One key to leadership learning is listening, which leads to awareness. A successful leader learns to listen closely to what is being said by team members and to fully focus on the meaning of what is said. Conquering this aspect of leadership will aid both you and the members of your team in being successful.
Decide What is Important
There is no shortage of information and stimuli. We are often surrounded by more than we can even begin to absorb. As a leader you should hone your skills in regards to determining what information is actually the most valuable and insightful. This will help you to decide who you should listen to, what social media outlets are relevant to you and your employees, whether or not you can apply filters to automatically discard useless information, and if you can streamline the information that is most important to you and your employees.
Practice Your Leadership Learning Skills
Listening does not always come easy, even for a leader. You should practice as much as possible to better your skills. One way to do this is to select a person who you find knowledgeable in a certain arena and to discuss a specific topic with that person, seeking out his or her own insights and opinions. After your discussion, write down what the individual said and what you learned from the discourse. The more you do this the more you will train your brain in the art of listening, synchronizing what you are hearing with what you are learning.
The Unspoken Words
Communication can often be vague for a variety of reasons. Being straightforward can be difficult for some individuals, particularly if a topic is an uncomfortable or difficult one. An employee might have a difficult time communicating with you if he or she disagrees with you or is experiencing unhappiness in the workplace or with a colleague. Part of leadership learning is to sometimes intuit what isn’t being said. Be sure that you both practice and encourage communication that is direct and concrete. Do not be afraid to ask questions or bring to the table discussions that will encourage your employees to talk about even the difficult topics.
Stimulation Counters Stagnation
Falling into patterns can happen in any organization, leading to stagnancy in regards to performance and forward motion. Your leadership learning skills should include finding ways to stimulate your employees. The stimuli can sometimes be as simple as physically restructuring an office or devising some activities to boost morale and urge creative thinking. Try to keep a sense of freshness and innovation alive in the work environment. An environment that stimulates employees will ensure that they keep listening and learning.
Leadership Learning and Democratic Listening
One concept of leadership learning that will serve you well is to listen to people whom you haven’t taken the time to listen to before. You just might stumble on a bounty of new information. This will also challenge you to pay attention to employees who have been under your radar. Actively seek input from someone you have not before approached. You will most likely be surprised by what you learn.