It’s easy to underestimate the power of truly listening to your team. After all, you likely have conversations on a regular basis, and maybe not all of these discussions provide obvious value.
However, there is a substantial difference between hearing them speak and actively listening to what your employees have to say. Similarly, if you spend the conversation simply waiting for your chance to talk or allow distractions to break your focus, you might not be listening as well as you think.
Whether you are speaking with contract workers from temp agencies from Cleveland, Ohio or members of your permanent staff, listening to your workforce is crucial if you want to be a successful leader. In fact, it’s one of the leadership fundamentals every manager should master. If you’re wondering how listening to your team make a difference, here’s what you need to know.
What Happens When You Get Better at Listening?
When you strive to genuinely listen to your staff, everyone benefits. First and foremost, when your workers feel heard, they are more inclined to believe that the manager and the company care about what they have to say. This can increase positive feelings in the workplace and garner a sense of loyalty.
Additionally, by active listening, you can gather information with greater ease. This allows you to stay better informed, limiting your chances of making a mistake and letting you make smarter decisions. Plus, you may discover details that you would have otherwise missed, increasing your confidence in any decision you do make.
Finally, by actively listening, you create an atmosphere or mutual trust. Your employees will feel secure in an environment where expressing their ideas is welcomed, which can promote innovation, creative thinking, and more.
How to Improve Your Listening Skills
Improving your listening skills only requires small shifts in your daily habits. When you are speaking with a team member, work to stay in the present by eliminating potential distractions. For example, put your cell phone away, mute your computer notifications, and reduce background noise by closing your office door, turning off the radio, or anything else you can do.
Then, focus on what they are saying. Pay attention to their word choice, inflection, and overall tone. Ask questions to gain clarity and invite them to elaborate. Resist the urge to formulate a reply in advance and, whatever you do, don’t interrupt.
After your employee has finished, begin by summarizing what you heard them say, then provide your input. Additionally, if you need more time to reach a conclusion, don’t hesitate to let them know. You can always return to the conversation after you’ve had a chance to think on the matter.
By using the tips above, you can improve your listening skills quickly and efficiently, allowing you to experience the benefits of having a team that feels their input is valued and that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say.
If you would like to learn more, the professionals at Vector Technical Inc. can help. Contact us to discuss your workplace goals and challenges today and see how our expertise can benefit you.