I have been re-reading Marshall Goldsmith’s What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.
He says that the most important thing exceptional leaders have in common is the ability to give another person their undivided attention and to really listen, making every person they interact with feel special. Marshall asserts that this ability distinguishes “the near-great from the great.”
Think about the people in your life who you admire most, who could have ignored you, but who made you feel comfortable and included. That is the characteristic that Goldsmith talks about. The ability of busy, important people able to make everyone feel important enough to be given their full attention is what makes them great leaders.
How good are your listening skills with all the distractions in your environment? Do you think you are a good listener?
Goldsmith suggests you try this exercise to assess the truth of your listening skill:
Close your eyes and count slowly to 50.
There is one rule – not to let a single thought interrupt the counting. As soon as a thought enters your head stop.
More than 50% of people fail at this simple task at around 20 or 30. The root cause is distraction – not being able to focus on listening to one thing.
The exercise can also be used to improve your focus and listening skills. I suggest you try it daily until you get to 50 without any thoughts interrupting your counting.
Goldsmith says that the exercise will increase your ability to listen and will help you make the person in front of you feel special.
The most important role you have when wanting to improve employee retention, is to make your employees feel cared for and heard.
Practice your “fifties.”