Monday, November 20, 2017

Leadership Quote - Bernard Baruch

Created by Erin Morey
People don't often realize the difference between hearing and listening, especially when all most people tend to do is listen just enough to formulate a response rather than determine the intent behind the communication. Communication is extremely difficult most of the time, even before a leader starts trying to determine a response between his/her own ears (which by the way there are two of for a reason...).

Most (but not all) successful people know that they are (probably) not the only smart person in the room. Other people see things from another's perspective, and can often provide solutions or responses that a leader hadn't considered. While working on some of the more complex projects in my career, I've realized that I cannot be an expert in everything, and as such need the expertise of my team to complete most stages of the project correctly. Even with that realization, I often struggle with this, as I like to think of myself as smart and able to determine a lot of answers. This means that I often jump into a conversation with a proposed solution rather than hearing everyone's thoughts. This also means that I influence the conversation and may even have shut-down thoughtful responses in the past due to my passion and position. I've started trying to cultivate the habit of speaking last rather than first so that I can hear the opinions/comments of my team and then learn from them. It's a habit that is hard to maintain when so much training, instinct, and years of perhaps the wrong approach are in conflict, but I strive to be better. What are you doing to improve your listening skills? How can you be more effective with your communication? I would be very interested to know, so please share below.

Bernard Baruch was an American financier, philanthropist, and political consultant. He was a key advisor to Presidents Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt.

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