I was having a conversation with a seasoned civic leader. I realize that many times, politicians are about driving their agenda. However, there are those who truly want to listen and are committed to making our society and our communities stronger.
This individual shared a recent experience:
I was trying to get information from a leader who has responsibility in a specific area of concern. As I started to ask my question, she began to "pontificate" about her agenda. Again, I tried to ask a question, and before I said three words, she jumped and started to expound on what she assumed I was asking.
Finally, I interrupted her and asked, "Could you repeat my question to you?" She was stumped. She could not articulate my question. She simply jumped back into an explanation of her agenda.
While this is certainly an example of a leader with low EQ (or emotional intelligence), it is also an important reminder to us. Leaders who lead with their agendas are perceived as shallow, self-serving, and ultimately ineffective. Taking the time to listen and genuinely learn about the issue before responding takes humility and discipline.
So many times we see and hear leaders who are quick to form opinions without taking the time to research the details or facts of a situation. They are more concerned about driving their agendas than speaking and leading with truth and integrity.
Those who are authentic about their leadership will never allow an agenda to drive their behavior. Effective leaders realize the importance of leading with their ears instead of their mouths. Choose to practice the discipline of sincerely listening to those you lead, and you will make a difference!