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Zavahir Dastoor
Zavahir Dastoor• FollowingCapability Development and Performance Coach/ Senior Consultant – Leadership & Talent Development/ Organizational Development & Change Management/ HR Sustainability/ Strategy Execution Management

3 hours ago

As leaders do you listen to your people to give them their ‘voice and choice’ to share their most difficult moments?

For leaders, listening is more than just an auditory function. It’s more about forming connections and helping your people walk away with awareness, excitement and motivation to make that impact.

Listening is an extraordinary skill that requires you to detach from oneself and develop the real power with the deeper emotions, fears and other aspects of the people.

Cultivating a culture of listening is about creating a memorable employee experience which makes your people feel heard, valued and respected. Organizations that have fostered a culture where the employees are taught the art of listening create those everlasting relationships of trust, belongingness and respect.

Effective listening is more about just nodding attentively; it’s about adding insights and creating moments of mutual discovery. Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman who run a leadership consultancy, analyzed 3,492 participants in a manager development program and the most effective listeners do four things:

1.   They interact in ways that make people feel safe and supported.
2.   They take a helping and cooperative stance.
3.   They occasionally ask questions and gently and astutely challenge old assumptions.
4.   Make occasional suggestions to open up alternative paths.

As Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman say that the most effective listeners are like trampolines. They aren’t like passive sponges but active responders absorbing what the other person gives, support them, and add energy to help the conversation to gain velocity and altitude.

Vulnerability too can be created with effective listening because it resides in not what you say but in what you DO NOT SAY.

Skilled listeners (leaders) do not interrupt with phrases like “what worked for me can work for you” or “here’s an idea” because they understand that it’s not about them. They use a variety of gestures and tailored phrases that keep the other person opening up. “Please say more about that”, such questions build a scaffolding of trust and commitment.

Remember that listening is a mastery skill that takes effort, time, consistency and commitment because in the process of listening you tend to lose energy and, in so doing it you have to remain focused as well.

So how leaders in your organization listen to “keep the person opening up”… to “build a scaffolding of trust and commitment”?

What else would you add here to make this conversation enriching with additional takeaways?

#listeningandlearning #cultureoflistening #leadershipandlistening

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