Leading a team is never easy. Why? Because a team is made up of individuals – each with their own needs, wants, and personal pressures. Throw in a global crisis, and things get even more difficult.
Last week, we identified ‘communication’ as a core trait of effective leadership. But communication needs to be a two-way street. And with all the different fears, concerns, expectations, and needs of your team, you need to listen too.
Good communication goes both ways. The most effective leaders balance the need for strategic direction and proactive action-taking with the ability to stop, listen, and hear their people’s feedback.
That doesn’t have to be through a survey – though we advocate ours as a powerful employee listening tool. But directly asking your teams what is and isn’t working is something more people should do – in addition to collecting feedback via surveys and other methods. By really listening to your teams, you create a culture of openness.
Our research has shown that listening is one of fundamental leadership skills that distinguishes ‘ok’ leaders from great leaders:
Listening is an easy concept, but a very difficult skill to master. But our data suggests it’s one of the most beneficial things for your leaders to get right, and can have a significant impact on people and organisational outcomes.