Have you ever attended a meeting in which when the leader with the highest rank in the room begins to talk about their thoughts the brainstorming and volleying off of ideas stop?
The discussion shifts around their ideas. The majority of leaders, including me believe it’s our responsibility to define the problem or opportunity, and suggest solutions then inquire about what the others in the team think.
But, this can lead to the phenomenon of groupthink, which is taking decisions or thinking in a group in a manner that hinders the individual’s creativity or personal responsibility. This is the reason why great leaders never speak first.
A leader who is a true member of a group is usually not someone who speaks the most. It’s not the person who is taking a trip on the power. It is the one who listens best. Effective leaders recognize that active listening involves more than just listening to what’s said. It’s about noticing what’s not spoken.
It’s being aware of the body language and facial expressions. Being aware of different personalities, allowing opposing viewpoints, and recognizing the voices of vocal people and amplifying the voice of those who are quieter are actions of transformative leadership.
Creating Space For All To Be Heard
When it comes to meetings leader expert and author Simon Sinek has great advice for leaders. “The top leaders are those who are those who speak at the end of every meeting. The ability to hold your opinion until everyone else has said it does two things: First It gives everyone the impression that they’ve been heard. This makes everyone feel that they’ve made a difference. In addition, you have the benefit of listening to what other people think about before you make your own opinion.”
If you are waiting to hear the opinions of your team to discuss, you’re giving the members the opportunity to develop into leaders who feel at ease sharing their thoughts to one another. It boosts morale of the team and helps to facilitate more productive discussions since research has proven that the best teams prefer conflicts over cohesion, and often debate each other. If you accept the responsibility of being a leader and speaking last, it will encourage the members of your group to test one another’s opinions with the best ways possible.
In her blog”Why great leaders last, Luba Koziy shares a excellent tip for leaders on how they can encourage collaboration from their teams during meetings. “First make sure you don’t lose an anchor. The group is likely to cling to the first thing that is said during an event. This is one reason why the outspoken person’s statement was so convincing and provided an anchor for all the other participants revolved about.”
She explains that the credibility of this anchor’s verbal message isn’t so important when it’s dropped first. “What occurs after an anchor is an array of changes every subsequent comment connects to the anchor’s comments until everyone is able to reach an unsatisfactory solution. This is also referred to as anchoring and adjustment cognitive heuristic.”
If the leader’s last words are spoken and last, it indicates that they are a fan of the ideas and opinions of the team members. This shows their willingness to consider and listen to everyone’s suggestions before making an ultimate decision. An individual leader who exhibits confidence and emotional intelligence in their staff members usually has more influence on them, which is an extremely crucial aspects of leadership. It is done in a genuine and transparent way.