How To Lead By Listening

By Kaley Thompson Facebook is asking “What’s on your mind?"  Twitter is saying “What’s happening?”  Instagram is begging you to post a picture.  And Snapchat is this never ending opportunity to create the highlight reel of our lives.

It seriously feels like we should be talking or sharing all the time.  However, all of this chatter has posed quite a problem for leaders.

We're losing the art of listening. Unlike social media, when a member of our small group, an employee or friend asks for advice, they’re typically not saying “What’s on your mind?”  They’re actually saying, “Will you listen to me?”

People want to be heard. 

So, how can we lead better by listening?

According to an article written by, “A good percentage for small group leaders to remember for listening vs. talking is 80/20. 80% listening and 20% talking."

When you feel like you’ve got the perfect advice to give that will change someone's life, wait to hear all they have to say.  Don’t make assumptions right off the bat and get their whole story.  After you’ve heard someone out, then invest in them.

Listening is a rare gift.  It’s hard to come by.  Give it away freely because the people you lead desperately need to be heard.

Kaley Thompson is the chief storyteller at People of the Second Chance. She lives in Charlotte, NC and wears a sparkly motorcycle helmet.

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