Communication is a skill every leader needs. Often, we forget that half of communication is listening. Good leadership means you hear what others are saying. Are you listening effectively or putting up barriers?

Do You Evaluate as You Listen? 

Instead of hearing what the other person says, you might agree or disagree with their message. This means you’re listening through your own experience. You might miss critical information this way.

Do You Have Room to Listen to Another Perspective? 

Some people speak and have no room to hear another point-of-view. It might be anger or frustration, but you get so focused on your own experience, you can’t hear any other message.

Do You Assume What the Other Person Will Say? 

If you listen and project your own thoughts as the message is given, you may be missing out. You may think you know what the end game is, because you assume you understand what the person is thinking. Leadership means that you listen to the other person, then choose how to respond.

Are You Listening With Judgment? 

A listener who disagrees or criticizes everything that is said is listening with judgment. If you listen this way, people will stop sharing anything with you. Good leaders hear someone out without judgment.

Are You Speaking to Get Agreement? 

Some speakers only want their listeners to agree with them. These types of speakers won’t hear any other point-of-view and miss out on valuable information.

Do You Find Yourself Getting Defensive? 

Some people listen and get defensive about what is being said. They may take it personally or just not want to explore other ideas. If you find yourself saying, “yeah, but” to what is being communicated, this might be you.

Do You Want to Be Right? 

Some people listen and respond to the message with advice. Not every problem is yours to solve. You need to avoid the should-message and listen to what the speaker wants.

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