Over 40 years ago, Robert Greenleaf coined the idea of servant-leadership in the workplace in his book, The Servant as Leader. 

Today, there continues to be a ‘quiet’ revolution in workplaces around the world based on the work of this insightful thought leader.  Listening is at the center of this movement.   At its core, servant leadership is a way of being that has the potential for creating positive change throughout our society.  The Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership has identified specific characteristics that fuel this way of leading and LISTENING is at the center.

Following are the top 5 characteristics of a servant leader.

  1. LISTENING: Servant leaders have a deep commitment to listening intently to others.  They care!  The servant-leader seeks to identify the will of a group and helps clarify that will.
  2. EMPATHY: The servant-leader strives to understand and empathize with others.  They listen to understand AND also to validate the feelings of others.
  3. HEALING: Servant-leaders are mindful of the need to develop their capacity to heal one’s self and others through the art and practice of deep listening.
  4. AWARENESS: Servant-leaders develop their sense of awareness that helps them in understanding important issues, especially those involving ethics and values.  This aids them in viewing most situations from a more integrated position.
  5. PERSUASION: Servant-leaders rely on their ability to persuade rather than their positional authority.  They are effective at building consensus with groups which requires both speaking and listening.

PLANT A ‘LISTENING PAYS SEED’ OF YOUR OWN: Check yourself on each of these 5 behaviors.  Which one is your greatest strength? Your greatest need?

For additional information, visit the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, www.greenleaf.org

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