How Can a Leader Develop Emphatic Listening Skills?

A leader has a lot of responsibilities, starting from taking a stance, giving commands, directing conversations to giving wise reactions and tackling diverse situations. Leaders are expected to be perfect, flawless and impeccable. But, is it possible for a human being to reflect these qualities all the time? The answer is definitely no. Leaders are humans after all and they can fall short some times. For instance, leaders are seen to be hesitant, annoyed or ineffective when it comes to listening with attention and empathy. A leader is a multitasking personality and when a person is juggled with too many tasks, some unfavorable habits like, disinterest in listening are bound to develop.

Listening skills are important in a leader. In order to run an organization with utmost efficiency, it is necessary for an administrator to listen to what his or her employees have to say. Otherwise, a lot of talented employees may leave the organization and grab a job opportunity at another concern where they will have an influential role in the company’s decision-making procedure. This is one of the major disadvantages of not listening emphatically. Missing out on various prime factors is also a disadvantage of being a bad listener. It is not unnatural for a person in charge to remember all the minute details. As already stated in the introductory paragraph, leaders are also human beings and humans do possess some amount of imperfections.

So, let’s see how a leader can build up good listening skills. Take a look at the following.

  • The first and foremost thing that an administrator needs to do is giving others a chance to voice their opinions. Along with that, he or she must encourage others to express their concepts and ideas. The whole point is to wear a positive attitude and oozing out a vibe that generates an eagerness to listen.


  • Many professionals in managerial position feel that they do not require saying thanks. This is a wrong conception and an incorrect attitude towards employees who are working hard for the improvement of the organization. Showing gratitude is a necessary and commendable trait for a leader. This gesture conveys an optimistic message that the hard work of an employee is being appreciated.


  • Understanding the core point of messages and tracking the essential aspects of every conversation are required to be done by a leader. This helps to jot down whether there is a need for more information and make valuable suggestions regarding the steps to be taken in future.


  • Responding fast and responding wisely and graciously is significant for a person in the position of the administrator. The response does not need to be always via verbal or written appreciations. It can also be through an affirmative body language which assures the speaker that his or her words are being listened with attention.

Emphatic listening skill paves the way for building confidence and trust amongst employees in an organization. A leader should develop this skill in order to run an organization with the active involvement of each employee.