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Soft Skills: Listening for Better Leadership

| November 4, 2008

by Jim Bruce

Throughout ITLP we talk about the importance of listening, of choosing to carefully pay attention to and to understand what is being said.

Today’s Reading “Soft Skills:  Listening for Better Leadership” addresses this topic.  In the piece, the author Diann Daniel notes that listening conveys respect, not listening makes people feel devalued and less motivated;  good listening empowers, not listening guarantees you won’t understand.

Based on Richard Anstruther’s (CEO of HighGain, a listening consultancy) experience, the piece provides four tips to help you become a better listener:

1.  Choose to listen, choose to be present in the conversation.

2.  Open lines of communication, make sure people are comfortable to speak up.

3.  Paraphrase what you hear to make sure you have understood.

4.  Empathize to build a bridge.  Pay attention to the words, but also the body language and facial expressions.

This week make an effort to hone your listening skills.


.  .  .  .  .     jim