Ken Blanchard

Leaders: Are You as Good a Listener as You Think You Are?

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Guest Post by Ken Blanchard

When I ask people to talk about the best boss they ever had, they always mention one quality—listening. The best leaders are good listeners. Our research shows that listening is a critical skill for developing people, building trust, and creating a meaningful connection. But be careful—we’ve also found that it’s common for direct reports to score their managers lower in listening skills than the managers score themselves.

I’ve said many times that God gave us two ears and one mouth because he wanted us to listen more than we talk. Let...

Leaders: Got Questions? Ask Your People!

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Guest Post by David Witt

Ken Blanchard tells a story about his early days as a consultant.  One day he was brought in to help address a turnover problem at a manufacturing plant in the Southeastern United States.  In spite of competitive wages and benefits and an overall positive assessment from employees, the plant was experiencing large spikes in people leaving every summer and management couldn’t figure out why.

When Ken arrived, he was briefed on the situation and the inability to determine a cause.  After reviewing...

3 Tips for Better Listening—and the One Attitude that Makes all the Difference

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3 Tips for Better Listening—and the One Attitude that Makes all the Difference

Guest Post by David Witt

Good listening skills are essential to any manager’s success—but sometimes it’s hard to find the time in today’s frantic work environment. As a result, it’s easy to fall into a habit of listening to a direct report just long enough to offer advice or solve a problem.

This might keep the line moving, but it is not going to do much in meeting a person’s need to be heard.

Could your listening skills use a brush-up?

Here’s a three-step EAR Model designed to help managers slow down and focus on what people are sharing. The...