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 for more information. 

Emotions Are A Thing – Even When You Say They Aren’t

Whether we like it or not, we all have emotions.  And our emotions leak all over everything we say, everything we write, and everything we listen to and understand.  Our emotional context really does determine what we say, how we say it, and who we say it to.  It also determines how we understand things.   This is especially true when we are dealing with technology.  Have you ever realized how many more incidents of miscommunication occur via text messages, emails, and social media?   This often happens because we assign our emotional interpretation to the message. Let’s explore this a bit more. 

We All Have Emotions 

Quite simply, we all have emotions.  Part of what makes us “human” is emotions.  Even the biggest, toughest, manly-men have emotions.  We all tend to express our emotions differently.  And we feel different emotions for different reasons.  What might make one individual angry might evoke a sensation of sadness or loss for someone else.  Additionally, one happy person might smile while another one giggles.  The important lesson is that we all have emotions.  Even if we don’t talk about them or like to slap a smile on our faces, emotions are a major part of who we are, how we engage with people, and how we process information.  From the best days to the worst, our emotions are always part of the equation. 

Emotions And Communication

Simply said, there can be no communication without emotion.  Emotion is one of the key features of communication.  That is because it is a human trait of existence that cannot be eliminated.  However, the simple action of self-awareness will allow us to reduce emotions that cloud our thinking.  We can also learn how to channel our emotions to make us better communicators.   In fact, the best communicators use emotion in a positive way.  Speakers can create passion, motivate drive, energy, trust, and confidence through emotion.  Emotions that go unchecked, on the other hand, can be a roadblock in establishing and continuing effective communication and disrupt our ability to understand messages people share with us. 

When Emotions Meet Social Media 

Social media is just as much of a prevalent part of our day, and our identities, as emotions are.  When we post something online, or when we want to respond to something we see – our emotions can cloud our judgment.  In fact, our emotions can be more problematic online than they are face-to-face!   

Maybe you wonder why so a Facebook post or thread will inflame you – or why you become so emotionally involved in someone’s response to something posted on Facebook?  This happens because we often maintain a mindset that what we see on the computer is not ‘real.’  Or we think that because it is our social media account, people who have other ideas, opinions or insight do not as much validity as our own thoughts.   

Most likely?  What tends to happen is that when we are behind a computer screen, we become less filtered than we would be if we were speaking to someone and looking them in the eye.  Ultimately, it means that we are more likely to react and respond from an emotional perspective than a logical/rational one.  Unfortunately, we have fallen victim to our emotions – even when we don’t want to! 

Keep Your Emotions In Check

This means, feel all the feels – but, be mindful of the emotional state you are in.  Your mood can impact how you listen to someone, read an email, or react to a social media post.  When you are in a foul mood, even the brightest, most sincere “Good Morning” can come across as spicy, rude, and undesirable.  A good mood really does mean you interpret everything through rose-colored glasses.  Either space, you are probably not engaging in a conversation that is going to end well.  Whether it is a conflict or just miscommunication, chances are good that if you are not listening to through-checked emotions, you may be missing the point. 

Luckily, there are simple steps we can take to elevate our awareness and ensure that our emtions are not taking over our success talking!  

Check back soon to learn what steps you can take to assess your emotions and learn how to use your emotions positively and productively as a communicator.

Schedule A Consultation 

If you are finding yourself caught in conflicts in social media – or maybe you are just finding that your messages are not hitting home like you’d want to.  Reach out and schedule a free 30-minute strategy session to learn how you can elevate your voice, your brand, and your success.

Call 925-726-9375, schedule online, or send me an email at