A senior leader asked me to work with him on several challenges, one of which is to how to get his team to be more participative during staff meetings. So, he invited me to a staff meeting to witness the action. Within ten minutes, the problem became crystal clear. He talked too much.

He took over every conversation. The unintended impact? In the eyes of his team, he made himself the smartest and most important person in the room. His behavior deadened the energy of the group and sucked the life out of the room.

As a leader, your job is to take the spotlight off of yourself and create space for members of your team to shine. This is true during staff meetings, presentations to senior management, or on cross-functional teams. You can do this by listening more and talking less. That’s where the true power lies. Plus, when you listen you increase your learning – about your team members – their point of view, their issues and concerns, their strengths and areas for development, and more.

So, talk less and listen more. And, intentionally make space for your reports to use their knowledge and talents, and apply their bright ideas to business opportunities and challenges. You’ll help them mature into capable leaders of tomorrow – which is a KEY part of your job.