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April 03, 2024   |   Tagged Leadership,

Poor Listening Makes Bad Leaders

Stalwart basketball coaching how to be brave

"How tragic to miss the important messages in life! To fail to hear someone’s cry for help, to miss hearing the key instructions, to tune out the voices of others and find you are alone."

Everyone is a leader! Whether you are the head of a huge organization or a child in a classroom you influence others and are being influenced. Good Leaders make the people around them better. Bad leaders bring those around them down. One of the key qualities of a great leader is good listening. If you are unable to listen, those around you will suffer from your bad leadership.

Identify the root of poor listening:
Selective or poor listening has a root cause that is important to discover in yourself. This root holds the insight for ways to repair. So often, people make the goal to be a better listener but because they don’t address the root of the issue, they fall back into the previous patterns of selective or poor listening only to continue frustrating their family and teammates. There are many different forms of poor listening.

The over-talking leader misses cues. They fail to read the room, they talk over others, they listen to their internal thoughts over what someone else is saying, they like their voice, their ideas, and their point of view. This person struggles with selfishness, Center of Attention, and ego. This leader becomes more balanced by laying aside their will to power and dominate others and instead begins to recognize the power of diversity and another point of view. Myopic dominance is a recipe for big mistakes.

The opposite of the over-talker is the person who listens but has no personality, internal power, and compulsion for ideas, engagement, efficacy, and wisdom. They are blank and offer a bland engagement to the world. This leader is more in balance when they take responsibility, ownership, and commitment to the team or family. They dedicate their loyalty to becoming fully invested, vulnerable, and alive. They care too much about self-protection and fear of making mistakes. Their silence is an excuse rather than a sign of respect.

The Critic
The critical leader snuffs the life out of the team or family. They kill vulnerability and they create a toxic environment where mistakes can’t lead to better outcomes. This leader has important growth to undergo. Their point of view is necessary as they see what is wrong, but they are living out of deficit, bitterness, and cruelty instead of wisdom. As they change to use their insight of what is not working to empower rather than crush and discourage, their team will benefit. Seeing what isn’t working is easy, leading others to the higher, stronger, better ground is the hallmark of a wise leader.

Questionnaire to Ponder
Do you think you are a good listener?
Do you listen with the intent to incriminate/criticize or to learn and gain new insights/perspectives?
How does your listening translate into the quality of your relationships?
Can you uncover where you have failed to listen to yourself and others?

Take Action:
Write down two or three ways you want to be a better listener this week. Ask someone to help hold you accountable.

About NBC Sports Camps
NBC Sports Camps have been providing excellent programs for athletes since 1971. Approximately 10,000 campers each year attend NBC Camps. We aim to individually invest in each camper both on and off the court. We desire each athlete to leave camp a better person and a better player.

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