First a quote; “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” —Nelson Mandela
It has been my experience most aspiring leaders desire to learn how to “speak like a leader” rather than “listen like a leader”. Most people don’t realize they will be judged as a leader, more by how they listen, than by how they speak.
The best spouses, parents and leaders have an innate ability to listen to what people say, and “hear” what they don’t. They’re able to listen intently to the entire message, including words, tone, gestures, posture and non-verbal’s to “hear” what hasn’t been said with actual words.
People we lead do this naturally, and are often quite skilled at “listening” to what hasn’t been said. For many people, these skills are a perceived necessity in terms of self-preservation. As they listen to what leaders say, they’re paying attention to what is not being said. They are looking for incongruence between a leader’s head and heart, between words and actions, between what has been said and what hasn’t been said.
They’re asking themselves:
– “Does this leader care about me, the team and what is best for the company?”
– “Does this leader have helpful or hurtful intentions?”
– “Is this leader for me, or against me?”
– “Does this leader balance head and heart?
Authenticity matters and people can often spot its absence in a leader’s communication. If you don’t believe it in your heart, don’t say it from your head.
I learned the following, years ago, from a book entitled “Managing from the Heart” by Hyler Bracey, Jack Rosenblum, Aubrey Sanford and Roy Trublood. Most of us desire the following contract with our leaders:
H – Hear and understand me
E – Even if you disagree, please don’t make me wrong
A – Acknowledge the greatness within me
R – Remember to look for my loving intentions
T – Tell me the truth with compassion
Management tends to be about hands, backs and behinds. Leadership is about head, heart and spirit.
How will you lead differently or better this week?
Be your best self this week!
“Expanding Your Capacity for Success”