I'm working real hard on my listening skills. Mind you, this is not one of my strengths. I'm much better at talking, giving speeches, issuing orders and instructions than I am at being on the receiving end. I will admit it, I don't listen well. My wife will be the first to acknowledge this claim!
But right now, I am still the new guy in my job and I have a lot to learn. So I am working on as many forums that might expose me to the input of others. Here are some of the things I am doing:
- Townhall sessions across the organization with the opportunity for people to ask questions and give me feedback.
- Brown bag lunches with different groups of people.
- An open door (open email) that is open and responsive.
- Battlefield circulation or "Leading by Walking Around." I'm getting very positive feedback from people who already are commenting positively on my presence outside my office and out...where they are!
- Commander's Blog. This may be a stretch for a government leader but I know it is time to embrace the technology that might enable conversation - especially with younger workers. Nine people responded to my first post!
I've still got a long way to go but...I am working on it. The more I listen, the more I learn. And the more I learn, the more dangerous I become! I can definitely take on the challenges of our mission from a much more informed position. I'm willing to try anything. Who knows where it might lead. Listening is...Leader Business.