—A Shot is a poignant leadership tip from “a rifle.” Yes, leadership coach, Tom Newhouse, uses a rifle from his farming heritage to “tell it like it is.” —
FOR A GOOD DEAL of my years, I was the rifle in the corner, in the corner of the shop that is. On the farm, the shop was Grand Central Station. I was the quiet feller—listening, just listening. I listened in on neighboring farmers, hired hands, salesmen, politicians, tax collectors, and more. You know, in my listening I discovered something: Few folks listen well—they love to hear themselves talk. I’d hate to be on a hunt with one of them folk. Scare the critters off, they would. I like hunters who listen—listen for tips, read their fellow hunters, hear the sounds of their environment—they’re the ones with advantages.
And leaders: Try being one without listening—to customers, to employees, to leadership teammates? Here’s the scoop: Leaders listen so they can lead! You? Learn to listen, really listen. Here’s a trick: Do the things you’d do if you were pretending to listen. You know: Show concern for the other party, give undivided attention, make eye contact, lean forward, vocally acknowledge the other’s points—like umm, aaah, I see, interesting—paraphrase, take notes, ask questions, dialogue, reflect their emotion. Bingo! You really listened. Fancy that.