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Smart Leaders Seek and Listen to These 3 Voices


The higher up you get in an organization, the harder it is to get authentic feedback. My experience suggests that this is a very true statement and that the problem isn’t isolated to senior executives. In fact, it appears when you take your very first leadership role.

To mitigate this challenge, I suggest that you seek out, listen to, and learn from 3 key voices. Truly listening to these voices requires a strong dose of humility, maturity, and openness; however, allowing them to exist creates both short and long-term benefits.

No matter where you are in your career, the sooner you find these three voices, the better. The voices may come from one person, who is a trusted and capable advisor, or from multiple sources. Either way – find, listen, and learn:

1. Voice of Truth

Let’s get real. Everyone messes up; everyone makes at least an occasional poor decision; and everyone could benefit from a Voice of Truth. Unfortunately, these voices are rare. Although some voices might seem to be speaking the truth, many are simply acting the part or working from their own agendas. They don’t have your best interest at heart. You need someone who cares enough about you to speak the truth and is mature enough to do it.

  • Who speaks truth to you?
  • How do you react when truth is spoken? Do you get defensive? Are you open to this voice?
  • Do you create an environment where people feel comfortable to be the Voice of Truth in your life?

2. Voice of Encouragement

When bad times come – and they will come – or when things seem to be spiraling out of control, leaders need a voice of encouragement. This voice doesn’t ignore the gravity of the situation, nor does the voice sugarcoat things. The voice simply helps to put things into perspective and encourages you to get up, brush yourself off, and move forward.

  • Who encourages you?
  • Is the encouragement authentic and grounded in reality or is it false and unrealistic?
  • Do you create an environment where people feel comfortable to be a Voice of Encouragement in your life

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