I recently posted a link to an article on my Twitter page about “leadership deficit” at government agencies. The article featured commentary by Ron Sanders, senior executive advisor and fellow at Booz Allen Hamilton. Sanders noted several reasons for this deficit in the public sector that include the GS classification system, the value of technical skills over the ability to inspire and engage, and the shortage of budget to allocate to federal management’s leadership development. What about listening skills?
People need to feel heard. In any relationship, effective listening may be the most important skill for building trust and creating a strong connection. Many managers believe that they are good listeners, while their employees feel otherwise. In his new book, Power Listening, chairman and founder of Ferrari Consultancy, Bernard Ferrari lists several behaviors great listeners demonstrate.
- Show respect – seek input and involve all levels of your staff
- Keep quiet – allow others to speak 80% of the time, while you speak only 20%.
- Challenge assumptions – seek to understand and challenge the assumptions that lie below the surface of every conversation
Listen to Blanchard Senior Consulting Partner and author Dr. Vicki Halsey give a brief overview of how managers can improve their listening and feedback skills in a way that leaves direct reports feeling heard and that helps them to focus on improving performance.
You can also listen to the entire webinar on how to develop an organization-wide understanding of how providing effective feedback, combined with good listening skills improves trust and respect between leaders and the people they lead.