Dave Logan, author of Tribal Leadership, helped me see the power of a good listener, who has the ability to influence conversation without even saying anything. He said, “You can tell who has that kind of power because if they look at their watch then the whole room.” Their presence holds the space of the conversation.
Sometimes that’s a real person… The worldwide training company, Landmark Education, has someone listening to the leader just to hold space for the conversation. I myself was the listener in the room when Dave recorded his audiobook. And I have noticed that the best podcasts seem to have a producer there in the room.
The eerie part, is you don’t even need a real person. Think that’s weird?
At Amazon.com they keep a chair open at meetings to represent the customer’s voice. How cool and weird is that?! It’s like a ghost is there.
It seems like Walt Disney is still there when you hear the stories behind the scenes in Disney management and training. And if you can wrap your mind around this: Steve Jobs’ biographer said those close to him still speak of him in the present tense… What?!
And it hit me… Without getting into the beliefs, the world’s most well-known person may be the ghost of Jesus.
Let’s stick with the living ones, at least for now…
Do you notice who are the powerful listeners at your company?
What are they listening for?
What space are they holding?