For many years, I ran around telling the people that worked for me what to do. I was very good at it. Considered great at my job. Promoted early and often. Then I discovered it was absolutely the wrong thing to do. It was a big mistake. And after I stopped, performance jumped!
Everyone knows that the sports team with the highest morale wins. In fact, every manager wants high morale in his or her group. So why do most managers create low morale in their employees?
Doesn’t every executive and manager want highly motivated and committed employees? The answer has to be yes! Most certainly, because everyone knows that highly motivated people are continually striving to do their very best. In fact, these employees use 100% of their brainpower on their work when on the job and often when not on the job and that makes them extremely valuable employees.
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.