Sometimes I have to work on the weekend, and typically I’m not too stoked about it. But this upcoming weekend is a different story.
On Sunday I’ll be spending the day with 27 incredible philanthropic leaders from across the country as I co-lead Exponent Philanthropy’s Coaching for Effective Philanthropy Program.
During our time together, I’ll be supporting these funders to develop one skill that can transform the way they lead their foundations …
I can hear you saying, “Really? Listening can transform my leadership?” (they call that imaginary listening).
I know. It’s a bold statement. But think about this for a second …
Have you ever worked with someone who was a really great listener? Someone who, when spending time with you, made you feel completely heard and understood? What was it like to work with him or her?
And how about someone who didn’t listen to you, or others, at all? Someone who, perhaps, was so busy multi-tasking or making a mental to-do list instead of listening to who and what was right in front of them. What was it like to work with that person?
As a nonprofit leader, listening deeply to others will help you …
- Learn who your clients are and what they need
- Understand and support your coworkers in a much more powerful way
- Inspire others to do their best work for you and your organization
- Cultivate connected relationships that are necessary to be an effective leader
But don’t just take it from me. Lots of experts have researched and proven just how impactful deep listening can be …
This weekend’s NPR Ted Radio Hour featured Julian Treasure, a sound expert, who explains how conscious listening creates understanding and shares 5 practical exercises that will help you become a better listener.
Google conducted a study -- which HBR found important enough to write about-- to discover what sets apart their highly effective managers from average ones. They found that the single most important managerial competency is coaching, and the core skill of coaching is deep listening.
Stephen Covey includes listening as one of his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and explains how you can use empathic listening to more deeply connect and collaborate with others.
Imagine what would be different if you were able to bring a higher quality of listening to your clients, coworkers, partners, and supporters.
And why not start right now? Today, tomorrow, and for the next week, set an intention of deeply listening to your coworkers … your board members … your clients … and every person you interact with.
What's your take?
Share with us, in the comments below, how your listening journey is going. What are you noticing? What helps you to listen deeply to others? What gets in the way? And what practical tips and exercises are supporting you to become a better listener and more effective leader?
Thanks, as always, for listening :)
PS – If you know anyone who might find this interesting, please feel free to send them the link. We love sharing!