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  • Writer's pictureJohan Smith

The power of listening

Listening asks for your time.

Listening asks for your focus.

Listening asks for your attention.

Listening asks sacrifice.

Listening asks for your ears.

Listening asks for your eyes.

Listening asks for your energy.

Listening shows interest.

Listening shows care.

… that’s why to listen is to love.

When you read these heartfelt thoughts, I hope they soften your heart. Perhaps you now understand a little better why people, including you, want to feel heard. You also really want to feel that somebody has heard you. Indeed, if you listen in the above manner, you’ll really hear someone.

Perhaps this is why James writes so beautifully in James 1 verse 19:

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry – NIV

Too many leaders think they’re bosses. Too many think that communication is talking, talking and more talking. Many also think their talking should regularly be angry, autocratic and condescending towards others. This is the typical behavior of a boss, not a leader. These bosses are perceived and experienced as poor communicators, and therefore also poor leaders.

If you really want to be a leader, learn how to listen once again. Acquire the art to make others feel that you are hearing them. No, you don’t have to do everything for everyone. Just let them feel heard.

It is an especially important leadership skill but also a huge challenge: listen to the people in your presence. And no, they’re not beneath you, they are with you in your organization. If you don’t understand this, you’re going to talk down. Then you exemplify the boss mentality. In terms of today’s leadership, you’ll score extremely low marks.

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