Victor’s 10 Reflections on Leadership - 8 Be a better listener

Steve Rosvold 00:05

Welcome to CFO talk. I’m your host, Steve Rosevold, Chief Learning Officer at CFO.University. Joining us from Wichita, Kansas today is Victor Ojeleye.

I love observation 8, Be a better listener. I suspect you were probably a pretty good listener before. But how have you improved that? And what’s it done for you?

Victor Ojeleye 00:31

Thank you, Steve. Actually, there’s a sticky note right here that says, “Be a better listener.”, to start. It’s a reminder, we often have solutions even as we just begin to listen. I found this was one of my biggest weaknesses. I listened maybe intently or too intently to where I start to formulate an answer or a response.

Here is a specific example. We were in a team meeting. A new teammate started to share an idea. I chimed in with some information to support the idea when they got finished. And it led to the rest of the team going down another path. I acknowledged it, recognizing that I should have held that information until towards the end, just to confirm that I was listening to them, and not derailed their thought. I acknowledged it and apologized - I didn’t intend to do that. And then after the meeting, I talked with the individual. I said, ‘ Hey, I’ve got to be a better listener. I didn’t intend to derail your discussion there. We have a really engaged team, we’re all a bunch of high achievers. At times we might speak over, but it’s well intentioned, know that I come from a good place.’

And so that was just a reminder for myself, that it’s something I’m working on, I was able to acknowledge it with the individual and we were squared away. I also learned that sometimes just listening to absorb versus listening to solution are two different things. There are other intentions for listening too. For example where you’re listening to learn to write. This whole listening thing is something I’m working on, just trying to be a better listener in life and work and personally.

Steve Rosvold 02:25

Andrew Codd, a friend how runs a data analytics team for a large multinational remined me that we God made us with two ears and one mouth for a reason. I still struggle with trying to be too quick to solve a problem rather than absorbing the full story and intent of the speaker or group. It’s something I am still working on. I really appreciate your thoughts on this leadership observation.

That wraps up this video short taken from our longer interview with Victor, Reflections on Leadership. CFO.University is a community of member scholars, companies and trusted advisors committed to the professional development of chief financial officers. Learn more about us at CFO.University.

Until next time, Enjoy. Learn. Engage

Find Victor’s other Reflections on Leadership HERE

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