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I was a self-diagnosed “problem solver” in my early days as a leader. It was born of good intentions. I cared deeply about helping other people and genuinely believed that the best way to show that was to provide a solution to their problems as quickly as possible.

As a result, once I heard “the problem” in a conversation, my mind would go into fix-it mode. I would start to conjure up my response in my mind, and immediately start tuning them out, just waiting for an opening to share how I was going to save the day.

It took me a while to realize that sometimes people don’t share a problem to simply be given a solution.

They want to feel seen, heard and valued. They are trusting you with a point of vulnerability. And by skipping that vital, initial step in the conversation (seeking to understand the situation from their perspective) my solutions sometimes missed the mark.

My ability to actively listen is something that I have worked hard to improve over the last decade. I continue to work on it daily. It takes conscious, deliberate practice, but is a complete game-changer in terms of your ability to build meaningful relationships and trust with your folks.

Developing your ability to effectively communicate as a leader is a lifelong process.

What are you consciously doing to enhance or sharpen your communication skills? Could you use some help and guidance on where to start?


MJ | High Performance Coach

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