You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Listening’ tag.

I’ve found that one of the hardest skills today is just listening and being with someone. We’re constantly barraged with things demanding our attention.

The biggest attention-grabber is that device in our pocket. As if it’s ever actually in our pocket.

But as humans, we crave to have relationships with other people. To be understood and appreciated for who we are.

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It’s taken me many years to develop my ability to empathize with other people. I tend to think of myself as analytical and goal driven, and relating to people isn’t my natural strength.

Taking my first management job, and later increasing my scope, caused me to realize that results are achieved only through the team I lead. After my corporate job I focused on coaching, helping my clients to develop deeper skills of leadership, influence, and driving results.

I’ve learned that the core skill of leading people is simply empathy. It seems a bit weird because it’s not me driving someone else, the way we usually think about leadership.

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We often get entranced by new things. As a software engineer, I found myself drawn to every new computer, operating system and application for many years.

But that was just me. Everybody has different things that turn them on!

Why should we care? Because you have to realize that the things that get you excited may not at all be what thrills your employees. Or customers.

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I see a lot of businesses struggling with their new model for people working in the office versus from home. This is a significant issue for those who worked so hard last year to suddenly create new approaches.

We’ve now discovered that “calling the troops back” isn’t nearly as simple as we expected.

Part of it is the still-evolving regulations, of course, but that’s minor compared to what workers need and expect from their employers. The difficult truth is that each person is making his or her own unique decision, based on complicated factors that they’ve never had to deal with before:

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Leadership is about telling people where to go and what to do. Right?

Well, no.

The truth is that, as Marshall Goldsmith proclaims, leadership is 80% listening. How do we resolve this disconnect?

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