Do you ever feel like your team isn’t listening? Do you feel like you are misunderstood, not heard, or what you say doesn’t matter? It may seem like the remedy is speaking louder, saying more, or trying to be more clear. What if the solution was LISTENING more! As a leader your key to a successful team is listening! Leaders listen! If questions are your superpower then you need to learn to listen! Read on to learn our definition of listening, see who you need to be listening to, and the importance of listening to yourself!
Have you ever wondered why no one was listening to you? Or wondered why your team wasn’t hitting their goals? I used to wonder that too! However, I realized that leaders need to listen (really listen) to their staff, ideal clients, trends in their industry, and their own positive self-talk if they want to be successful and with more ease. Leading people should feel like one wonderful and productive conversation after another all day long. It shouldn’t be stressful, uncomfortable, or awful in any way! If you believe this isn’t possible, read on to let me show you that it is! Take this to heart, leaders listen!
LEADERS LISTEN TO THEIR TEAM
As a young “manager” I was responsible for the performance of hundreds of employees but I had no idea how to lead. I didn’t realize that I needed to LISTEN way more than I TALKED! This resulted in the most challenging leadership job ever because no one listened to me! It’s funny how that works… but what wasn’t funny was how much of a struggle it was to get things done. Most people didn’t even like me, as I just bossed people around, and talked almost non-stop when I should have been listening. I never even paused to ask questions and you have to remember, questions are your superpower, as a leader, and in every relationship you have! The reason they’re so powerful is that they create the opportunity to LISTEN!
Around here we define real listening as being part of a conversation, and listening with the possibility of having your mind changed.
If you’re not open to changing your opinion or you are just listening until the other person is done talking so you can speak, there is no reason to open your mouth or ears! You need to really listen, and be open to what you receive! Here’s a bonus reminder, feedback is another one of our greatest tools if used correctly! Asking for feedback and hearing it can be a vulnerable position to put yourself in and that’s okay! Read more about that here. Use google forms for monthly staff feedback, and KPI meetings for monthly question-asking. When done correctly you’ll get all the information you need to motivate a super high-performing, happy, and engaged team!
If you’ve been with us for any amount of time you’ve probably heard me refer to Stephen Covey’s “trust buckets” concept. This is where you visualize an empty bucket between you and every other person you’re in a relationship with, then do your best to fill up their bucket drop by drop, one positive and trust-building interaction at a time. There’s just one horrible thing you need to know… it’s VERY EASY to kick the bucket over and spill out ALL of your drops! So – the bucket is easy to empty, but hard to fill. Not fair! I know. But that’s how it is. So, the good news is that listening (really listening) is one of the most effective bucket-filling activities. Validating people, hearing their opinions, and listening will do wonders for your relationships, and help you fill up those buckets! If and when you kick a bucket, you will have to start again for that relationship. So be conscious of your actions, and your emotional “wake” (the waves a boat leaves behind), and LISTEN more than you talk! I know… crazy right?! Leaders listen way more than they talk! It’s true. Trust me. I’ve been proving these concepts true for 21 years! Also, Forbes has a great article with 15 ways to sharpen your listening skills here because leaders listen!
LISTEN TO YOUR CLIENTS
Another important group of people you need to listen to are your ideal clients and your prospective ideal clients. As with your team, you’ll need to do surveys (google forms are great), in-person or video chat works, and ask questions then really listen to the answers! You’ll know you’ve found the right tools for your company when you’re getting great feedback, improving your company, AND your people are HAPPIER.
As a side note, when you receive feedback that is personal or unnecessarily unkind, take time to let your emotions settle, or talk to your counselor or coach before acting on it. You do NOT want to be acting out of emotion – especially negative emotion – as a leader. You want to be able to extract the constructive part of the feedback and leave the rest. You’ll get better at this quickly as you learn to listen to positive self-talk and develop a positive self-image.
LISTEN TO INDUSTRY TRENDS
To be a successful leader you have to be strategic and to do that you need to listen to the trends in your industry. You need to know what’s going on in the world, your industry, and your market. That said, I do not support you being a news junkie and filling your mind with negative, cringe-worthy, garbage information! You can be informed, without being inundated. To maintain a positive attitude and great relationships, you must fill your mind intentionally with mostly positive information!
LEADERS LISTEN TO THEMSELVES
Finally, you need to make sure your self-talk is positive! Read my blog on mindset, the most important key to your entire life!! Your subconscious is like an army ready to go to work on your every command, your command is every single thing you say to yourself, in your head or out loud! You will have also inherited some crappy beliefs or a negative self-image if you grew up with any adults. They, of course, did their best, in most cases but a lot of us are walking around as malfunctioning adults because of some belief that was created in our childhood! How silly is that?! I highly recommend two remedies:
- Read the Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (change this to billion or multi-million when you’re doing your exercises, it’s an old book) by T Harv Eker.
- Engage POSITIVE SELF-TALK: this means out loud or in your head. Your assignment starts now. Listen to yourself and correct all self-talk until you’re being KIND to yourself! Beating yourself up creates a ceiling that you’ll never “grind” your way past, I promise you. Forbes shared this article with some strategies for self-love and self-talk!
Good luck, and good for you for working so hard to be a great leader. Your team is lucky to have you.
Also, I can’t let you leave without reminding you of the importance of listening to the smart, amazing, caring people you surround yourself with! If you are looking for some of those types of people join our TMH VIP Mastermind group today for only $99/month! You will have access to myself and my team, business experts, live group coaching, the opportunity to learn with and from other entrepreneurs, a platform for asking questions, and have access to our training and resource library! Join today if you want to make a difference now!