Shot 4: LISTEN UP

By: Tom Newhouse in Leadership, 2 years ago

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. 

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