Hartung: Learning to listen builds leadership quality

Winning teams depend on listening for effective strategy, collaboration and context. Listening is essential to discovering opportunities, dangers and a path forward. When you listen to understand, to uncover what really matters to the speaker, you glean mission-critical information. 

Listening intelligence can move a mission forward because it is how we receive information about what matters. Colorado entrepreneur Dana Dupius, CEO and founder of the ECHO Listening Profile, developed methods to enhance collaboration and performance culture by boosting listening intelligence with an assessment and scientifically validated profile. 

We listen for what matters to us, and we may screen out, ignore, or not even perceive what doesn’t, or what we don’t yet know is important. The very act of listening reveals our values.  Yet, I find many people are not sure how to express the core of their leadership, what really matters to them.  What really matters to you is the unique nuanced part of your leadership story.  You are the author of it. 

Have you ever received feedback about your listening?  The business case for listening skills keeps growing as managers struggle to connect with remote employees, retain their high-performers, and develop strong teams.

Honoring what matters to you while you work is a form of inner alignment — congruency between who you are and what you are.  As your leadership strategy evolves, so do you. Listening well fuels authenticity and wellbeing, as well as effective leadership.  

Consider what you are listening for in your next meeting or conversation.  If you are habitually listening for the data and analysis, you may want to shift channels to listen to how people are being affected. Find out what your team needs by listening, then design an approach rooted in the reality of their experience as well as your own. 

Reliable strengths and listening habits can be easily built in order to tune into what is happening for others so that you can read the room, capture data, know your own heart, and see the possibilities. 

Participants in the upcoming BizWest Change-Making Leadership Academy will each leverage the ECHO Listening Profile for leading groundbreaking change. 

In September, a small group selected for their commitment will kick-off three months of working on making change together with a network of supportive colleagues and advisors. 

As the author of The Conscious Professional: Transform your Life at Work, more than 20 years as a founder, executive coach, and leadership consultant, I designed BizWest’s Academy to grow the Front Range leaders and businesses to bring forth their best.  

Seize the opportunity to network and learn by connecting with professionals from different industries and organizations and share effective leadership strategies.  Registration is now open. BizWest’s Change Making Leadership Academy https://events.bizwest.com/bizwestacademy/, provides the clarity, connections and skills to support you in making the change you want to see. 

Jessica Hartung is an entrepreneur, strategic advisor and leadership development author.  More at
consciousprofessional.com.