Importance of Communication and Listening
Organizations now have evolved very rapidly due to many factors. This type of complexity and diversity would need a leader who can and is willing to reach across cultures and backgrounds to make the company go forward. A good leader must therefore have excellent communication and listening skills.
One should also take note that replacing the autocratic management model of before is the participatory management model in which communication is the key to build trust, promote understanding and empower and motivate others.
Ruderman, Hannum, Leslie, and Steed (2001,p.3) explained that “the essence of participative management is getting buy-in from colleagues at the beginning of an initiative by involving them, engaging them through listening and communicating, influencing them in the decision-making process, and building consensus.” This art of communicating and listening makes a leader almost fully-equipped to face the challenges of running today’s organization.
I have seen many leaders who think they can just shout commands on the phone to their subordinates and expect them to follow these orders without question. Even with their own employees, a manager cannot just order people around without being prepared for the consequences. They would definitely get a huge disappointment at the end.
Good communication is important because organizations are made up of people and as a leader one should learn to be flexible and use his communication and listening skills to his advantage.
Ruderman, M., Hannum, K., Leslie, J, Steed, J. (2001): Leadership Skills
and Emotional Intelligence.LIA Vol.21, No.5.
Stress refers to two simultaneous events: an external stimulus and the physical responses to that stimulus such as a faster heart rate, increase in blood pressure, faster breathing and so on. Stress is our internal reaction to negative, worrisome, and threatening situations.
One technique in managing stress is what experts call “freeze-frame.” It is based on the concept that conscious perception is like watching a movie, and we perceive each moment as an individual frame. When a scene becomes stressful, it allows you to freeze that perceptual frame and isolate it so you can observe it from a more objective and detached viewpoint.
The five steps of the freeze-frame technique as outlined by Childre and Cryer (1998, p.11) are:
- Recognize and disengage.
- Breathe through your heart.
- Invoke a positive feeling.
- Ask yourself, “Is there a better alternative?”
- Note the change in perspective.
I tried this technique when we had reorganization in our organization. As a young leader of a team of five, I was already experiencing most of the stress-related symptoms described above. However, when I tried the technique, the feeling was like a sudden calm came over me and replaced the tension I was feeling inside. It really set matters into a proper perspective.
Stress management techniques like “freeze- frame” help me overcome the symptoms of stress in any tough or tense situation. I think it has something to do with the advantage of keeping a detached and objective outlook at the situation rather than reaching for the panic button.
Childre, D. & Cryer, B. (1998). Freeze-Frame: One Minute Stress Management. HeartMath Sytem.
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