When people feel heard, they feel known, valued – and this is desperately needed in our modern culture. It is, perhaps, an even deeper need for women in powerful leadership positions. Others listen to accomplished, successful women for the express purpose of acquiring knowledge for their own gain. But who truly hears and sees the strong, powerful women, herself, who is dispensing said knowledge?
Out of this reality comes the wisdom that all need to be truly seen and heard. To not be is quite lonely. As women especially, we naturally possess the ability to listen and alleviate this need, if we are intentional to sharpen our skill. Leaders who do so will draw others to themselves who are at the same level, which is both desirable and mutually beneficial. Through this episode, I hope to ignite in you the desire to awaken the deep, pure magic of being a leader who truly listens and sees.
What You’ll Learn
- Why we typically feel unheard
- Pursuit of knowledge
- Self-focused society
- The magic of listening
- Connect with people at the same level
- Hold others in high value
- Some proofs you’re truly listening
- Cultivate being listened to yourself
- Find people who see and hear you
Contact Info and Recommended Resources
Connect with Kris Plachy
Never underestimate the magic and the power of being deeply, powerfully listened to. Let’s go!
Hello, everyone, and welcome to Leadership is Feminine. I’m your host, Kris Plachy, thank you for joining me. Today I want to talk about leadership, feminine leadership, and I want to talk about a skill that I think is often sort of touted but not maybe sort of, we don’t really dive into it as deeply as we can. And I think this is really, really important for a lot of reasons.
So, we’re going to talk about listening as a leadership skill and why it’s so important right now. As a coach, one of the things that actually, we are taught in coaching, is to listen. And I think that in many ways, I’ve always been a little bit of a natural listener, I’m an observer. I’m an only child, so I sort of have always kind of paid attention to things around me.
And about a month ago, I sent out a private invitation to certain people, select people that I’ve worked with for a program that I’m leading called The Sage CEO. I’m calling it more of a path than a program. It’s a retained high-level coaching and strategist sort of relationship with me, complemented by some getaways and experiences with other women, sort of at that same level. The Sage CEO is someone who has really already achieved a certain level of success in her business and her life, and she’s kind of at that place of like, “Mm, now what?” And in my experience, women who are at that space need a different relationship with a coach. And that’s what we are cultivating in Sage.
But one of the things that I talked about in that invitation is, in my experience, women who are powerful have often gravitated to have relationships with me. And I think there’s a few reasons for that. One of them…And actually, the reason I’m sharing this, is one of my former clients, now colleague and friend, who I talk to regularly, is Eleanor Beaton. She said to me, “You need to tell people why that happens, not just sort of say that it happened.” So, I thought, “Okay, I’m going to do that.” And that’s what led me down this path of listening, so bear with me.
So, women who are very powerful, very successful, have accomplished a lot. A lot of people listen to them, but they listen to them for their own personal gain. They listen to them, to take what they teach, or what they say or what they advise, so that they can then apply it in their world. So, women who are accomplished and successful are mentors and teachers and coaches and advisors of other women, even if that’s not their job, it’s what they end up doing. Because strong and powerful women are such a magnet and so attractive to other women, as they should be.
And so when those women and I cross paths, in my experience, they tend to really enjoy their time with me. And I know that a lot of that has been because I create a lot of safety, I hold confidence. But I listen and I don’t listen for my own gain; I listen to hear you, to hear them. And there’s a very big difference between people listening to you and people hearing you and seeing you. When you reach levels of authority and power in your space, oftentimes, you feel very unseen, even though there’s thousands of people listening to you. It’s lonely. And so as we think about being leaders, and building teams of people that we want to be in our space, I really do believe that an asset, an ability that you can continue to work on is listening to people to hear them and see them, not just to get from them.
I want you to flip this on your own, like when you are with someone and you feel so heard, so listened to, so deeply known, it’s magic, right? It’s like an elixir that you’re like, “I want more of that. Can we go get lunch? Can we go get coffee?” It’s so lovely to be heard, because it’s so lonely to be unheard, unseen. And I think we mistake people in positions of authority with these big megaphones. We think, “Well, everybody’s listening to them. You know, there’s CEO, there’s all these people who listened to her.” Yeah, they listened to her for direction, for what do I do now? For how do I fix this? For all those things. But who’s listening to her?
And so I have a few relationships in my personal life, where I know this is true, also, where I can just feel listened to and heard and seen. And the way that I know that is, first of all, they build on what I say instead of just take what I say and apply it to themselves. And we all know that old adage that some people listen to wait to talk. I think a lot of people listen and wait to figure out what they can do with what you’re telling them. But I think the other piece is just someone who listens with the intention of helping you be better, feel better. solve your own problem, find your own wisdom.
When someone leans into you and sees you, and what it is that you’re talking about, that is magic. And I wish there was more of that. I don’t think there’s a lot. It’s one of the reasons why I struggle with a lot of girlfriend relationships in general, because I feel like a lot of them are shallow, and they are unseen conversations, they’re chatter. I don’t do chatter. I don’t like chatter, which I think is why a lot of people also find me a little hard to talk to you because I’m always like, “Let’s talk.” Like, I see you. And I think some people don’t want to be seen. I have spent my lifetime, not even with intention, but I have a lot of intuition, I have a lot of knowing when I meet people, it’s almost like I can kind of see in there. And some people love that; other people don’t.
But one of my favorite quotes is from a client of mine, Rebecca, who will be actually one of our special guests in our program here soon. But she came to our retreat last year, and she said, like, “I just loved the retreat’ she said, “We just skipped over all that other stuff that women do, and we went right into the heart of it.” And I really do believe that in the Hawaii retreat experience that I create, that’s also why people feel so much magic because they feel and have been so seen and heard in a way that is unique in this world. And what I will tell you, if you are in a role where you lead others, we are collectively so hungry for connection, and to be seen and heard as we are. Not as we think we should be, not as they want us to be, not as what’s appropriate, but just seen, heard, held, no matter how much you have accomplished in your life.
And so with those people that are coming to you who work for you, of course, you talk about their performance and their work and their work product. But do you listen to them to see them? Do they feel known? I think I know it’s a superpower that draws people to you of like-thinking, people who you want in your world who are connectors at that level. And I think if that’s what you are craving in your own life, you have to be that for others. And you have to be incredibly thoughtful about who you let in. But there is a magic to that.
And I love that we create that for our clients and even in the “How to CEO” program. They come and they share and they express and they can do something with us that they can’t do anywhere else because they’re the boss, they’re the wife, they’re the mom, they’re the daughter. They’re not being listened to with the simple intention of being heard. They’re being listened to in all those other roles in their life because other people want something from that role, that part of who you are. And I think as women, we are you equally prepared to do this regularly if we can get out of our own way.
So how do you know if you are truly listening and seeing people? You know if you’re not distracted. You know if you remember what they tell you. You know if you pause and you talk about them, not for any other reason other than to hear about it. I know that we’re so busy. We have so much going on. And yet, life is really about having beautiful relationships with other people, and celebrating those relationships in the ways that you love to celebrate. Savouring them, enjoying them, relishing in them. I don’t think anybody wakes up and thinks, “I can’t wait to do email today.”
And I know that you’re good at listening, I know you are, I just think that our lives have made that more complicated, so we need clear space for it. And I also want to tell you, I think you should expect it of others with you. I think you need to have people in your life who deeply listen, so they hear you and see you. Because too many women come into the work that I do and they feel lonely and isolated. And the reason that is, is because they haven’t found people that aren’t just trying to get something from them.
I don’t think people are ill intended, I just think that that’s what we do, is we listen to people to learn and grow and all that stuff. And that’s great, but there’s a woman in there, it’s a soul, it’s a spirit. She needs as much attention as the brain part of you. So don’t dismiss the importance of that for yourself either. So, I think if we just all sort of say, “Yeah, I’m going to go all in.’ And listening is a superpower for leaders. And being listened to, heard, seen is a superpower for leaders. You need both.
As always, I’d love to know what you think so you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org, you can ping me on Instagram. But who do you go to? Where do you go to be heard, seen, deeply listened to, all the pieces and parts? Thanks for joining me today. Have a wonderful day.Download Transcript