People listen to people who listen

Avoidable signs of not listening:

  • Hostile tone
  • Passive aggressive questioning
  • Response before thought / considering viewPoint of other party
  • Lack of empathy / unwillingness to acknowledge concerns and opinions of others
  • Negative body language
  • Use of the wrong communication medium / inviting miss-understanding

When others make one or more of these mistakes, be a leader and do not oblige with the same approach/mistake. If you are their leader, do take the time to reflect on their approach and coach afterwards. If it is a peer, realize that taking the same approach in a response fuels divide; you can’t make someone else grow, but how you react will have an impact and influence regardless of the chain of command.

And when we are guilty of not listening we should have humility, correct it, and move forward together. Grow from it – it is what others expect and what will be respected.

“Leadership is a trait used to describe individuals that have the ability to influence teams to work towards and achieve common goals”

Leadership is one of the hardest topics to define, and each definition is more of an opinion.  It is extremely difficult to define leadership with one sentence, therefore I have elaborated on the key words within my succinct opinion of leadership:

  • Influence – Leaders must have the ability to motivate others, both personally and professionally. People need influence the most when change is required (which is always). To influence, the leader must be a passionate person and must be passionate about the new objectives. Leaders must also understand how influential it is to give before receiving, and must instill the concept in others in an effort to grow the leadership within.
  • Teams – Success of the organization depends on the people within. Leaders must build teams with the right people and with people who fit. Teams must have their own internal leaders in order to plan and execute. Leaders must have a keen understanding of each team’s dynamic, purpose, and how all teams fit together. If relating leadership to art, building teams within an organization is similar to painting the perfect picture on a canvas.
  • Common goals – People look to leaders to be visionaries and good planners, which are requirements, but goals are only common if drafted with a democratic process. Taking the time and effort to strengthen the quality of goals by soliciting feedback, gains the commitment of others, which allows the organization to execute like a dictatorship once the goals are set. Combining the two styles provides focus and commitment, which leads to goal achievement. How do you define leadership?

Please provide comments to this post if you have your own opinion/definition of leadership.