How do you rate as a listener? What score would you give yourself out of 10?
Listening to others is a fundamental part of any relationship, whether that be in our work or personal lives. Listening is the art of not just hearing what someone has to say, but also picking up what they aren’t saying. Good listeners also really help others to dig deeper, identify what they are thinking and to make sense of their thoughts.
There is a definite link between listening to others and their mental health.
Last week was Global Mental Health Awareness week. The challenging time of Covid has really brought home the reminder of how important it is to look after our mental health.
Recently on LinkedIn and our SeeChange Facebook page, Tracy has been offering tips on HOW we can get back to work in a healthy way as we move into the next phase after the last few challenging months. It’s about helping leaders to engage their team, to draw on the lessons learnt from Covid and explore what’s possible going forward.
A common theme in Tracy’s advice is to listen to your team. Leaders, now more than ever, it’s so important to spend time with your team, listen to their concerns, listen to their ideas. And hear them – really hear them.
Listening to your team is the biggest gift you can give them to support their mental health.
Because we all love to be listened to and be heard.
If you’d like to go deeper and polish your listening skills, this is fantastic podcast by Oscar Trimboli from Coaching for Leaders. Oscar is an Aussie leader who speaks very insightfully and practically about the art of deep listening. He has some fantastic points we could all utilise!
A couple of key takeaways for us were:
- Senior leaders should spend up to 80% of their time listening
- In the past the focus has always been on leaders being able to speak persuasively and with influence. Oscar firmly believes the successful leaders in the 21st century will be those who create the time to deeply listen to their people – and then act on what they hear
- It’s rare for us to explore our own thinking let alone for someone to create the ‘space and place’ for us to explore what we are really thinking. A good listener can help us identify what we are thinking as sometimes we aren’t sure ourselves.
Do yourself a favour and take 40 minutes to listen to Oscar – if could make all the difference for you as a leader and your team.