Listening to the people you are trying to persuade.
The purpose of leadership is to get someone, mainly a group of people, to do something – and that’s to follow you, to agree with your plans and to move to convincing others about your ideas.
You need to convey your message in a way that convinces them to get on board.
And the way you convince them is to listen to them. Not only listening to what they’re saying, but also to what they’re NOT saying. Listen between the lines.
When people are deciding whether to follow you or not, they have questions. They want answers. They want direction. They want solutions to tough questions – answers that affect their lives. They are asking “what’s in it for me?”
They need to trust who you are and what you stand for. Give them both. Show them who you are. Display, or better yet, live your core values and beliefs. Be a role model for anything and everything you expect from them.
Talk to your followers about who they are. What matters to them? What do they stand for? What is their level of commitment? Find out where the gaps are, and what information they are missing.
Before you can expect people to follow you, you need to understand them. The best way to do this is to listen. There are three levels to listening.
The first level of listening is with your ears. Your ears are naturally sensitive and designed to pick up words and sound. You hear what they are saying, when, and how they are saying it. You gather information. This level of listening requires your presence, but not much else. This is the listening level you put on when you’re attending a snooze fest training seminar where the keynote speaker sounds like Ben Stein.
The second level of listening is with your eyes. You are looking at the person sharing what is on her mind, opening up about what confuses her or causes her pain or excitement. At this level, you are watching from a nonjudgmental, unconditional view. Notice people’s facial expressions, and look into their eyes. See their intention. Listen to the emotion in their voice. Try to understand what is missing from the conversation.
The third level of listening is with your heart. This is the most difficult level of listening. It requires you to suspend all assumptions. You give your full attention to the person, stopping your mind from forming a response and giving your undivided attention. You take in everything you are observing. Your focus is on a deeper, emotional level. You are listening for meaning.
When you learn to listen at all three levels, you become an expert listener, which, in turn, guarantees you success as a skillful, intuitive and followed leader.
[This is only one of the many powerful articles in this week's Influence It! Real Power for Women free ezine. To enjoy the full issue, jam packed with insightful information on strategies to enhance your personal and professional life to achieve ultimate success, you must be a subscriber. Sign up for your own free subscription NOW by clicking here!]