Influencing Others With Effective Listening Skills
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
As a leader your communication and listening skills are critical to your personal and organisational success. As you think back to people who have influenced you most during your career you will notice that they are people with superior communication skills. Influence is the process of winning the hearts and minds of your people and to do so without the need for “line authority”.
In order to improve your influence you may wish to try this simple listening and communication exercise. When you are with someone ensure you are truly “with” them. By this I mean focus on them to the exclusion of any other possible distractions. In order to achieve this you can do a number of environmental things such as ensuring your diary allows sufficient time to deal with them, that phones are diverted, that the venue is appropriate. While each of these is important the most critical aspect is your intention – if you demonstrate an intention to genuinely listen and understand you will overcome any environmental or skill issues.
As you reflect to the communication you have received in your career that has truly influenced you, you will observe that the person communicating with you has given their total and undivided attention to you for a period of time. While communication skills have a degree of influence, people overlook a lack of skill when genuine intention of communication and listening is demonstrated.