As a leader, you may perceive your main responsibility as keeping the team focused on the projects at hand, and fulfilling the goals set by your won superiors. So how can you be most impactful in accomplishing those goals?
There is one often overlooked key to your success as a leader.
One dirty little secret of effective leaders is that the successful ones don’t let over-confidence strip them of their common sense when it comes to listening and gathering information. Researchers at NYU’s Stern School of Business conducted a study on the influence of power in decision-making and they confirmed what many employees already know: people with more power listen less, take less advice, and are ultimately less accurate in final judgments.
Ironically, greater power has an inverse relationship to the valuable practice of accepting advice from others. The elevated confidence of successful leaders often leads to snap judgments, when the value of informed advice is left along the roadside. According to Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, bad listening is one of the worst decisions you can make as a manager, because it makes the quality of all of your managerial decision making worse.
Embrace that information gathering as the basis of all your managerial work. With each decision, take the time to gather the information that will give you the edge you need to gain clarity, before you make that instant call. Your personal effectiveness is key in prioritizing information gathering in your leadership role.
Be ready to change your mind if you want to be right! In contrast to the powerful folks that don’t listen, think they’re right, and make bad decisions, Jeff Bezos noticed the opposite in people who often make the right decisions. They change their mind—a lot.
Adopt active listening as a way of life. The true active listener is able to learn and accomplish more than most of their colleagues. Develop an ongoing feedback loop, focus on understanding before you form a reply, and prioritize active listening skills in your organization.
At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. Call firstname.lastname@example.org | 800-282-3374