Published on June 09, 2020
Empowering, communicating and listening to your employees has never been more important and understanding how your teams are feeling and the relationships you have can help you plan your next steps as a business. As a leader or manager, effective communication; that is listening, open and transparent, flexing your communication style to ensure people feel safe at work and showing empathy and understanding, all contribute to building trust and strengthening relationships. If a person has positive relationships at work, they are less likely to experience workplace stress.
Listening is one of the most underused leadership skills and although effective listening can be difficult to master, it’s one of the most important things we 'you' can do for employee empowerment. The quality of a person’s attention determines the quality of the other persons thinking. Giving full attention to an individual is an important skill and it is not one mastered by everyone. In fact, it is hard to actively listen for more than a few minutes at a time. Ask yourself, when was the last time you were listening to someone or listened to yourself? And I mean properly listening or listened to? When was the last time you experienced that the other person made you feel that you were the 'only person in the room’?
A good listener is someone who:
- Focuses on the other person rather than themselves
- Takes notes of the key points and replays them back
- Asks questions to clarify points and ensure correct understanding
- Observes body language as well as what’s being said
- Acknowledges understanding with non-verbal gestures and nods
- Pauses to think of questions, rather than thinking of them while the speaker is speaking - pausing for thought will reassure the speaker that the listener is truly digesting and considering what has been said
- Asks open and reflective questions to encourage the other person to speak more
As Simon Sinek, author of ‘Start with Why?’ says, “Good listeners have a huge advantage. For one, when they engage in conversation, they make people ‘feel’ heard. They ‘feel’ that someone really understands their wants, needs and desires. And for good reason; a good listener does care to understand.”
Psychologist Carl Rogers, who was one of the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology states that ‘active listening is a difficult discipline. It requires intense concentration on everything the person is conveying, both verbally and non-verbally.
Active Listening Masterclass
The way to become a better listener is to practice "active listening." This is where you make a conscious effort to not only hear the words another person is saying but, more importantly, try to understand the complete message being sent.
As part of our suite of online masterclasses, we offer an Active Listening masterclass that focuses on Effective Listening so that you can learn new skills and behaviours to engage and empower your employees and peers. We also offer to follow up one to one coaching from one of our accredited coaches to help work through any blockages that might be getting in the way of effective listening.
This 3-hour masterclass allows you to understand:
- What is active listening and why is it so important?
- What can improving our active listening help us to do?
- What stops us from listening and how can we overcome and change our (bad) habits?
Talk to us today if you’d like to know more about our online masterclasses. We’d love to hear from you and we promise to really listen to you – after all, we want to make you feel like you’re the ‘only person in the room’.
As well as our leadership and management training solutions, our Vibe employee engagement platform offers you a deeper understanding of your environment and enable you to make informed decisions that will positively impact on employee wellbeing, performance and business growth. Vibe uses a complex algorithm to quantify the four most influential emotional drivers, Stress, Trust, Empowerment and Passion – by comparing and contrasting subconscious thoughts and feelings with traditional qualitative and quantitative data.
If you feel that you or any of your team members are in are struggling with some of these notions of poor relationships, trust or communication within your organisation, why not speak to us today about performing a cultural and employee engagement diagnostic survey.
We guarantee you that with the data you uncover, our one to one follows up coaching sessions and tailored departmental action planning, it will be one of the most refreshing inspiring and motivating things you can do right now, for you AND your relationships.