Leadership and the power of listening

In this podcast, Arun Maira dwells on how listening without judgement can help leaders understand the big picture and improve the quality of their decisions

Founding Fuel

By Charles Assisi and NS Ramnath

  • How do you build the ability to understand the big picture?
  • In a world getting disrupted by new technologies, is a tech mindset enough? Or is a technology lens limiting our ability to understand a situation in all its complexity?
  • Are you struggling with employees who have a transactional approach? What is it that makes people bring their hearts and minds to work? How do you create a work culture that nurtures that?
  • How can you improve the quality of your decisions?
  • As a democratic society caught in the chaos of many divisive voices, how do you come to a consensus and evolve solutions that are fair and right? 

These are some of the questions Arun Maira dwells on in this conversation with Charles Assisi and NS Ramnath. “The ability to listen without judgement and ask good questions are an important leadership skill,” he says.

Call it deep listening, active listening or mindful listening—it is a theme that Maira has explored at much length in his essay Listening to them—and shaping our future together and his latest book, Listening for Well-Being. (You can read an extract here.)

The neglected skill is especially pertinent to the times we live in and this discussion probes his thoughts on the theme. For your listening convenience, we’ve divided the podcast into four broad sections:  

Part 1: To acquire wisdom, we have to learn to listen. But what does it take to listen?

Part 2: What is the nature of trust in leaders and commitment to a course of action?

Part 3: Building processes that encourage reflective conversations. And how a tech-only lens is shutting out “humanity”.

Part 4: How do you design a physical space and rules for conducting a deliberative conversation? And what are some of the ideas that has Maira’s attention now? 

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About the author

Founding Fuel

Founding Fuel aims to create the new playbook of entrepreneurship. Think of us as a hub for entrepreneurs- the go-to place for ideas, insights, practices and wisdom essential to build the enterprise of tomorrow. It is co-founded by veteran journalists Indrajit Gupta and Charles Assisi, along with CS Swaminathan, the former president of Pearson's online learning venture.

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