Listening to a recent webcast I heard a CEO of a major organisation using the term Big Eyes, Big Ears and Small Mouth in the context of embarking on change as a leader.
The term really resonated with me because obviously as a leader one of your biggest challenges is to get the buy-in and support you need to move things forward. So let’s explore what the big eyes, big ears and small mouth leadership style might mean in practical terms.
Every leader, manager and employee strives to do the very best in their role as a general role. When you have big eyes as leader, manager or employee you are proactively looking out for opportunities to improve things. If you think about it we all see things day in day out that are getting in the way of delivering the best service we possibly could or doing things in the most efficient or effective way.
The question is are we doing anything with these insights. If we are leaders or managers are we actually encouraging everyone at every level to look for new and improved ways or are we actually blocking progress.
Communication is always highlighted as a core leadership and management skill and of course it is. On the other hand listening which is a core part of effective communication is often overlooked.
Leaders or managers who have big ears are great listeners and are willing to hear the different points of view, consider them and act on them. The reality is that if there was one skill to work on that could have a huge impact on your results as a leader or manager listening would be a good one to focus on.
Sometimes leaders or managers are so obsessed with getting their point of view across that they tend to be behave like a boomerang. By that I mean as soon as someone says something they are back in an instant with their counter response either to knock down or devalue what people have said.
The small mouth style is making sure that you have fully understood everything and responding when you have really seen or heard what others have to say rather than jumping straight in.
The Bottom Line: If you ever want to make change you have to win hearts and minds. Adopting a big eyes, big ears and small mouth style could really make a difference.
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps accountants, health and other professionals to become highly effective leaders. He invites you to check out his fre audio e-course.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.