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Smart Leaders Know When to Shut Up, When to Listen… Before They Make Stupid Decisions: When to Dial-In, When to Dial-Out…

The world is ever-changing and filled with high risk, uncertainty, crisis, disruptions… and often many leaders are just out of touch with realities. They don’t know what is happening because they don’t listen, they are too busy talking, lecturing, pontificating… Researcher found that most leaders spend 75% of the time talking, and less than 30% listening to what people have to say… According to OpProf; in a rapidly changing world, smart leaders are those who listen to the world around them; and they make better decisions, find more business opportunities, are more successful… than those who continually talk and won’t shut up.

Many leaders insist-persist in dogmatic soliloquy, and often they are unaware that most supposed listeners are uninterested, unengaged, unimpressed… Yammering; that’s what stupid leaders do, they ramble on about everything while most colleagues, employees, customers… just quit listening… On other hand, smart leaders quietly listen to what the world has to say; they listen, learn, and put the lessons learned into action… According to Graham; leaders who get caught-up in their non-stop ‘self-a-thons’ are driven by various subconscious agendas, e.g.; anxiety to prove their self-worth, or need to convince others that they are significant, or desperation to justify themselves as leaders…

In the article Leaders Need to Shut Up, Listen by Mike Myatt writes: Smart leaders are great listeners, they talk less and listen more. They recognize that knowledge and wisdom are not gained by talking but by listening. Being a leader should not mean having license to increase the volume of rhetoric. Rather, smart leaders know there is far more to be gained by surrendering the floor than by dominating it. In this age of instant communication everyone seems to be rush to communicate– what’s on their mind, they fail to realize the value that can be gleaned from listening to the minds of other people…

It’s simply not possible to be a smart leader without being a great communicator, but most leaders fail to understand that the purpose of communication is not the ‘message’ but the ‘engagement’… and that requires listening… Almost universally the smartest person in the room is not the one doing all the talking, but the one who asks a few relevant, engaging questions, and doing most of the listening… In essence, smart leaders are about taking action and that means; more listening and less talking… Great talkers are a dime a dozen but great listeners are a rare commodity

In the article Three Words that Can Save Business by Mark McIntyre writes: Get your head out of the sand and look around your world, and not through the corner-office window but a close-up view of customers, employees, partners… What do you hear? Listen, put your ear to the ground… It’s a recurring theme– companies get blindsided, they are toppled by stealth disruptive forces they could not have seen coming… It’s a great story line but it’s almost never the truth. Instead, many leaders in high-performing companies are deeply addicted with their own success that they are unable to overcome cognitive blinders, they fail to react in a changing world, because they didn’t stop taking, or they stopped looking, or they stopped listening…

In the article Are You Listening or Just Waiting to Talk? by Daniel Newman writes: Is listening a lost art? In a world full of so much to say, it can be very hard to really listen… But if you want to be a smart leader then you must listen… Smart leaders start with the phrase; Are you listening or just waiting to talk? Have you ever caught yourself actively brainstorming, i.e.; carefully planning your next clever response amidst conversation, which means that you are not really listening but rather thinking about your next response…

Some people struggle with being a good enough listener because their mind tends to play chess… Constantly thinking about what is next or what else needs to be done… It’s the act of focus on what a person is saying rather than what you want to say next… When you truly listen you gain more knowledge and a better understanding of other people… It’s simple; just stop waiting to talk and start ‘really’ listening…

In the article Science Of How To Shut Up by Lydia Dishman writes: Humans are programmed to use communication as a vital tool to survive, thrive… But unfortunately humans also have the propensity to pontificate about themselves; even though the ideal conversation to survive, thrive requires– give and take, i.e., being silent half (50%) of the time… According to Peter Bregman; silence is a greatly under-estimated source of power, knowledge, influence… In silence, you hear not only what is being said, but also what is not being said. In silence it’s easier to reach truth, to better understand, to make better decisions… 

Simply talking ad-nausea is counter-productive… and the greatest form of discourse that takes place in a conversation is the give and take, not a lecture, or monologue, or ramblings… When leaders begin to understand that knowledge and insight is only gained by constant listening and not by constant talk… then they have taken an important step to becoming a smart leader, skilled communicator…

When people, at all levels of leadership, get to share opinions, ideas, information… they become much more relevant, engaged, valued… Smart leaders know– when to shut up, when to listen… and more important, they know the correct– ratio of ‘talk to listen’… So, after each conversation ask ‘yourself’: What have you learned? If the answer is: You’ve learned ‘nothing’… then you probably talk too much and not really listened…