Teaching your dog to stay requires a lot of effort. For you, as well as the puppy. You both have to be looking for clues, watching intently to make sure you understand. While you are looking for any movements at all from the puppy, you are ready to say “stay”. He is waiting impatiently for only one word, carefully listening for the word “come” and he knows he’ll get his treat.
Listening is one of the keys to successful leadership
When you unscramble the above letters (ITSLNE) the first word you will get is listen. That’s what we have in the training example. Our task is to train this puppy to stay, come when he’s told, and listen for those key words. While the puppy is waiting to hear, you are observing his actions.
Most people think of leaders as talkers, inspiring and motivating their team through words. This is all true, but before we can inspire and motivate, we need to understand and connect with our team. How do we connect? Through listening. We need to get to know people, understand their needs, wants, goals, and dreams. Leaders do this through connecting with their team.
As a John Maxwell Executive Director, I have to honor to teach and train on John’s courses. One of them, Becoming a Person of Influence, discusses Listening as a key component to building a connection and influence with your team. John uses his own acronym which he calls, “climbing the ladder to better listening”.
LADDER to Listening
L – Look at the speaker
A – Ask questions
D – Don’t interrupt
D – Don’t change subjects
E – Emotions, check them at the door
R – Responsive listening, show them you are hearing them
John has done a great job building up the skills on listening. These steps are needed to be a good listener, however there is one more that Dr. Maxwell has missed. There are LADDERS to listening …
UNSCRAMBLE – Again
Look again at the letters above, ITSLNE, what other 6-letter word can come out of it? SILENT … this is the “S” in LADDERS.
If you truly are listening, you are silent. Not only verbally, but your body language is also quiet. Moving about, crossing your arms, shaking your head, all of those negative non-verbal clues need to be quieted. As LADDER recommends, you need to be responsive, true, but focus on being positive in your body movements.
One additional way we need to be silent, is in our mind. Most people are listening only for an opening so they can say what they want. When you truly are listening, your mind is open, clear, and not thinking about what you are going to say next. By actively listening, what you end up saying next comes naturally, not pre-programmed.
If you truly want to connect with your team, learn to listen. You will begin to hear things with your ears as well as your eyes. If you are practicing active listening, and climbing that LADDER … you will communicate more effectively.
At the Kole Performance Group, we have numerous tools that can help you improve your communication skills. From games to play with your team, to a Speakers Club, we are finding new ways to not only teach, but to reinforce excellent communication skills. Contact us for more information.
For those of you in the Detroit Metro area, we are getting closer to Live2Lead-2018 … Check out the events page on this website to get more information. John Maxwell, Tyler Perry, and other great speakers will be helping you learn the art of the ‘shift’! October 12th! Use this discount code to save $15 (first 25 responses) – TP15L2L on the ticket page – CLICK HERE .
10% of the proceeds will go to benefit the Kirk Gibson Foundation, for research on Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases.