Leadership: Listening

Leaders realize the importance of this quality. When it comes down to it, leaders have to listen well to lead well. What do leaders listen to? Who do they listen to? The answer to those questions will determine the effectiveness of a leader.

Listen to God.

Leaders must take time to listen to and for God. Psalm 46:10 is clear that we must be still and know that God is God. Taking time to listen for God’s voice is essential for a leader’s success. Leaders can hear God’s voice in the midst of crisis because they have learned what His voice sounds like in times of peace. Daily taking time to heed God’s voice and listen to what God has to say is a discipline every leader should make priority.

Listen to yourself.

Leaders cannot second guess themselves. Following one’s heart, head, and inner voice is crucial. As leaders it is important to take a step back and listen to the way one sounds, the words being used as well as the tone. Listening to the complaints one gives to the choice of words emanating from one’s heart certainly cannot be ignored. Leaders have to lead themselves first. Listening to your own heart and mouth go hand in hand.

Listen to others.

What do others say about you? What do others say to you? Are you listening? Have you asked? If you are so bold as a leader, ask others what they think of your leadership and then listen to what they have to say. If you are under some criticism about a recent decision, listen to the complaint and seek to hear why people are upset. Ignoring people and neglecting responses or complaints will shorten your life as a leader. A leader worth following takes time to listen to people. When that leader listens, even if people are not happy with a decision, the relationship is salvaged. And leadership is all about relationships!

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