The Best Leaders Listen Before They Speak

In the U.S., we have historically believed that leaders are powerful – and, by default, are excellent speakers. We also hold on tight to the belief that speakers are leaders and, therefore, powerful. Power, public speaking, and influence are almost always interconnected. However, today we are going to talk about why the best leaders are listeners and how good listening leads to influence. 

Leaders Show Up With A Purpose

When leaders show up – whether as speakers or writers, they show up with a purpose. Even small business owners, coaches, or entrepreneurs just starting in their digital platforms every time you show up, make a post, go LIVE, or write an email; there is a purpose to it. If there is no purpose, there is no sense in showing up. When leaders use words, quite simply, the words are to help meet a goal. But, sometimes, it feels as if those words fall on ears that don’t care. 

When Nobody Listens 

As leaders, coaches, and entrepreneurs, we are often passionate. We have a lot to say – and we think that everyone wants to hear about it. But – that isn’t always the way it works. People want to listen to what they feel is relevant, valuable, and going to help them meet their personal goals. That means when someone doesn’t think that what you have to say is appropriate, they won’t listen. Even if you know it is essential, it will reach uninterested ears until the listener thinks it is valuable.

How To Get People To Listen?

The best way to get people to listen is to listen to them. Yep. Listen to the chatter surrounding your listeners. What are they saying? What problems are they facing? What is motivating? Exciting? Frustrating? Listen to what your audience or your team is talking about – and then use it to engage them. Often, as leaders, we get so wrapped up in what we think is important that we forget to focus on what is essential to our audience. When we integrate what is helpful to them into our content, all of a sudden, we have an active, engaged audience. This is why we should always listen before we speak. 

Recreate Your Messages

As leaders, we know what our goals are. As leaders who listen, we can understand what the goals are of our teams. We can then determine how to present our messages in a way that is relevant to the people we are speaking to. This doesn’t mean you change your message. It means you change how you present your message. It means taking a step back and remembering, your goal is to get people to help you meet your goal. 

You must revisit how you are presenting your ideas so your team will rise, listen, and engage with you. When this happens, you are successful – while helping your audience find value in what you are talking about. 

Lead Through Listening 

Fundamentally, the best way to lead is through listening. It can feel good to talk. It can feel good to have eyes on you. It can feel good to think you are influencing people. However, sensing something and doing something are often quite different. The best way to connect with your audience is to listen to what they are saying – and use their words, emotions, and ideas to connect them to what you are bringing to the table. 

When you want to connect as a speaker or a writer, reach out to the Wordwell Group. Through an assessment of your leadership styling, content creation, and digital presence, we can help you build the online relationships you need to thrive. Schedule your appointment online, or email wordwellgroup.com for more information. 

You’re The Expert – Make Sure People Know That

As a communication coach, one of the biggest obstacles I see many people needing to overcome is knowing what their sphere of influence is.  

Let me explain what it means. Many terms I see flowing around are “multi-passionate” and “entrepreneur” and “mindset coach,” and once I even came across a self-touted “self-motivator.” What exactly does any of that mean? Those are all excellent terms – labels that can have great value. However, the one person who really needs to know what you do is you.

More importantly, you need to be able to tell people exactly what it is you can do and how you can help them.

If you add another layer on top of that, you need to be able to tell people what you do and why someone needs you or your product. 

Label Yourself So People Get You

You must label yourself in a way that people know what you do. I am a speaking coach. I am a writer. I am an educator. Those are all pretty clear cut. If you ask me what I do – you will get a pretty good idea of what type of work I am in and if we might have a way to work together.

If I answer, I’m an entrepreneur; you might not know what I do. If I say, I am a “coach” – that doesn’t mean too much either. Use labels that people will understand. This will give them the upper hand to know how to move forward with you in a conversation. If you work in a field that is a bit unknown – that is ok, too. People will ask questions to clarify, especially if they want to know more about you. 

Don’t Ask People What They Want Help With – Tell Them.

Just like many of you in business, I spent a lot of time networking. We all know that part of the process is meeting new people and working together to help each other grow. But, what I see, more and more, are people asking, “How can I help you?” 

I think, “I have no idea. You tell me how you can help me. I don’t know what you do.” 

If you are touting yourself as an expert, you need to tell your customers what you can do for them. When you walk into a room, even digital space, such as a social media networking platform, you need to know what you bring to the table.

And then you need to bring it. 

Talk Yourself Up! It’s Ok. I promise

When it comes to networking and promoting yourself – you must be able to talk yourself up. One of the best pieces of feedback I ever got was a mentor who said, “Did you know there is a thing that is being TOOOOO humble? That’s you. That’s your problem. You need to tell people why you’re so good, or they’ll think you’re just another pretty smile.”

In general, we are not good at promoting ourselves. We were raised being told to be humble. In my house, it was keeping your head down, doing the work, and doing the job well. I learned to elevate above mediocrity without ever letting anyone know I was the one behind the magic. 

The problem is – if you are not talking yourself up, nobody else is either. In fact, people are probably taking credit for the work that you do.  

Learn How to Create A Confident Voice of Credibility 

The good news is that speaking, and marketing ourselves, is a skill we can all learn. When you are ready to take control of your business and your name, reach out to me. Schedule a free consultation. With a few tips and some planning, you can truly showcase your expertise in a way people will want to support. Click here to book your appointment, call 925-726-9375 or email me with questions at wordwellgroup@gmail.com