When E.F. Hutton speaks people listen. Remember the commercials? Why exactly did people listen to E.F. Hutton anyway?
Well I don't know E.F. Hutton personally and I never listened to him but I would suspect the commercial was suggesting that when he or she (why do we assume E.F Hutton is a man?) has something important to say.
As businesses owners we have important things to say too, hopefully. Like the vision for the business, new strategies and ideas, standards and procedures. Things that people need to know in order to be effective. Are people really listening to you? Like E.F. Hutton, when you speak are you really being heard?
One way to ensure that you are being heard is to make sure you are listening to your people. I mean really listening. Not just going through the motions, but taking an active interest in their concerns and responding properly.
One of the most powerful ways of establishing an environment for effective leadership is to demonstrate a real understanding for other peoples needs and wants. That can only come through listening.