As a rule, powerful leaders are known for their strong opinions, decisive action, and willingness to take no prisoners. In addition to these qualities, managers must take a step back and listen to their employees. Because they’ve become more used to speaking than than listening in the workplace, many leaders find it difficult to use this strategy. So, what is the best way to strengthen listening skills? Let me tell you about some of the strategies that might help while trying to listen to your employees.
Our childhood experiences have a profound impact on who we are today. There is little doubt that children who grow up in an environment of support and care may achieve more than those who have to deal with adversity at an early age. Regardless, our maturity is shaped by how we internalize and carry these events.
A positive or negative event can help us grow and improve our lives and those around us. I was taught as a kid that one should only talk when spoken to. As a result of this event, I’ve come to believe that everyone has a voice. When employees feel like they have a voice and can be heard, I believe that their sense of self-worth and belonging soars, which in turn improves productivity and morale at work. I’m a better employee because I know what it’s like to feel like you don’t matter, and I don’t want anyone else to feel that way, especially at work.
Why you should listen to your employees?
More engaged and productive workers are those that have a sense of belonging and are aware that their voices are being heard. They’re more likely to speak up when they have a platform to do so. When it comes to finding new methods to improve, 82% of employees surveyed said they have suggestions for how their companies may do so. The same poll indicated that more than a third of employees believe their business does not listen to their recommendations for change. Is your company missing out on possibilities to innovate, enhance efficiency, and provide superior customer service? Listening is the only way to find out.
Avoid the same blunders
In the 1980s, children in England were not considered as individuals until they were adults. I wasn’t the only one. “Don’t take up any room,” “Adults first, wait your time,” and similar directives were drilled into our heads. Amidst all these rules and regulations about how young people should act toward their peers and adults, I felt as if my voice didn’t count. Throughout my life, I understood that I never wanted someone to feel as if their viewpoint didn’t matter or that they weren’t being heard.
Since my childhood, I’ve made it a point to ensure that everyone’s voices are heard and that they feel involved in the community. When people are respected as individuals and treated with care, they feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts openly. Even if certain ideas don’t pan out, everyone knows they had the chance to present them.
In order to succeed as a leader, we must be open-minded and eager for input from everyone. All the answers are out there, but I’m not capable of coming up with them myself. As long as we regard each other as individuals with unique perspectives and contributions to make, we’ll always come up with better answers.
Begin with surveys.
You can start with questionnaires if you don’t think your employees are ready to voice their opinions in public or in private. Surveys of employee involvement can help you determine how much your employees care about the business and where you can make improvements. It is possible to offer these on a regular basis to monitor progress.
Pulse surveys are short assessments of the company’s current mood. These can be particularly useful before, during, and after a company undergoes a new development or event of some sort.. When a company is trying to grow, it is common for them to experiment with new ideas and methods. Finding out if they work is critical. Understanding the influence they have on employees is essential.
An increase in metrics in one area doesn’t necessarily mean that the expenditure was worthwhile; instead, you risk losing customers who aren’t engaged with your product or service. To ensure the success of a project or new initiative, it’s important to look into employee sentiment as well as the data. You may discover new ways to improve the process.
In addition, you must take action on any information you receive, because being asked for your opinion is worse than being ignored.
Do and should younger people have a voice?
People, especially those who are newer to the company or who are younger, need to be given the freedom to express themselves without fear of repercussion. It’s possible that a solution that I think is good may not appear the same to a younger person.
Going to an office and punching a time clock is becoming less and less important as remote and hybrid work options become more prevalent. For example, the Great Resignation may occur if we fail to hear our employees when they express their dissatisfaction with the status quo. Workers who don’t feel they have a voice are more likely to abandon their jobs.
It was deliberate that we waited until the end of the pandemic lockdown to finalize our plan so that we could observe and study other organizations that were imposing hybrid models. There was a backlash from their employees, and as a result, there was more conflict and fewer individuals working there. As a result, we waited patiently, listening to our employees’ requests and providing them with the help they needed. It was possible to avoid the same attrition issues that plagued us.
The only thing that matters when it comes to where workers work is where they are most productive. Leaders can help by being adaptable, providing employees with the tools and benefits they need, and tailoring health insurance plans to meet those needs. However, leaders must be open and receptive in order to get these things right.
Everyone should be heard.
Since so many people lack the self-assurance or comfort to voice their opinions or concerns, we need to set aside certain times and places where they can do so. We use activities to level the playing field on my team and in our company so that everyone can share and we can listen.
It’s crucial to know what’s preventing you from achieving your goals. Do you tend to be more of a talker or a better listener? For example, Riordan points out that people with certain personality qualities are better at listening empathically than others. Extroverts and conversationalists are usually the ones who talk the most. Client: Su had a powerful, passionate and innovative customer. When it came to listening, he was described as a “bull in a china shop” by his colleagues and subordinates. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he didn’t even know about it. A “listening stick” was Su’s method of breaking this unhealthy habit. He began with his wife by themselves at home (who was thrilled at the prospect of his transformation into a better listener). To converse during dinner, he had to wait till his wife handed him the listening stick first. He ultimately made progress thanks to this bodily cue.
Consider your upbringing as well as your current behaviors when making an assessment of your own. “It’s possible that some of us were raised to be listeners rather than speakers, to submit to the authority of others. “Some of us were taught that it was weak to listen, that we need to speak up,” explains Su. It’s tough to make positive changes in your life if you don’t first acknowledge the impact of your upbringing. Making a place for people to talk about their concerns raises our awareness of the ways in which we may all be experiencing the same emotions, which can lead to more empathy among us as a community. If adults treated children this way more often — allowing them to speak and not demanding them to do so — we’d get better at what we do and become closer as a result. My childhood may not have been like this, but I was able to transform it into a wonderful experience by providing even the most introverted among us a platform to speak. Since no one is hesitant to speak up now, everyone is more engaged.
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