Active Listening for Empathetic Leadership – 1

 

In today’s world of smart phones, tablets, instant messaging and 24/7 access to information, almost everyone is glued to their device of choice. Technology has shrunken physical distances and connected people to each other worldwide. Yet, people have become impatient with short attention spans. They often miss key information as they get easily distracted.

  • 85% of what we know, we have learned through listening.
  • Human beings generally listen at a 25% comprehension rate.
  • In a typical business day, people spend 45% of their time listening, 30% of their time talking, 16% reading and 9% writing.

Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process. Listening is an essential competency for organisations remaining competitive. However, less than 2% of all professionals have had formal education or training to improve listening skills and techniques.

The comments and questions of employees are often given short shrift by the leader in staff meetings. The manager’s lack of skill in questioning and responding produces guarded responses and many problems remain unaddressed in performance appraisals. Poor listening accounts for businesses losing billions of dollars each year to missed communication, misunderstandings and duplication of effort.

A business leader needs understanding to motivate and influence his employees. Listening is a prerequisite for understanding his employees. Listening is critical to leadership effectiveness. Leaders who have the most influence over others tend to be powerful listeners.

 Listening Is an Overlooked Leadership Tool

Listening is a leadership responsibility that does not appear in the job description. Leaders need to listen to their employees to lead the increasingly diverse and multi-generational workforce. In 1957, researchers found that listeners only remembered about half of what they’d heard immediately after someone finished talking!

Active Listening

Active listening is the act of mindfully hearing and attempting to comprehend the meaning of words spoken by another in a conversation or speech. Active listening is attentive, engaged listening that gets people thinking, sparks discussion, acknowledges feelings and facilitates speedier resolution of conflict. Active listening is influential listening that motivates employees to feel more at ease and be more forthcoming. The leader obtains more open, honest and meaningful information.

Meeting the challenges of global communication

Today’s global economy has created a multicultural workplace that requires increased interaction with bosses, subordinates and co-workers in other countries. Organizations therefore look beyond traditional strategies for development of leaders capable of moving the company forward.

Ineffective managers are expensive, costing organizations millions of dollars each year in direct and indirect costs. Studies show that ineffective managers make up half of the today’s organizational management pools. With such high stakes, organisations are keenly interested in finding out what skills are needed to develop effective leaders and improve their chances of success.

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References

Enjoying Life

I did two completely different things in the same day and felt amazed at the joy I experienced!

I participated in a research conference for the greater part of a day – from 10 am to 5 pm and after the conference, forced myself to board a local train and travel 30 kilometres to see a light- hearted, yet thought-provoking Tamil play, that I’d gotten tickets to.

I feel glad that I did both of these completely different activities, that too on the same day.

Instead of feeling tired, the end of the day found me smiling and musing on technology in the 21 st century classroom (the conference theme) and also the mindset of people with daughters of marriageable age, in the 21st century.

I realise that I have lived that day, not existed.

Life is about enjoying everything that comes your way.

It is also about creating time to do things for oneself – things that make YOU – your SELF happy.

Go ahead – create your own moments – enjoy Life !

Text Me! Snap Me! Ask Me Anything! – Kevin Kruse : Book Review

Again an excellent read recommended by Nirupama!

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Earlier this year, I got a chance to read Kevin Kruse‘s latest book entitled: Text Me! Snap Me! Ask Me Anything!: How Entrepreneurs, Consultants And Artists Can Use The Power Of Intimate Attention To Build Their Brand, Grow Their Business And Change The World .

I found the book a splendid read with plenty of great techniques for personal branding. I do follow the Kevin- the author, on Twitter and via his newsletter. Based on this experience, I was predisposed to think that his new book would be extremely useful. I am happy to report that I was right! 🙂

The book is full of anecdotes, examples and strategies to build and develop one’s personal brand. In a world fast moving towards ‘riches in niches’, having a USP has become imperative in all fields. Enter personal branding with this book as a helpful guide.

The concepts of ‘Loyal 100’ , ‘Power of Intimate Attention’ were…

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Book Review:The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The book appears to be a good read. Nirupama’s review motivates me to actually read the book.

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Marie Kondo’s famed book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has been on my list of books to read for a long time. The wait finally ended this week when I grabbed a copy, courtesy the local library.

The book is indeed wonderful. All the glowing reviews I had heard are absolutely correct.

I was skeptical at first. Let’s face it.

I am not a neat person.

Being organized and clutter free and neat is not on my Dream List.

Perhaps, never will.

And with an active preschooler, in a home-made Wonder Woman costume these days, chasing imaginary villains in the living room, neat or tidy definitely will be attributed to MAGIC! Or sorcery. Or helpful Elves. Maybe a Fairy Godmother!

[Confession: My preschooler is not untidy or incapable of cleaning. She simply possesses the ephemeral attention span of every curious four year old on the planet!]

Despite these misgivings, I tried the first step…

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