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Levels of Listening

One of the most important elements of leadership is listening. Listening is not just a skill, but it’s fundamental to creating high performing teams. What kind of listening do you do most as a leader?

Listening to Win

This is the kind of listening that tries to make you right and the other person wrong. This is not because we are trying to be belligerent or to have an argument. Often we listen to win for the nicest possible motivations-like wanting the other person to feel better.

Listening to Fix

For most of us, especially leaders, it feels like the one we are paid to do. Our minds begin formulating a solution before the person has even finished talking. Listening to fix also can look like asking a bunch of diagnostic questions to try to understand the situation better, so you can help fix it.

Listening to Learn

Listening to learn requires that we pay no attention to being right. Instead we need to hold off, set aside our perspective for a minute or two, and try to understand the way that the other person is seeing the issue. In the process, you step out of your own perspective and really become curious about theirs.

How can you refocus on “listening to learn” in your role? When we listen to learn, we are present, connected, open and curious. As you go through your day, commit to “listening to learn” and transform your team communication.


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