We have now seen how gathering data or listening depends on gaining answers to carefully designed questions. Since questions are naturally threatening to people, they can cause defensiveness as well as anxiety. Just being in the presence of a boss increases our anxiety and the higher the boss the greater the anxiety — unless the person is a strong and independent, “non-follower.”
Listening begets respect, trust and commitment, and constitutes superior leadership by showing others how to treat their work and the people around them, which includes customers.
If listening is your most important leadership skill to develop as the boss, how does one perform this skill extremely well? There is a 5-step process to follow. Learn it, practice it, repeat and repeat.