Source | Linkedin | Brigette Hyacinth | Author: The Future of Leadership: Rise of Automation, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence ? Keynote Speaker ?
Listening is the most important skill a leader can master. It is the basis of many other leadership skills. However, it is a tough skill to master as it requires us to be more present, attentive, engaged, patient and flexible. Good listening skills in this digital era, is fast becoming an endangered species. There is a difference between hearing what someone is saying and actually listening to them. Listening means you are taking their perspective into account and truly considering what they have to say.
Many of us are guilty of starting a conversation and putting a thought or question out there, but we don’t give ourselves a chance to listen to what others have to say because we never stop talking, or we are so busy formulating our reply to what we assume they will say. Don’t just listen with the outer ear but with the inner ear. Listen with the intent to hear and understand.
“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” – Peter Drucker
The four foundational skills of language learning are listening, speaking, reading and writing, in that order. We get extensive training on the last three in school, but listening which is the most important is often overlooked. When communicating, it’s important to listen, digest, pause, reiterate, formulate and then respond.