The Power of Listening: A Key Leadership Skill in Today’s Communication Landscape

Between talking, listening, writing, and reading, what type of communication do you think people engage in most each day? Additionally, what percentage of accredited undergraduate business programs in the United States do you believe listed oral presentation, conversing, and listening skills as goals?

The type of communication that people engage in most each day is listening (Lee & Hatesohl, 1983). Surprisingly, listening is also the area in which they have the least formal training (Lee & Hatesohl, 1983).

The percentages of undergraduate business programs in the U.S. that listed oral presentation, conversing, and listening as goals were 76%, 22%, and 11%, respectively (Brink & Costigan, 2015). Interestingly, researchers in 2007 showed that leaders with better listening skills had followers who were less stressed, perceived greater support, and also had a greater perception of job control than those leaders with subpar listening skills (Mineyama et al., 2007).

In our high-tempo world, there is no doubt that communication is the lifeblood that connects us all. However, the impact of skillful listening specifically cannot be understated. Listening absolutely plays a pivotal role in fostering strong leader-teammate relationships and overall team satisfaction (Lorenzo et al., 2018).

As a leader, honing your listening skills is a crucial step toward building a motivated and content team. Active listening involves more than just hearing words; it requires slowing down and being present, demonstrating understanding, patience, among other essential skills. By actively listening to your team members, you demonstrate respect for their perspectives and concerns, which fosters trust and an opportunity for buy-in.

Thanks for listening!

See you soon-

~ Tim