The Point: At Tip of the Spear, based on our research it is an undisputed fact that when it comes to traits that define a successful leader, communication ranks at the very top! However, communication is itself a vast subject which can further be divided into several skills/subcategories. In this blog post, we discuss why listening is the most important leadership communication skill, and why it should be a core component of every communication skills training for leaders… Enjoy!
Listening Creates A Loyal Workforce
The statistics are alarming. Some 40% of people in the workforce feel unappreciated and undervalued at work. Most of them either look for new jobs, or at least wait for an opportunity to come their way. This has dire consequences for your employee retention efforts. But if listening is emphasized more in communication skills training for leaders, you will be able to reach out to dissatisfied employees in new and meaningful ways, making them see that the company genuinely cares about them.
Listening Provides New Insights
Another key trait of leaders is that they are always learning. This enables them to come up with innovative and creative solutions to new challenges. Listening helps leaders in this respect as well. This is especially true when you actively listen to critics and those who disagree with you. Doing so will broaden your horizons and offer you unique perspectives on unprecedented business issues.
Listening Brings Out the Best in Employees
This leadership development hinges on the first point about employee motivation. As you listen to your team (not just what they say but their body language and general demeanor as well), you will learn more about their strengths and weakness, and you can leverage the former to make them more productive. This will ultimately reflect positively on your bottom-line.
Listening Engages Clients
Active listening isn’t purely restricted to your employees. You should also make it a point to let your clients speak their heart out. Offer them a chance to provide honest feedback on your website and social network. Seep this feedback in and you will better know how to cater to the needs of your target market. This will dramatically improve customer loyalty as they will look at your business as one that values its clients.
Listening Promotes Clarity
In today’s world of instant communication, listening is a lost art. Everyone is busy voicing their opinions, with hardly any message truly seeping in anyone’s mind and making an impact. In such an environment, a leader that speaks less and listens more will automatically become a revolutionary (and often is thought of as saying things that are more important).
To sum up, communication skills training for leaders is crucial. Listening makes you a better leader when you engage in the art of listening-not to have your opinions validated, but to be challenged and to learn something new. You establish your authority as a leader through listening, and if you don’t believe you have the skill developed as much as you should, consider leadership development training on the topic. Conventional wisdom may dictate that speaking establishes more authority, but then again you are not always right. So stop pretending you know everything and listen more as a leader!
To learn more about improving your communication skills for leaders, visit Tip of the Spear’s Leadership Development program offering “Communicate with Influence” by CLICKING HERE.