That quote comes from Lee Child, the internationally acclaimed author of the Jack Reacher series of books which have sold over 100 million copies and have been adapted into two movies and a TV series. So, Lee knows a thing or two about grabbing the reader’s attention.
He elaborates on that quote:
“You’ve got to have read thousands of books and then you internalise that rhythm. You internalise the grammar of cliff hangers and pace and so on”.
When it comes to radio, good programmers need to be good LISTENERS. You need to spend time LISTENING to your station without any distractions or interruptions.
Listening in general goes beyond passive hearing …. to LISTEN, you need to make a conscious effort not to just hear what people are saying but to absorb what they are saying, digest it and understand it.
As a good listener, you have to be able to know instantly whether your morning show is sounding right on the money or if the music mix is slightly off target. You have to be able to do the same with your competitors. If you are a Talk programmer, you must know if the topics are right, if the hosts are presenting information in an entertaining and compelling manner, if interviews are going on way too long to the point, they’re just filling up airtime.
Now this brings me to a second point.
To be a great LEADER of your programming team, it’s not just listening to what’s happening on air; it’s also listening acutely when you are in meetings, discussing things with members of your team and listening to what they have to say.
Listening helps build trust within your team. When you make the effort to listen intently to someone, they can tell that you’re invested in what they’re saying. This makes them more comfortable sharing information with you. If you’re only half-listening or constantly glancing at your phone, the other person won’t want to waste their time.
Listening properly can reduce misunderstandings. Misunderstandings are one of the most common effects of poor communication within a company. When people aren’t listening to each other, it’s very easy to mishear something or misinterpret someone’s meaning.
Listening can also avoid conflict. Poor listening skills are at the root of many conflicts. Not listening intently can frustrate people who are engaged in an important decision-making process e.g., a strategy meeting with potentially long-term consequences for your radio station. People want to feel respected; they want to feel like they are being heard. You don’t have to agree with them, but simply making the effort to listen to another perspective keeps the situation calmer. When everyone in the room feels calm, it’s easier to work through situations where difficult decisions have to be made without things escalating to conflict.
To be a better LEADER, you should become a better LISTENER. Active listening builds connections with your team. The common perception is that good leaders are people who express themselves extremely well…. they’re great on their feet speaking to a room full of people….but that’s just half the picture. They’re also great LISTENERS.