The Art of Listening

By Alan L. Olsen, CPA, MBS (Tax)
Managing Partner
Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co., LLP

“Understand in order to be understood” is a piece of advice that I have often heard. In order to be a successful leader, you need to care about the individuals who are under your direction. So, how do you accomplish that? You listen to them.

Listening is an art that many need to be educated on. So often, we focus on dumping out our own problems rather than listening to others concerns. Employees and executives alike want to be heard rather than having to fight for the microphone. However, when an individual learns to listen, increased respect and trust towards that individual are most often the results.

From experience, I understand that listening can, at times, be challenging. When frustrations are surfaced that you want to have no part in and passions that do not interest you are expressed, it may be easy to ignore the speaker or quickly change the topic. However, when you do listen sincerely, the individual who is speaking will at times feel that you value what they are saying.

A true leader will care about those whom they lead. They will have learned the art of listening. So when someone passes by your way today, try learning to listen, and they may learn to follow you.