Chaplain's Corner, Seek First....
By Capt. Andrew Forester, 139th Airlift Wing
/ Published March 17, 2010
St. Joseph, MO. -- We all have two ears and one mouth for a reason. If we all listed out our top ten best moments in leadership, great speeches we have given probably do not top the list. On the flip side of that same coin, if we were to list our worst moments in leadership, rashly spoken words and ill-timed comments would probably top each list.
Great leaders have many different qualities...but one quality that every great leader shares is the ability to listen. When we listen, we affirm the speaker and increase our credibility with them. As airmen we are all leaders. Whether we are leading by setting the example for a single wingman or leading an entire wing of airmen, we are leaders, and leaders listen!
Here are some very practical tips to consider when listening:
*Don't interrupt. Let the speaker have the floor.
*Use paraphrasing to ensure that you understand what you hear.
*Focus on the message, not your next statement.
If you want to become a better leader, become a better listener. "Seek first to understand...then to be understood."