Leadership Tips

Dear LWML Leaders,

Welcome back to Tips for Leading with Confidence. We pray this leadership tip will be beneficial as you serve our Lord through the LWML. We welcome your feedback and suggestions.

Refine Your Listening Skills

Great leaders learn and forge consensus among their constituents by listening and by encouraging all group members to listen skillfully and with care to one another. To listen — really listen — is hard. Too often we:

•  assume we already know what the other person will say, so we tune out;

•  begin planning our response instead of focusing on understanding the other person’s point of view;

•  fail to note the non-verbal messages connected with the words of the other person and thus miss much of the communication;

•  become defensive because we feel threatened, and scramble mentally to justify ourselves; or

•  become impatient, because creating true consensus among a group takes time.

These behaviors and attitudes can short-circuit relationships. Yet, as we overcome these behaviors with God's help, our willingness to listen will benefit us and our organization in several ways:

•  Listening helps calm and comfort the group during times of change, pain, fear, and stress.

•  By listening, servant leaders discover roadblocks and opportunities, needs and strengths.

•  Listening develops sensitivity to people’s needs and interests, and this sensitivity builds trust.

•  Those who listen to others find that others more readily listen to them.

•  Listening deeply to others helps us avoid premature consensus on less-than-ideal decisions.

Enjoy the benefits by listening carefully as you lead!

From Servant Leadership … Setting Leaders Free, by Dr. Jane Fryar, © 2001 Concordia Publishing House (cph.org). Used with permission.

God's Blessings,
Lois Teinert, Chairman
Leadership Development Committee

LWML 2019–2021 Leadership Development Committee
Marie McNary
Sherrie Smith
Lois Teinert, Chairman
Marie Chow, Vice President of Organizational Resources, Advisory

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