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Unlocking the Secret of Being a Gun Leader By Pam Macdonald, Broadspring Consulting on Aug 22, 2023

unlocking the key to leadership

Leadership skills are essential to progressing your career for a wide range of reasons including:

  • Effectively leading a team leverages your time, expertise and impact
  • The skills of leading people also apply to quality client relationships
  • You don’t want to be doing it yourself forever

You already know that and will undoubtedly be looking forward to discovering more about this (and other insights) at the 2023 Young Guns Workshop.

There is one leadership skill that isn’t often mentioned that truly is a critical one. It’s like it’s a well-kept secret, although I believe it’s more that it is overlooked than intentionally kept quiet.

It’s the art and the skill of effective listening.

All too often focus is placed on the charismatic, dynamic and passionate speaker style of a leader. The public figures that come to mind when thinking about leadership. But that’s not what workplace leadership is about.

If you consider the leadership training that is all around you, much of it focuses on speaking and influencing by speaking. There doesn’t seem to be anything about the powerful skill of listening.

Asking the important questions for a leader, are you a good listener?

Think about the leaders who have had the most positive impact on you.

  • The leader who was an effective mentor and coach to you because they understood your goals and objectives – because they listened to you.
  • That leader with whom you had an open conversation about your next career move
  • The leader who helped you through that tough situation

It’s most likely that they were able to create those environments because you felt heard – that the leader had listened to you, your concerns and your needs. A sense of trust had been created that encouraged you to speak about what matters most to you.

Your clients will most likely respond in similar ways. Going beyond the transactional nature of professional services happens when clients feel that they have been heard and valued by their advisor. It’s much more than your technical proficiency and certifications – clients want to know that the work being done for them is the right work for them – not just being done by the smartest person in the room.

In most cases the leaders who have had the most positive impact on others are not the great speakers – instead, they are the great listeners. Great listeners are people who:

  • Listen for and respond to the meaning not only the words said
  • Enable others to genuinely feel heard
  • Are respectful and don’t talk over others

Here’s a challenge for you – please think about what you are thinking about the next time you are “listening” to someone. If you are thinking about what your response is going to be – or an unrelated issue: chances are that you need to work on developing your listening skills.

Pam Macdonald
Broadspring Consulting

Having made multiple successful career transitions, Pam Macdonald has turned her passion for people (along with her energy) into powerful and practical coaching and leadership development. Known and respected for her ability to cut to the chase, Pam is also highly effective at guiding people into new and effective levels of leadership performance. Pam is a speaker at our November Young Guns Workshop event for Smithink.


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