3. How well does the other person listen?
Often you hear that you can learn a lot about people by watching how they treat or speak about others, and there is good truth to that. If you observe someone treat a person poorly, you can gain insights into their values and beliefs. But this is not only a question about manners; it is also about listening skills.
Take the time to observe how people respond to questions from more junior staff. If they are dismissive or focus their attention on only senior staff, they may be unable to hear or inspire others. Smart leaders know that good ideas and suggestions can come from anywhere at any time.
Inspiring leaders understand that everyone wants to have an opportunity to be heard so they can make a contribution.
As with any skills, listening and gathering insights takes practice. Before you ask these questions of others, consider them about yourself and then ask them of people you already know and trust.
By paying attention to a few key characteristics, you might just find the leader you need for your organization.
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