There are leaders who use power to lead and there are leaders who are powerful in that they don’t use power or fear or the usual tools to get things done, they use a different tool set that influences and empowers the people around them to be their best. One of these tools is Listening. For people who are used to being at the front and making decisions listening seems tedious at best and a waste of time. Why do you need to spend the next 20 minutes listening to stuff you already know the answer to ?
I hear this often in my 3 day Culture Immersion workshop where the shift from unilateral control to a more Teal based, collaborative culture and so leadership is the name of the game. This shift relies on a new way of listening – not for content, which is how we normally listen and why we get bored so quickly, but to how the other person is perceiving and interpreting the content. Teal leaders are confident in the content, they don’t need to own it or control it.
They are able to listen lightly to the content and instead of inserting their own answers into the space, they instead ask open ended questions that allow the speaker to become more familiar with the topic at hand and uncover new possibilities and ways of seeing and using the data they have.
This is a powerful and difficult shift to make. We are taught and trained to have the answer and that we are valued and safe if we show these answers off. Stop for a minute and remember those people who were the best to work for, those times when you were at your best ?
How many of those revolved around conversations and leaders who allowed you to discover the path yourself, leaders who didn’t give you their answer but allowed you to find your own (which turned out to be the same as there’s or quite similar) ?
So next time you find yourself getting annoyed because everyone is just telling you the same thing you already know, slow down and listen to how they understand and ask yourself what would be the most powerful question you could ask that would allow them to go, ‘ AHA!’.
If this is a skill you would like to uncover and cultivate,, come along to our next Culture Immersion and experience for your self how you show up and the impact you have on others…and then practice a new way of engaging.
More info on this immersion can be found here