Listening is, of course, a critical skill for all leaders, however, prominent author and marketing consultant Simon Sinek says leaders to learn to do so at the appropriate moment.
In a video posted at Goalcast, Sinek observes that while many leaders say they want to listen to those who work for them, this process needs to happen before those leaders open their own mouths.
In other words, Sinek says “you need to learn to be the last to speak”.
“I see it in boardrooms every day of the week,” he says.
“Even people who consider themselves good leaders, who may actually be decent leaders, who will walk into a room and say, ‘here’s the problem, here’s what I think, but I’m interested in your opinion, let’s go around the room’.”
Sinek says at that point, it’s “too late”.
“The skill to hold your opinions to yourself until everyone has spoken does two things: one, it gives everybody else the feeling that they have been heard, it gives everyone else the ability to feel that they have contributed; and two, you get the benefit of hearing what everybody else has to think before you render your opinion,” he explains.
“The skill is really to keep your opinions to yourself.”
Sinek stresses the importance of absorbing what is being said and asking questions, determining what is meant and why opinions are held.
“And at the end, you will get your turn,” he says.
“It sounds easy, it’s not. Practice being the last to speak.”