Thursday, October 4, 2007

Leaders Listen

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.

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