Many people, falsely/ incorrectly, seem to often, equate hearing, with, actually, listening! In leadership – type situations/ scenarios, this difference, and using the latter, rather than the former approach, taking – advantage of the best path, forward, enhances the possibilities/ potential, for gaining, far – more, knowledge and expertise, which might make a significant difference, in one’s ability to effectively, serve and represent, his stakeholders, to a far – greater degree! Although, hearing is one of a human’s senses, effective listening is a meaningful skill, which helps leaders, better – communicate, and discover, the best path, forward! With, that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 5 ways, these two entities, may differ, significantly.
1. Effectiveness/ thorough/ attention: After, over four decades, of involvement, in nearly, every aspect, related to leading, I firmly, believe, quality leadership can and should, only, be measured, based – on, its effectiveness, and relevance! While one can, possibly, hear something, but not listen effectively, it is impossible, to be an effective listener, unless, one hears, what others, say, and perceive! When one listens, he optimizes his possibilities, to thoroughly, consider and examine, all relevant factors, and proceed, paying keen attention to both, the actual, and perceived priorities, etc, of those he serves, and represents!
2. Caring/ empathy: One of the key differences between these two, is, while the former, is inactive, the latter, permits one, to be proactive, and learn, what may make a significant difference, for the better! Quality leaders must be caring, and only, when one, proceeds, consistently, with effective listening, can he possess the level, of genuine empathy!
3. Balance between speaking and listening: For most, their favorite sound, is that, of their own voice! Simply, hearing, rarely, creates meaningful communication, but, when one effectively, listens, and learns, from every conversation, and experience, and gains greater expertise, better judgment, and, hopefully, a further degree of wisdom!
4. Focus/ emphasis: Hearing, rarely, enhances one’s focus, in a meaningful, productive way! However, when one is a good listener, he learns, and discovers, where, he should place, his emphasis!
5. How information, acquired, is used?: Quality leaders realize, they must, not, merely, hear and gain, information, but, must be, ready, willing, and able, to effectively, use this, to better represent constituents!
It only take two ears, and good health, to hear, but, these, must be combined with, a willingness to become better, and more relevant, and sustainable, to effectively listen, and learn! Are you up to these tasks?
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