. In the long run, this will make your organization run more efficiently.
Ways to Implement Listening as a Leader
Now that you understand the value of listening with intent as a leader, the next step is to know how to implement it. Here are some of the strategies that you can use or adopt.
1. Engage Yourself
Most business leaders strive for ways to make their employees engaged. As a leader, you need to be engaged yourself too. Encourage your employees to ask questions or elaborate when they have input to share. Make them feel that you value their opinion so that you can expand your perspective on how you lead the organization.
When they share their input, pay attention and make sure that you attempt to understand what matters to them.
2. Show Empathy
Listening with intent shows how empathic you are towards the plights of your employees. With many businesses and organizations working on a limited workforce, there is added stress and pressure on each and every employee.
If you see signs of frustration or stress, let them know how you can ease that stress. Find ways to make them feel more comfortable so they can in turn be more productive.
3. Avoid Judgment
A lot of people listen with a desire to respond. This is something that effective leaders need to unlearn. Listening with intent and purpose is about embracing the different perspective about a particular situation or scenario that the other person has to share. The more open you are and when you are judgment-free, the better able you are to see the big picture.
Listening with intent does not happen naturally to most people, even with the most experienced leaders. But in the concept of conscious leadership, it is a skill that you need to master if you want to be able to lead more effectively.
The role of listening in leadership is crucial. Effective leaders listen attentively to gain insights, understand perspectives, build relationships, and make informed decisions.
Listening with intent is important as it allows leaders to fully comprehend and engage with others, gather valuable information, and respond appropriately. It promotes effective communication and strengthens relationships.
Both listening and speaking skills are important, yet listening skills hold greater significance in a leadership role. Listening allows leaders to gather information, understand diverse perspectives, and build trust, paving the way for effective speaking and communication.