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Leadership & Overcoming Listening Obstacles

“How can I possibly listen to one person with everything that’s going on?” ~ Inside Sales Leaders Everywhere

  • So much to do… never enough time to do it all.
  • That project I can’t stop thinking about, is still rolling around in my head.
  • My boss’s boss asked for something RIGHT before this meeting.

Three examples for you of obstacles inside sales leaders everywhere have to overcome to listen. Worst case is the trifecta where all of them happen simultaneously.

Listening requires mental effort – and if we’re honest with ourselves, sometimes there isn’t mental effort to spare… or easily spare.

Here are my three top tips for leaders when trying to overcome the daily listening obstacles they face:

  1. ask for a moment: YES, when someone comes into your office ask them to allow you a moment to switch your focus from what you were working on to them.
  2. give yourself a moment: do everything in your power to NOT schedule back.. to back.. to back meetings. Have a 5 to 15 minute break so you can finish up your thoughts on the last meeting before you have to begin on the next topic.
  3. pause for a moment: in every conversation give a moment of space after someone finishes speaking to think – your response will be more thoughtful the other person will feel that you listened to everything they said BEFORE you formulated what you were going to say.

I guess the key for leaders to overcome listening obstacles is in the moments.

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