authentic leadership

Authentic Leadership – 7 Active Listening Skills

Listening is one of the most important skills in Authentic Leadership. It’s not just about being a good listener, it’s about being an active, effective listener.

Active listening is the act of paying close attention to what someone is saying, without interrupting them or finishing their sentences for them. It’s a skill that can help you be a more effective communicator and leader.

Active listening skills are important because they allow you to better understand the needs of your team members, your clients, and even yourself. You will be able to provide constructive feedback and make smarter decisions as a result. You will also be able to better give direction when needed because you have all the information you need from the person in front of you.

7 Active Listening Skills Associated with Authentic Leadership

  1. Be Attentive

The key trait of an active listener is that they give their undivided attention to the person they are listening to. It is important you acknowledge what is being said without interrupting by demonstrating non-verbal engagement, through nodding your head or making eye contact when someone is speaking.

Look at the speaker directly and put aside distracting thoughts while listening to what they are saying. It is important you avoid interrupting them mid-sentence. You can formulate your response moments before they finish speaking.

  1. Summarise

We are constantly surrounded by people who need our attention and active listening skills will help you to provide them with this. It can be difficult to listen carefully and summarise what the person has said accurately.

It is important you identify and summarise the key points in a manner that clearly identifies what someone is trying to communicate to you, in a simple, logical format to help you better understand and respond to the topic being discussed.

  1. Ask Probing Questions

Ask questions that show you’ve understood what has been said and that actively encourage people to offer further details and challenge others through question to reveal more information than they seem willing to initially divulge.

  1. Be Attuned to, and Reflect Feelings

The ability to listen, and to be attuned with the feelings of others, is an important skill for leaders. You need to be able to listen and reflect back what you are being told with a tone and context in keeping with the manner in which it has been communicated to you. This helps others feel more comfortable expressing themselves and breeds a more inclusive atmosphere.

  1. Ask Open Ended Questions

Try to avoid, wherever possible, asking closed ended questions that could be answered with simple “yes” or “no.” Open-ended, clarifying, and probing questions are effective part of active listening strategies.

Encouraging others to elaborate and expand their answers helps increase the confidence of others and sends the message you have an active interest in what they have to say.

  1. Request Clarification

As a leader you will undoubtedly encounter individuals from range of diverse backgrounds and there is almost always a variance in terminology and phraseology, you use and they use. It is therefore important to seek clarification to ensure you have fully understood what has been said, before you can process this information and formulate a response.   

It is important to wait for the speaker to pause to before asking clarifying questions. Do not interrupt and ensure your questions are on-topic so as to avoid the conversation going in a different direction.

  1. Paraphrase

Paraphrasing is a skill that is necessary for any good listener. It is the ability to repeat what someone has said in their own words. It is important to paraphrase because it helps the person you are listening to feel heard and understood.

When you paraphrase someone’s words positively, it means that you’re repeating what they have said and adding your own thoughts or opinions on the topic. This can make them feel like they’re being understood and respected.

Paraphrasing negatively means repeating what they have said without including your thoughts or opinions on the topic, which can make them feel as if they are not being listened to or understood.

However, there is a fine line between paraphrasing and putting words into someone’s mouth and the skill is to rephrase in a more concise and clear manner whilst capturing the content, context and tone. Paraphrasing a statement or question to make it mean what you want it to mean, rather than what the speaker intended, will be perceived as being manipulative and create a negative atmosphere.

Other Characteristics of Authentic Leadership

There are many aspects and characteristics to authentic leadership, most of which we all possess naturally to a certain degree, but which can be improved with authentic leadership coaching, practice and patience. These include:

  • Self-awareness
  • Situational awareness
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Courtesy & professionalism
  • Humility & validation
  • Empathy & compassion
  • Accept constructive criticism

Sarah Jones Leadership Coaching and Authentic Leadership

I have personally overcome many challenges people face as they progress their careers on the path to becoming leaders. With over 25 years working in leadership positions within global organisations, I am ideally placed to help you find your authentic self.

If you are an aspiring leader of the future, an experienced leader or an organisation looking to expand the skillset of your leadership team, then please contact me to achieve your goals.

How can I help you?

I have a range of authentic leadership coaching programmes that are tailored to the needs of the individual, these will allow us to address together very specific challenges, which could include:

  • Emergencies
  • Making the right ethical decisions for stakeholders.
  • Developing active listening skills.
  • Aware of your own strengths, patterns, limitations.
  • Allowing imperfections and not seeing them as a threat.
  • Being transparent and sharing information.
  • Doing the right thing ethically in a crisis.
  • Being open to challenge.
  • Showing genuine concern.
  • Admitting you don’t have all the answers.
  • Accepting and using failure to learn.
  • Developing candour, compassion and empathy.
  • Being transparent and sharing information.

My training programmes start at only £279.00, but in order to recommend a coaching programme and provide you with a quote, we would first need to talk thorough the challenges you are facing, identify where I can help you and how long this is likely to take.

The first step in this process is by booking a free, no obligation call with me.

Book Your Call & Get A Quotation

Your first call is obligation free, confidential and completely free of charge

The next step in your development journey is getting a professional assessment on the what practical steps you can take to develop and improve your skill set, mindset and your prospects. 

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