Quiet, Please

Great CEOs know when and how to listen

Marian, the Librarian

You run a business.  That gives you the right to talk…a lot, if you so choose.  And clear communication is important.  Articulating your vision for the business, the values you hold dear, and an overarching purpose for what you do, are all important (and too seldom discussed).

Your employees benefit from your wisdom as well as from your sense of direction.

However, in your passion for moving your business forward, or under the pressure to get things on the right track again, or in your rush to capitalize on a new opportunity, don’t lose your ability to hear your employees.  Don’t forget to ask for ideas and feedback.  Keep in mind that, like the turtle who found himself on top of the fence post, you didn’t get here all by yourself.

Know when it’s time to clam up and listen.  Some of your extroverted associates have a tendency to make it difficult for you to ignore them anyway.  But those introverts who work for you should also be heard.  Susan Cain makes this point elegantly in her TED Talk.  Practice by listening to her.  Then recognize that your quiet time can be the most productive part of your day.

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