By Ben Chodor
March 1, 2023
It’s a well-known fact that great leaders possess various skills and qualities to help them succeed. One of the most important traits of an effective leader is their ability to listen: listening to the needs of their team, adapting to changes, and actively participating in conversations. Listening can make the difference between teams that are empowered to grow and those that stagnate. In this blog post, we will discuss why great leaders are also great listeners and how they use active listening techniques to foster team growth and empower individuals.
On a personal note, I believe some of the biggest reasons people leave a company, are that they don’t see a clear path for growth, they are not compensated adequately, and that they feel like their voice is not heard.
1) Listening is a critical skill for leaders.
Listening is an essential skill for effective leadership. Great leaders know that listening to their team, employees, and customers is a critical part of leading a successful organization. Active listening requires being present now and understanding the perspectives of others so that real growth can occur. It really is that simple.
Leaders who listen can foster open communication within their teams and create an environment of trust and respect. Good listeners demonstrate that they value their team’s opinions by actively engaging during conversations and reflecting on what they heard with clarity. This act of active listening shows their team members that they have been heard, inspiring them to be more involved in problem-solving initiatives or providing innovative ideas for process improvements.
By communicating openly, great leaders can also empower their team members to take ownership of projects or tasks since they have confidence in themselves from feeling respected through active listening from their leader. Listening not only demonstrates respect but it also allows the leader to understand everyone’s strengths and weaknesses better so they can make decisions more effectively while fostering a stronger sense of collaboration within the organization.
Overall, it’s clear why great leaders are also great listeners – because it helps them lead more knowledgeably and foster greater overall growth with the people in their organization.
2) Great leaders are also great listeners.
Great leaders understand that to be successful, they must listen not only to their team but also to those around them. Recent studies have shown that effective listening skills are essential for effective leadership. Leaders who listen and show empathy can foster an atmosphere of trust and collaboration between all members of their team.
Active Listening is the most important skill a leader can possess when it comes to engaging with their team or others in the business. This involves paying close attention to what the person is saying without passing any judgment or criticism and taking what they say into consideration before making important decisions. Through active listening, a leader can understand their team’s needs and feelings accurately, allowing them to make better-informed choices.
When great leaders employ active listening techniques, they empower each member of their team by showing respect for their opinion and creating a collaborative environment where every voice matters and is heard. This sets the tone for open communication within the organization while encouraging growth among everyone on the team. By taking what each person has to say seriously, these leaders show that they value everyone as well as strengthen relationships between colleagues which ultimately leads to greater success for the company.
I know some leaders who feel that if they are not the loudest voice, then they are not being a leader. I truly believe the best leaders listen first and react secondarily.
3) Active listening can help leaders build trust and understanding with their team.
When it comes to great leadership, being an effective listener is just as important as leading from the front. Active listening can help leaders build trust and understanding with their team. Through active listening, leaders can gain insight into their teams’ needs and develop shared objectives for growth and development.
Active listening requires more than just hearing what someone has to say; it also involves understanding the emotion behind the words. By genuinely engaging in conversations with employees, leaders can demonstrate that they value their opinions and perspectives, making them feel empowered to contribute to the success of a team or organization. This helps create a healthy working environment where everyone’s ideas are respected and encouraged.
Active listening also allows leaders to better identify potential problems or concerns within their teams so they can resolve them quickly and efficiently before they harm performance. It enables them to foster stronger relationships between team members, which leads to greater cohesion, collaboration, and productivity within their organization in the long run.
Overall, active listening is key for great leadership because it helps bridge gaps between leader and follower – building trust that is essential for success in any business setting.
4) Leaders who listen can learn about their team's goals and help them grow.
Leaders who listen actively to their team have a golden opportunity to not only learn more about the team and its goals but also provide them with powerful tools for growth. Listening involves not just hearing what is being said, but actively engaging in conversation and asking appropriate questions. Leaders who take the time to engage their team members on important topics demonstrate their commitment to understanding everyone’s unique strengths and interests. By taking an active interest in listening, leaders can foster a sense of trust between themselves and their teams which consequently encourages communication and collaboration among team members.
Additionally, great leaders realize that helping their employees grow is beneficial for the entire organization. Active listening enables leaders to pick up on opportunities for learning or development that may go unnoticed as well as to recognize individuals who need additional support or training. Furthermore, through active listening leaders can provide detailed feedback tailored specifically to each team member’s skill level and working style which empowers them by giving them the opportunity to develop further within the company.
In short, it’s essential for all successful business leaders to be both good listeners and facilitators of growth if they want their teams to reach maximum potential because doing so allows for a greater understanding of individual needs resulting in an empowered workforce equipped with valuable skillsets necessary for success.
5) Empowering team members through listening can help create a positive, productive environment.
Leadership is not just about giving orders, it’s also about listening. Great leaders are actively engaged in their team members’ conversations and listen to their ideas and feedback. This helps them understand their team at a deeper level and allows for improved collaboration and growth.
Active listening is a great tool for empowering team members. By actively listening to what your team has to say, you can better identify problems or challenge how tasks are being completed. Listening allows leaders to identify where support might be needed and areas of potential growth within the team. Not only does this create a positive work environment, but it also creates opportunities for development that can benefit both the individual and the organization.
It is important to remember that active listening isn’t just hearing what is being said, it involves considering what someone has told you and building upon it during the conversation – through clarifying questions or responding with appropriate comments that show an understanding of what was communicated has been achieved. Through this kind of communication, teams will likely feel more empowered, knowing that they have been heard – something great leaders should strive for daily!
Great leaders understand that active listening is a key component of success. As a leader, you must be willing to listen and learn from your team in order to foster growth and empower them to do their best work. Open lines of communication between yourself and your team will make everyone feel more connected, motivate employees to reach higher goals, and lead to the ultimate success of your organization. Remember: great leaders are also great listeners!
Ben is the author of Transitioning to Virtual and Hybrid Events: How to Create, Adapt, and Market an Engaging Online Experience, a book that provides expert advice and real-world instructions for delivering engaging hybrid, virtual, and streaming events, and webinars for companies of all sizes. When not working in one of his many business roles, Ben enjoys spending time with his family, boxing, yoga, traveling, and training for his first triathlon.
Ben served as Co-Founder & CEO of Happtique, the first digital health mobile application marketplace. He was also the Founder & CEO of digital media and webcasting company Stream57, and the former Global Head of Streaming & Virtual Events at InterCall. Ben acted as a mentor for startup accelerator Blueprint Health, is an active investor and board member for digital/tech, and healthcare startups hosts the podcast Insights with Ben Chodor and is a member of the Forbes Communications Council he is also a frequent speaker on digital media and technology. As President of Notified, he ran the world’s only communications cloud for events, public relations, and investor relations, Ben continues to transform the way people connect and share information. Ben has always worked to consistently raise the bar when it comes to virtual, hybrid, or in-person events as well as public relations, investor relations, and digital health.
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Disclaimer: The ideas, views, and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Institute for Learning or any entities they represent.