My mother used to tell me, “God gave you two ears and one mouth because you should listen twice as much as you speak.” Listening is one of the most fundamental—and overlooked—soft skills. Here are three ways listening makes you a stronger leader:

1. Improved morale. When you take the time to truly hear your employees, they feel valued. Listening strengthens your connections with your team and allows them to be more invested in their work. They will also feel more willing to come to you if an issue arises in the future.

2. Clearer perspective. As a manager, you are by necessity removed from much of what is happening on the front-lines of your institution. When you listen to your employees you clarify your perceptions about what is going on with your staff, students, community, and key stakeholders.

3. New growth. Through active listening and engaged discussion with your staff, you just might learn something. Good leaders approach each conversation with humility, understanding that the person we’re talking to always has something to teach us.

Attention is one of our scarcest resources. When you make space to actively listen to those around you, you send a powerful message about how much you believe in your team and your mission.