When people think of great leaders, they often cite speeches these people gave. This makes it easy to associate leadership with talking. If you’re the boss, your team should listen to you.
And that’s true. You want your team to listen to you when you speak.
But to gain that kind of respect, it can often be useful to listen more to what your team has to say.
When you spend more time listening to those who follow you, you offer your team the space to shine. You hired your team because they’re great at what they do, right? It’s your job as a leader to help bring them to their own potential. When they have free space to communicate their ideas and concerns, they have more room to grow.
As a leader who listens more, you’ll learn more about how your team works. This gives you time to observe them and hear their thoughts. What do they think is working? What do they think isn’t working? By gaining their insights, you’ll have more perspectives to make your decisions with.
As an added bonus, as someone who speaks less, when you do speak, your team should give more weight to your words. If you talk a lot, your team won’t remember everything you say. There are just too many things. But when you speak less and still communicate your ideas effectively, people will consider your words more carefully, especially since you’ve already shown them the respect of listening to their ideas.
Creating a culture and team where everyone feels heard is an essential skill that leaders work hard to master, but it’s worth it when it encourages effective communication among your team.