I Listened

4251071698_0249329460 How is listening improving your leadership?
In the 1999 movie, “The 13th Warrior”, Antonio Banderas plays an Arab in the company of a band of Norsemen. There is a scene where all the Norsemen are talking in a language the audience cannot understand while the lone Arab sits intently. Eventually the entire conversation is in English meaning the Arab can now understand what they are saying. When he responds to an insult in their language, one of the Norsemen angrily questions, “Where did you learn our language?” He responds simply, “I listened!”Effective communications is the quintessential skill for effective leadership and listening is a crucial component to effective communications. Many leaders attend class after class on how to speak and present, while very few, if any, have been to an effective listening class! Listening has always been a key part of my own success as a leader and I will use those examples to highlight the value...
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“The single biggest problem in communication…

…is the illusion that it has taken place.”In the fast-moving, technology-fueled world we live and work in, we could easily be forgiven for falling prey to the illusion portrayed in George Bernard Shaw’s quote above.  As an Irish Playwright, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925 so he certainly knew a thing or two about communications.  It also supports my belief that there are time-tested tenets of Leadership Communications that are consistent with the passing of time.  However, in the 24/7 always-on world it is the context of Leadership Communications that has changed dramatically further perpetuating the illusion that it actually takes place at all!Effective Leadership occurs when both the sender and the receiver understand the shared meaning of the message.  It is in this shared meaning in which the illusion actually occurs.  In my own experience in the last 30+ years, effective communications is the number one challenge...
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