Larry Spears of the Spears Center for Servant Leadership has written about ten characteristics of a servant leader. The first he lists is listening. Leaders need “a deep commitment to listening intently to others . . . he or she listens receptively to what is being said and unsaid" (2010, p. 27). Regardless of leadership style or your desire to lead, you should know and practice listening.
You cannot actively listen to every conversation. The key is to actively listen when the conversation is important, if not for you, then for the person speaking. Being an active listener is a skill that comes with practice. It is not natural for us to really listen well. You will meet some people in the workplace who may have this skill. Good if you do. Active listeners see and hear things that others may easily miss. It is a skill worth developing.
Spears, L. C. (2010). Character and servant leadership: Ten characteristics of effective, caring leaders. The Journal of Virtues & Leadership, 1 (1), 25-30.
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