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Communicating to Lead and Motivate by William C. Sharbrough

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CHAPTER 3

Leaders Listen

Listening is one of the most important communication skills a leader can have. Listening helps leaders to understand followers and creates positive feelings between them. As noted in the previous chapter, positive relationships are key to effective leadership, and listening to followers is one way to create those relationships and to be an effective leader. Failing to listen can destroy relationships and derail a leader’s efforts; it has been listed as one of the “top five reasons leaders fail, with Warren Bennis saying it is the most common reason CEOs fail.”1

Listening goes well beyond passively “hearing” what a follower is saying to being actively involved in understanding the follower’s message. As the leader, you ...

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