One skill to increase your leadership

All of us who somehow have to use some leadership skills at work or directly lead a team of people, are willing to increase our leadership skills.

Many people, when asked about what is the most important thing that attracts them in a leader say it is their PRESENCE.

I have sometimes asked myself if this quality of presence is a born-with capacity or if it can be developed. After some time of research my answer is definitely that it can be developed.

 What you have to master to develop your leadership presence

 

We can fall into a discussion of what is the best way to develop the quality of presence, but I am only going to talk about my ownexperience.  For sure there are other ways, but for me, the capacity to listen deeply, is key in the process of building my own presence.

We all want to be listened to, understood, taken into account. The person in front of you is for sure also in the same situation. We can very clearly notice when the person is with us or not.

I challenge you for the next month, give your presence in listening to the person you are listening to at that very moment. Be there for her, or for him.

I know it is easier said than done so I will give you some ideas. You can start by using them and develop your own path to deep listening

Begin by listening to yourself

 

It seems to be a bit contradictory but think twice. How can you be present to somebody else if you are not present to yourself? Wouldn’t it be a bit fake?

When out leadership is not authentic, when we force it, others also notice it. In the long run it will not last, and even if it does, we will probably end up unsatisfied.

When we pay attention to ourselves and are conscious of our  own strengths, failures contradictions, capacities, innate tendencies  … we can listen more intently to others as we are more balanced inside and we liberate space to open to others.

The tool that I continuously use to deepen my capacity to listen to myself is not a complicated one . I use my own body. And I use it in two very specific ways:

  • I meditate through food using mindful eating as a way to be conscious of how and where in my body I can sense my emotions and thoughts. You can have a look at this post to start learning about Mindful Eating
  • I use Focusing, a technique proposed by Eugene Gendlin. It requires some practice but it is a very powerful tool. You can have a look at this post if you wish to dig a bit deeper in Focusing

This two practices, although very useful, require some deeper learning and a lot of perseverance.

So I am going to tell you about some simpler ways to help you listen deeply that will only require from you some commitment and a little bit of perseverance.

3 simple Techniques to raise deepen your capacity for listening to yourself and others.

 

1- Pay attention and listen to yourself talking: how do you talk? What is the tone of your voice? Are you putting through all your thoughts in a clear manner? Are you giving something from granted?

By knowing what goes on with you, you will be able to relate to the discourse of the person in front of you much more easily.

2- When you are listening to somebody, pay also attention to the conversation that you keep in your head about what the other person is saying: do you feel like interrupting? Are you just picking up the necessary information to propose an alternative or refute his or her position?

Just pay attention without judging your internal conversation, we are just looking for information. Just looking to see what may hinder you from really connecting with the speaker.

3- Practice listening deeply: relax yourself, and from this internal relaxation be open to just receiving the information from the speaker. No need to judge. Listening deeply does not mean that you are agreeing with what the other person is saying, you are just being present, just respecting him or her as a human being.

If you want to learn to listen deeply, just practice.  Practice with kids, they are very sensitive to an adult being present or just faking it, and they will most surely let you know about it. You can also practice with elderly people, they have much less need to be pleasant, so they will probably also give you an honest feedback on the quality of your presence.

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