This highlights a very interesting facet of the leadership role. Unless you can get people to believe you are worth listening to, it won’t matter what you say. Building the right relationship has to come first, with people believing that the leader is on their side, speaks their language, understands their issues and is strong enough to lead. Even if people do not agree with everything they hear, they will follow the leader they think can lead them. They look for particular characteristics in their leaders which may be different to those they look for in their friends, peers or colleagues. Consider what image of leadership you need to portray to get people on board and ready to listen to the message.
This of course highlights another very interesting aspect of human psychology. That our values, ideas and principles stop us really listening to people we have already dismissed as irrelevant. We are all subject to these listening biases that can limit the real picture we form of a situation. Consider how often you have sat in a meeting and started to wander mentally into the world of your e-mails and future tasks, because you have already decided the speaker is not worth listening to. This may seem effective time use but can affect our understanding of situations and people.
When do you tend to dismiss the speaker as irrelevant?
When do you need to display strength in your leadership?
What do others need to see you do?