I. I know it all syndrome. Being a leader does not confer omniscience powers on a person. No leader knows it all and the wisdom to learn from others no matter how low makes leadership all embracing. A leader must understand that listening to other people gives authenticity to their status and creates an atmosphere of inclusiveness instead of being a silo rider.
ii. They believe they are all powerful. No leader is omnipotent. The strongest of leaders can be brought down by the weakest of men. Thinking you are all powerful and invincible and that you don’t need the advice or feedback of other people is a sure panacea for imminent failure. Listening helps a leader to cure their inadequacies, their failings and provides a winning the support of their team members during difficult and challenging times.
iii. Fear of exposure of inadequacies. Some leaders harbor a palpable fear that some team members could spill the beans so there is no need to listen to what they have to say. For these leaders, they believe that giving listening ear amounts to giving a platform for criticism, unfavourable comments and avenue for ventilation of bottled anger and animosities.
iv. Their minds are made up. Many leaders have taken positions before they even start a conversation. On a burning issue, their mind is already made up and they do not want to listen to any one with contrary opinion or a contrasting argument. These kinds of leaders will not listen to anybody except they are forced to do so.
v. They don’t care about the views of others. Any leader who doesn’t care about the views of other people will not listen, no matter what is at stake.
vi. Close-minded and inferiority complex. Poor articulation of what is being said and the feeling of inadequacy could create a feeling of vulnerability. This will pace up the feeling of inferiority complex thereby narrowing the opinion of the leader into insignificant conclusions like not listening to other individuals.
vii. They believe listening serves defence purpose only. Listening is not for you to defend yourself or your actions. Listening is not meant to serve defensive or reactive purposes. Those who feel that they have something to hide will be the ones who believe when they listen, they will be forced to defend their actions. I listen to hear. What I hear, I understand. What I understand, I feel strongly about. What I feel strongly about, I act on it. My listening gives me the power of action to make change happen.
viii. Anger. High fit of anger or temperament will force an individual to shut down their listening ears. Leaders must always demonstrate self-control, and they must learn to listen to all shades of opinion no matter the level of agitation or provocation by other people.