Impressive listening skills have been identified as one common characteristic of credible leaders. A willingness to listen carefully to constituents and, if necessary, to hear the bad news keeps leaders from being isolated from critical feedback. When they can get information from a variety of sources, across functions and levels, they are able to know what is going on. To serve others well, leaders must be in touch with them, listen to them, and respect them. Ever try getting good service at a restaurant when your waiter or waitress is never around, is too busy, or seems to think something you have asked for was too much bother?

Being able to listen to the news, good and bad, is a basic ingredient for staying in touch. When things are going well, it’s not all that difficult to hear the good news. It’s how we react to news about mistakes and difficulties that may be the better indicator of whether or not constituents feel like keeping us in touch. From the constituent’s perspective, the question is always, “Did they still shoot the messenger with bad news?”

Credible leaders take the time to listen and learn.

Source: Credibility by Kouzes and Posner



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