“The more you talk about them, the more important they will feel. The more you listen to them, the more important you will make them feel” – Roy T. Bennett

“Respect” and “Recognition” continues  to top the chart  of employees expectations at work. Both are related to each other. People feel respected when they are positively recognized. Many organisations understand this. They try their best to recognise people with rolling out lots of recognition programs in form of awards and citations etc. which is good but not enough. People expect “culture”of “respect” & “recognition”, a continued sense of being respected and recognized. Organisations can not just rely on traditional way of recognition to fulfil these expectations. Listening is a great way of making people feel recognized and respected hence Leaders need to create a culture of listening.

One of the most sincere forms of respect is – actually listening to what another has to say. 

Bryant H. McGill

A culture of Listening has other bonuses  as well, like – avoiding conflicts, getting pulse of people who form organization, making people feel valued, persuading them etc. 

Not listening is the reason for so many misunderstandings and conflicts. 

-Johnny Flynn

The best way to persuade people is with your ears – by listening to them. 

-Dean Rusk

Listening is  not just “hearing”, it’s much more than that. People can easily identify if you are actually listening or just hearing. Listening is a skill that helps progressing one towards personal and professional leadership. I seldom find a “leader” without good listening skills. 

A good listener takes care of below four key attributes (BCCC) of good listening skills:-

B – Body language – Any conversation is much more than exchange of content. Tone, emotions, eye contact, posture, facial expressions etc. conveys more things than the words of speakers.  Body language help understand the mood of speaker better than anything.

Tone is often the most important part of a conversation – and listening is so much more important than what you say. 

-Hoda Kotb

C – Connect – connect to speaker by actively engaging in conversation – Ask question to clarify & understand the content. Be attentive and open-minded while listening. Provide regular feedback and appreciation without jumping to conclusion. Take care not to interrupt and impose your solutions, let the speaker put their thoughts across. Please note that faking to connect can be counter productive. This is the mistake many listener commit. Being able to connect to speakers is the most important among all the four points. ‘Connecting’ has the power to make speakers feel valued, respected and recognized.

There is difference between listening & waiting for turn to speak

Simon sinek

“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.” 

– Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

C – Content  – understand speaker’s content

C – Context  – understand the context of conversation

Listening is a skill. Skills can be developed with practice.  A simple exercise can help one in getting habit of listening. Each one of us has multiple conversations on daily basis; personal & professional. A person should set a goal of practicing BCCC in any three conversations daily for two weeks, I personally recommend to start with personal conversations. One should daily analyse her progress on application of BCCC before going to bed; taking short personal notes can be of immense help here if you find difficult to do it in mind. Extend the exercise for two more weeks with a goal of five BCCC conversations daily. 

All the best!!

Listening is a master skill for personal and professional greatness. 

-Robin S. Sharma


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