One of the most important skills that a leader needs is one of communication. Communication is made up of two parts both of which are very important, but the first one is vital to the second. That first skill is listening. The focus and attitude for listening can really make the difference in a leader that is respected by others or not.
How do we teach our children about listening. There are several ways of showing that we are listening to others including, looking at them in the eyes, nodding from time to time, being able to repeat what they say back to them, keeping our bodies still and not fidgeting, and not being distracted by electronics, noises, others, or even worst – our own thoughts.
When I was talking to our students about this subject, I told some of them that sometimes I find my eye wandering to see who is next in line to speak to me. Have you ever done that? Well I have and I am working on practicing keeping my eyes, attention and thoughts on the person and the message they are delivering to me.
Being a good communicator also includes being able to speak well. For many of our students it may start with speaking loud enough for others to hear them. Now when we get the volume up we have to think about the attitude of the voice and person. Which of the following 3 types of leaders are they; passive, aggressive, or assertive?
A passive leader is one that seldom does the work and finds it difficult to make decisions. They may even agree with everyone but not want to be responsible for making a call or decision. The aggressive leader is full of opinions, generally their own, and are more than happy to push them on everyone around them. They seldom are good listeners.
Then there is the assertive leader. This person is a good listener, willing to hear out all opinions and ideas before drawing a conclusion and making an advised decision. This assertive leader would ask others to help them in a kind way and would always be willing to say thank you. They would recognize to others the work of his group and be willing to share the rewards. This is the kind of leader most of us would like to work for, this is the kind of leader we all want to be.