Five Things That Go Up When Leaders Listen

Nov 11, 2016 1 Min Read


Ears expand influence.

Leaders spend too much time thinking about talking and too little working on listening.

What would happen to the people around you if you were more excited to listen than speak?

Five things that go up when leaders listen:

1. Engagement. Verbosity encourages disengagement. The next time you complain about disengagement, examine your listening.

2. Energy. Think of a time when a leader really listened to you. I bet you were energised. Invite people to talk if you want to increase their energy.

3. Boldness. People who feel they matter act with boldness. You make people feel they matter by listening to them.

4. Connection. Listening gives birth to connection.

5. Commitment. People who don’t feel heard resist. People who don’t agree, but feel listened to, will commit.

The more you need to do, the more you need to listen.

Four listening tips:

1. Fall in love with the voices on your team, not your own.

2. Relax when others are talking.

3. Spend as much effort planning your listening as you spend on your talking.

4. Plan to listen much more than talk. If you have a lot to say, plan to listen a lot.

If you don’t have time to listen, you don’t have time to lead.

Listen for what isn’t said:

“The most important thing in communication is to hear, what isn’t being said.” –Peter Drucker

1. Messages
2. Needs and wants
3. Emotion
4. Intent
5. Purpose
6. Goals
7. Struggles

The secret to expanding your influence is in your ears.

Tip: Controlling what people say isn’t listening.

Food for thought:
How might leaders become better listeners?

Dan Rockwell is a coach, speaker and is freakishly interested in leadership. He is the author of a world-renowned, socially shared leadership blog, Leadership Freak.

Reposted with permission on


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This article is published by the editors of with the consent of the guest author. 

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