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The Power of Listening: A Skill Every Leader Must Master 

Happy blonde female manager in fashionable clothes has pleasant conversation with male colleague, listening and discussing successful strategy for startup, check list of affairs, consult new project together

As leaders, we often focus on developing skills like decision-making, problem-solving, and effective communication. While these are undoubtedly crucial, there’s one foundational element that is critical for these skills to be truly effective: listening. 

Listening is more than just hearing words; it’s about understanding, empathizing, and connecting with others.  

In our Managers Matter challenge groups, we talk about how important listening is, yet how easy it is to fail. Often, we find ourselves talking too much, offering help too quickly, jumping to conclusions, or getting distracted. Instead, we need to be A+ listeners with these three tips:  

  1. Absorb: block out distractions to fully engage 
  1. Ask: asking questions to understand more deeply 
  1. Attend: giving full body attention 

We encourage our participants to put into action what they are learning In the Managers Matter Challenge Groups. During a recent session, we emphasized the importance of active listening. Participants took up the challenge and committed to: 

  • Be more present and pay attention to body language  
  • Allow more silence to encourage others to talk  
  • Slow down to connect personally   
  • Remove distractions   
  • Know when to speak and when to listen  

Remember, listening is a skill that can be developed. With practice, patience, and commitment, you, too, can become a great listener – enabling yourself to become an even greater leader. So, let’s join the challenge to be a great listener. 

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