80% of all workplace issues are due to communication issues.
Listening is a part of communication, and it is one action, when implemented, managers can really make a difference.
How do you feel when someone doesn’t listen to you? You feel rejected, ignored, not valued, right?
Deep listening does not require elaborate techniques, tools or high-tech devices. It just needs you.
Do you know how to listen? No, I’m not being smart.
It takes practise.
First, and this may seem obvious, stop talking!
Pay attention to what is being said rather than thinking of what you can say next. Just because you’re being quiet while some else is speaking does not necessarily mean you are listening.
- Is your mind wondering?
- Are you mentally finishing the person’s sentence?
- Are you already devising the ‘solution’ for the other person’s problem?
If you do any of these then you are probably not really listening.
Pay attention to the words the person is using, pay attention to the tone of voice being used, pay attention to the body language that accompanies the words and tone.
Be present and pay attention to the whole experience. Ask yourself, what’s not being said and how does that relate to the words, tone and body language of the person speaking.
When actively listening try some of these techniques (I’ve added examples):
Trust building and Establishing Rapport
“I really appreciated knowing that you help out at your local community centre, I’m impressed.”
“Tell me how I can help.”
“I can see the project result is not what you expected. What specific aspect of the project upset you?”
“What I’m hearing you say is your concerned for the project going over time and that’s creating stress for the team.”
“So you’re telling me the report needs more depth and analysis.”
Waiting to disclose your thoughts or decisions
“Tell me more about the background to the project being delayed.?”
“Can you enlighten me on the relationship you have with the newest team members?”
Sharing / Empathy
“I was also concerned about the budget over runs when it was my project.”
“I also got frustrated with the time it takes to recruit. Even if it’s out of our control, it’s annoying.”
I’d love to know your thoughts…