Linked In Leadership: An Exchange with Stephen Cottle

Sometimes we cross paths with people who work in industries where you would not have high expectations of leadership development. For me working around finance guys, my expectations tend to be low with this group. But enough of stereotyping our next contributor Steve Cottle comes to us from the financial services industry out of Connecticut. Steve conveyed an approach to his development that seemed pretty similar to my own seminars, webinars, periodicals, self directed training etc. What caught my attention though was his reference to communication.
You know that I have a very high opinion of those who are master communicators especially excellent listeners. Steve conveyed the importance of this lost art as well as the risk we face in today’s world of instant everything.
“Genuinely listening to the people that I talk to… I think (this) is at the most risk in our workplace today” Steve Cottle

Well sir Steve speaks my language. We as leaders need to be able to listen effectively. If you recall the email series 7 tips for leadership success, this was tip 2, right after integrity. Yes these two were ranked in order of importance.

There is so much we can do to demonstrate we care for others. There is none so great as to listen authentically to the voice and story of another. As the people of the tribes of northern Natal in South Africa would say “I see you”. I love this real life metaphor told by Peter Senge in his book The Fifth Discipline. These people are essentially saying until I see you, you do not exist. The way I read it until I listen and understand you, you do not exist.

I see you


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