Good listening skills are something we should have learned as supervisors. But as we move up the leadership chain we can find ourselves doing more directing and less listening. The enthusiasm we have for our ideas and plans sometimes shuts off constructive criticism. Consequently, our decisions and perhaps our success would improve if we inclined our ear more to those who see it differently.
“Listening is the front end of decision making. It’s the surest, most efficient route to informing the judgments we need to make, yet many of us have heard, at one point or other in our careers, that we could be better listeners. Good listening—the active and disciplined activity of probing and challenging the information garnered from others to improve its quality and quantity—is the key to building a base of knowledge that generates fresh insights and ideas. Put more strongly, good listening, in my experience, can often mean the difference between success and failure in business ventures (and hence between a longer career and a shorter one).” Source: The executive’s guide to better listening – McKinsey Quarterly – Governance – Leadership
Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to see the roadblocks to better listening and improved decision making. If you’d like help you can reach me by replying to this post or using the “Contact Us” tab.