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Long into the Night

Posted by Dave Griffith on March 18, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Long into the night I look out the kitchen window, the glass acting as a dark mirror, sitting at the table with a cooling cup of coffee, the phone in my ear, listening, trying to be present when I cannot physically be.

In my work words matter, but so does the ability to listen. Tonight the person on the phone just needs to talk to a trusting ear. Some nights they just need an assurance, others advice, sometimes just to hear a friendly voice, a laugh, and sometimes even an “I love you man”.

While I love the written word, our email, text, snap chat, is just not the same as that voice on the line, and even better is that voice face to face. Crucial conversations are best in person. We have gotten out of the habit of face to face communications; we hide behind technology when the message is uncomfortable. We lose the emotion, the meaning, the nuance and dignity that comes from direct interaction and the ability to speak directly and in real time.

As a leader, how well do you listen? Do you make the time, create the safe environment, and make it a priority to listen to your employees, your customers, and stake holders? I believe that the individual closest to the work knows the most about the work. Look as leaders you need to communicate and communicate well the vision, the mission and what you expect from your people and hold yourself and the organization accountable. Clear and precise communications across all the platforms is essential, but meaningful communications start with listening and feedback and listening and feedback needs to be a habit. You can’t walk in someone’s shoes unless you listen to their story and you need to be present when they are ready to talk.

Sometimes even long into the night.


Categories: Griffith Thoughts, Muddy Boots, Leadership

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