There is a reality to the clarity with which even the most self-proclaimed straightforward people speak. As an executive, or leader of any type, your ears are among your most valuable “Tools.” Listening to what people are telling you requires that we hear the words they say, as well as what they do not say, and be able to decipher what they really mean.
Focus Your Attention
We all have a lot going on in everyday life. To truly listen to others, we must put much of our own thoughts aside. Our desire to move quickly through a conversation can prevent us from being completely present. Truly listening means: we do not react; we put our own thoughts away for the moment; we pay attention to body language and non-verbal cues; and we genuinely focus on the one who is speaking.
Commit the Time
Give people their moment with you. Tune into them…and only them. Ignore all the other noise in the channel and hear what they say, from all perspectives. You are important to them – they have something to say and your job is to really listen.