Back on the USS SANTA FE, we had to be good listeners. Navy submarines do not have windows, so to know what was around us we had people trained to listen to the sounds in the ocean. Their ability to concentrate on what they heard made the difference between success and failure for us.
Hearing what your team is saying is the best way for you to know where they are on the ladder of leadership and to know how to help develop them into leaders. Just as my crew had trained listeners that practiced, we need to practice our listening skills as well.
One way is to practice listening to some things you may not be listening to now. For example, when traveling, listen intently to the flight attendants’ pre-flight safety briefing, even (and especially) if you’ve heard the information many times before.
My leadership nudge to you this week is this:
find a communication opportunity that you believe you know well
and just listen.
Wipe your mind clear, give the other person your full concentration and
practice, practice, practice.