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.