Listen to what I mean

As leaders we cultivate many different relationships. Whether we’re the CEO of a company, a mother of two, a start-up entrepreneur or a development consultant, our lives are a constant mishmash of different roles and relationships. These relationships can be fluid and one person may play multiple roles in your life. Take for example your business partner who might also be a childhood friend with whom you grew up together. Or the father of your children who in the workplace takes the role of your boss.

How do we navigate these complicated relationships and how do we effectively take up leadership roles?

Practice active listening.

Where many years ago, listening was thought to be a passive activity, one in which the listener simply sat and accepted the speaker’s words; active listening is where the listener is engaged in the conversation, asking follow up questions and taking a keen interest in what is being said. Active listening provides mutual understanding between the two individuals and helps to clarify the real meaning of what is being said.

Don’t listen to what I say, listen to what I mean.