|The lesson is that trust is the conduit of influence, and the only way to establish real trust is by being present. Presence is the medium through which trust develops and ideas travel. |
— Ann Cuddy, PhD, professor and author
One big factor that impacts employee engagement and retention is “executive presence”. What I’ve seen help and hinder most in a leader’s presence is the capacity to demonstrate strong EQ (ability to recognize, manage, and influence emotions).
— Suzie Rybicki, Vice President, Talent and Training, Phishlabs.
Suzie hits the nail on the head. EQ, or the ability to notice and manage your own emotional states and those of others, is key to Executive Presence. Listening using today’s 3-steps listening practice will help you develop your own level of Emotional Intelligence, as well as Executive Presence. It’s two for the price of one!
Listening is integral to emotional intelligence, which is what you need to build trust.
It seems counterintuitive, one of the best ways to build trust, to establish presence and have more influence is not to speak more, but to listen better.
The truth is, when people feel heard, they listen better to others.
Unfortunately, listening is a challenging skill and many people give up too easily.
This week, your team needs you to listen and help everyone stay calm.
Two reasons explain why listening is rare.
1) it takes only about 25% of their brain power to take in your message so the rest of the brain gets distracted by thinking about weighty topics, like what’s for lunch.
2) Insecure people focus on making their point, not in listening to yours.
You address obstacle #1 by being a more engaging speaker. To deal with obstacle #2, you need to do what it takes to let the other person know you have heard their message.
3 Steps to Uplevel Your Listening
|1. Listen for emotion. What emotion underlies what this person is telling you? |
Asking yourself why this person is sharing this particular message helps identify the underlying emotion. Is this person excited? Fearful? Hopeful? Discouraged?
2. Listen for what is not being said. What is missing from what this person is saying?
In sharing why something is not going according to plan, is the speaker leaving out his or her own responsibility? Or protecting the team from blame?
3. Verify your answers to #1 and #2 with an Emotional Check-In.
Ask something like, “I sense you are feeling hangry/discouraged/excited about this, am I right?” and “What about _____ (the missing part)?
Emotional Check-In Example:
Fred, you seem to be worried about this project issue, am I right?
What about _____ (fill in with what appears to be missing from the message.)
Listen for emotion + Listen for what is not being said + emotional check-in = CULTURE BUILDING