There is an art and science to being a great listener

I don’t get much time to catch my breath after my trip to Santa Barbara this Saturday before I leave on Tuesday for Seattle, Washington. Next Wednesday I’m the luncheon speaker at the monthly meeting of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Western Washington. The luncheon meeting will be held at McCormick & Schmicks Harborside Restaurant and I’ll be speaking from noon to 1:00 p.m. If you’re in Seattle and would like to attend, please let me know immediately.

The subject of my talk is The Mindset of a Leader. These days, the information I will present is critical to anyone in a leadership position for a really good reason: according to the latest Gallup poll, 7 out of 10 American workers are either “checked out” or actively disengaged. This costs our companies trillions of dollars in a lack of creativity and productivity and absenteeism and turnover.

Most of this could be solved if people in a leadership position understood how to be an effective leader. Over the years, I’ve met dozens of people who just raved about their leader. They would do anything for him or her. They were fully engaged at work and were willing to do whatever they were asked to do. They were the 30% who were truly satisfied at work.

In every single case, when I asked them: what was it about him or her that made him such a great leader, the answer was always the same: he was a great listener! I could always go and talk to him/her about what was on my mind and he/she would listen. I felt genuinely cared about and always left our conversation feeling heard and appreciated.

So you can understand my excitement about this program because there is an art and science to being a truly great listener and that is exactly what I will be speaking about. I’ll let you know next week how it goes.