Trait of a Great Leader

Listening.......

Did you get that? To be a great leader, you need to be a great listener.

Studies show that the greatest portion of our communication in life is spent listening. (40-70%). The remaining is split between writing, talking and reading. (Baker et al. 1980) If this is true you'd think that we would all be great leaders....

The problem is that most leaders are doing far more talking, reading and writing than listening. (I might add you and I are proving this true right now. I am writing and you are reading!) When we are listening we are rarely present in the conversation. We are often thinking about what we will say next, or thinking about the next place we will be, event we will attend or conversation we will have. We are more attentive to our thoughts and needs than we are those of other people.

The result is that we miss out on great ideas, great conversations, great relationships and great team work. But, without these essential ingredients, we will never be great leaders. The Bible has something simple, but profound to say about this: "Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue". (James 1:19) The reality is as leaders we often do the opposite. 

I am not saying any of this as if I totally understand, or as if I am a great example. I am sharing this, because it is one of the things I am working on in my life. I am trying to listen more, and talk less. And, if you know me.......this is not easy! Do you struggle with this same thing?