I was introduced to the topic of listening leadership by Dr. Rick Bommelje when I was working on my graduate degree. I had enrolled in a Leadership course that would help define my career style.
Listening is something I continue to work on today but has paid off in my self-awareness, building trust with others, and my ability to learn from others.
The approach that always stuck with me is called SIER:
- Sensing – This step essentially is the beginning of the process where you are using your five senses to receive a message.
- Interpreting – Here you start to arrive to an understanding of the meaning of the message.
- Evaluating – In this step you are analyzing the message before jumping to a conclusion. This is where many of us get caught making judgments before understanding the message.
- Responding – The final step is in responding. This is either through verbal or non-verbal communication essentially showing whether or not you understood the message or have questions about the message.
This approach is something that can be learned, practiced, and become a strength. You must be willing to become an active listener.
For me, it has always been a challenge to be a listening leader, I found that I would jump from sensing into immediately evaluating. Personally, I have seen large improvements in building relationships with others but it does take some practice. The next time you are in listening situation try the SIER approach. When you can actually determine where you are in the SIER process during an active conversation you are starting to become a listening leader.
If you are taking an authentic and active approach to listening, it builds trust. Trust, in turn, will help drive your leadership journey.
For more information and his free newsletter visit Dr. Rick Bommelje’s website: http://listeningleaders.com/home.html