NEW Leadership Academy: Lead by listening
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Posted by: Rufino Cabang
"Great teamwork is
impossible without great listening," Kate Nau, senior vice president,
finance and corporate treasurer at The Schwan Food Company, told more than 250
Leadership Academy attendees, Oct.
Nau joined Jewel Hunt, group
vice president of corporate bakery for The Albertsons Companies, for
"Listening Like a Leader," sharing keys to effective listening, being
present with others and letting others feel fully heard. Jo Miller, CEO of
Women's Leadership Coaching, moderated the discussion.
feedback – from top to bottom – helps you build a more cohesive plan," Hunt
"Leaders who don't listen are stating they have all the answers,"
The act of "listening" is not always understood, the executives
agreed. "Find out what's important to your audience," Hunt advised,
"and check for understanding."
"Quality listening is different from constant affirmation," Nau explained, adding "the best way to show that you care about your team or your partners is by listening.
"It's never too late to
admit to someone that you could have listened better. Ask them for help."
In the present
Essentials to being a good
listener to individuals or in a group include:
- Putting the
- Avoiding side conversations
- Sharing, having others share and finding common areas
- Remembering everyone matters
"Be brave," Nau
urged listeners. "Tell people when you're not sure they're listening, and
how it makes you feel."
Hunt offered this advice to
those who feel their leaders may not be listening: "Engage. Ask
Being yourself, as a speaker and a listener, serves the greater good.
"Diversity of thought and style helps us learn better," Hunt said.
"Leaders need to be genuine and authentic."
Being right is not the same
as winning, Nau said. "Try, 'Help me understand why you're taking this
position' – draw out the driver of the disagreement."
listening skills a key part of your coaching conversations with
subordinates," Nau recommended.
"Not every idea is a winning idea," Hunt reminded listeners.
"Fail fast, move on, innovate continually, and you will find the leader in
yourself and others."