Another habit that healthy leaders adopt to demonstrate respect is one that is harder than it seems: listening effectively. Leaders who listen well make it a priority to listen first. They listen to understand rather than to respond. This allows them to truly discover what is important to the other person, which should in turn be important to the leader.
A healthy listening practice to cultivate is to not talk, even in your own head, when you’re most tempted to. Listen to understand, not to respond or to judge. Replace judgment with curiosity about people, projects, perspectives, etc.
Healthy leaders value the person without having to agree with everything the other party says or does. They balance conviction in their beliefs with compassion for and curiosity about others. They also balance accountability for results with grace for individual circumstances.
Listening deeply to your team is so fundamental because it demonstrates respect for the person and their perspectives. As motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar put it, “Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.”
When you demonstrate love in the above ways, you will build a solid foundation for a healthy team that generates healthy results for your organization. That’s the power of love!