There is often a conflict for leaders between their schedules, the maintenance of key relationships and having enough time to stop and carefully listen to those they interact with. The ability to listen and evaluate what is being shared is very different from listening on the run and not having the time to consider what was heard. And it is a common problem for leaders with out of control schedules.
Many individuals who talk to leaders feel that they were not heard and many are right. They were heard on the fly and what was shared was not truly considered because their leader was preoccupied with other issues and already moving on to the next thing as the conversation took place.
The problem with this is twofold. First, good ideas and counsel can easily be missed or marginalized because a leader does not have the time to stop, listen and evaluate. Second, leadership depends on influence and influence comes from relationship. Leaders who do not listen well usually also don't keep key relationships and eventually lose influence.
The question is not whether I "hear" those who talk to me but whether I have the time and energy to truly be present in the conversation and then the time to evaluate what was shared. Many leaders miss key information and commit significant blunders because they did not take the time to truly listen and evaluate. Their busyness comes back to bite them.
We will interact with many people today. Will we truly be present with them in those interactions and will we take the ideas, suggestions and concerns seriously because we stopped to think about it? It is both good leadership and respect for those we interact with.
All of T.J. Addington's books including his latest, Deep Influence, are available from the author for the lowest prices and a $2.00 per book discount on orders of ten or more.