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The Magic of Being a Great Leader

By: Lisa Patrick

 

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There is no magic formula that helps you become a great leader. Just like there is no one-size-fits-all leadership style. A great leader is a person who is capable of altering his or her thoughts, actions or feelings in a way that enlists others so that a common goal can be pursued and accomplished. According to Richard Branson,

 
“Leadership doesn’t have a secret formula; all true leaders go about things in their own way. Its this ability to think differently that sets them apart – and that enabled Steve Jobs to create perhaps the most respected brand in the world.”
 
To be a great leader, you must be open minded and willing to work hard. Remember that being a leader does not imply being perfect, but knowing your imperfections so that you understand yourself better and therefore, work with your team is vital to being able to lead others.
 
The importance of listening
 
Great leaders are invariably great listeners. The moral is very simple: talk less and listen as much as you can. The best leaders are frequently found to be intuitive, strategic and proactive listeners. They know that wisdom and knowledge can only be achieved by listening, and not talking. An extraordinary leader has the surreal ability to decipher what is not being said in a discussion. According to Forbes contributor, Glenn Llopis in a recent article, 6 Ways Effective Listening Can Make You a Better Leader:
 
“When employees say they want their voices to be heard, they are really saying they want leaders who will not just hear them, but really listen to them.”
 
A simple extempore of what you want to say will not have identical results as a meaningful conversation. A skilled communicator knows that he or she can communicate much better not by talking, but by listening and understanding. All great CEOs rarely speak. If they do, they ask questions to get more information.
 
How to become an effective listener:
 
Do keep the following points in mind if you wish to be a good listener.
 
You are not the center of anything: Listen to people and do not concentrate only on what you have to say. Listen to learn new things. Being humble helps. If you want others to listen to you, have the courtesy of listening to others.
 
Always make time to listen: Wisdom may have surprising sources. It can come from your boss or from your subordinate. The more you listen, the more you can influence others. What’s more, it costs nothing to learn from individuals with different perspectives and experiences.
 
Listen to what is not being said: People say a lot with their body language, actions, facial expressions and even through inaction. In fact, non-verbal communication conveys more than talking. This is particularly true for negative messages.
 
Listening makes way for opportunities: There is always a story behind talking, and opportunities are lurking behind vocalization. Deciphering the story can positively affect your future. When you listen to somebody, it means you respect that person.
 
Change your behavior: Better understand your communication style so you can adapt your behavior to meet the needs of the listener – that way every message you send is received.
 
A great way to improve your listening and learn your communication style is to search for opinions that are opposite to your own. You can challenge and listen to other individuals who hold dissimilar opinions and learn to improve to become a better leader.
 
This article was originally published by Convention Business Travel
Published: November 7, 2014
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Lisa Patrick

Lisa Patrick is the Chairman and CEO of Convention Business Travel. She is a savvy, innovative, business-focused executive with a strong network and proven track record with corporate and strategy. Lisa started her career in law enforcement and is now the founder of several successful startups. Lisa prides herself on building relationships first and conducting business next. Today, she successfully balances business, marriage and motherhood.

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