Why Managers Need to Listen More
Listening is a critically important skill for all of us bur specially so for managers and leaders; listening shows respect for the other person, empathy, trust and loyalty along with a long list of positives that good listening skills brings with it.
Just like talking and delivering a whole range of different communication skills, we all think we are good listeners but, this is a skill we all need to work on to perfect.
- Listening is a blind spot – this cuts us off from receiving messages and the more subtle communication hints that people drop into conversations. We think we are highly skilled in this area until someone else points out that we are not!
- The actual value of carefully and systematically listening is not seen and the positives of getting critical insights into issues is lost
- We do not know how to listen – this is not just practicing simple hearing it is using our body language to show that we are fully engaged with the conversation. Nodding of your head, copying or mirroring the posture and body shape of the other party, making eye contact and leaning forward are simple steps to practice making listening a really valuable, and positive, skill
- Being impatient and hurried removes any real chance of a meaningful exchange – this drastically reduces the impact of the message you are receiving and shows disinterest in both the message and the person delivering it. Give the person in front of you 100% focus and attention or ask them to speak to you later!
- Selective listening is something we all do but how reliable is it? We will often pay full attention to those more senior than we are but pay limited attention to those lower in the organisation!
- Not valuing others! We are all guilty of this to some extent as there will be people that we do not like or consider to be important – you need to re-frame your attention so that you can gain as much information as possible to make your tasks that much easier.
Always remember that you have two ears and one mouth so you should spend twice as much time listening compared to talking!
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