“Great leaders are great listeners”- Francis Abbah

Great leaders are great listeners. They listen well and they listen first before speaking. And they listen with rapt attention to their people before speaking.

The idea of leaders being great listeners does not neglect the fact that they do and will like to speak. And leaders who listen well do not mean they do not speak. But rather, they listen with intent what their people are saying before they speak.

By so doing, they get a better understanding of what their people are saying and to the nature of the situation they currently find themselves in.

Being interviewed by a journalist on how he became a great leader, Nelson Mandela recalled his early years in tribal meetings with his father. In those meetings where the people sat in circles, Mandela recalls the memories of his father being the last to speak in every meeting he attended in the tribe. And due to what he learnt about the importance of listening to others, it has made him a great leader.

Great leaders, by listening first before speaking, help others feel heard and feel that they matter. Being a great listener does not mean leaders will not get the opportunity to speak but rather, they will speak only after listening.

It takes a secured leader to first listen to their people before speaking. It takes a secured leader to take into consideration and listen with intent the views and concerns of his or her people even before speaking and arriving at a conclusion.

By listening with genuine interest, leaders make others to not only feel heard but also feel valued at the same time.



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