Let's talk active listening ...
As a manager, one of the most vital skills to possess is the skill of active listening. To complete the communication cycle, you will have to listen actively no matter how articulated your speeches are or how clear your instructions are.
Active listening is basically about hearing what your employees have to say and letting them know that their opinions and ideas are listened to. Most managers believe that when they take charge, what they say goes, and all the employees have to follow that – which is not the right approach to management.
The more open you are to listen, the more likely you will be a good manager, and it all comes down to your attitude. The way you portray your listening attitude will either make or break your relationship with your employees.
By actively listening and maintaining a good relationship with your employees, you will have first-hand insights and point-of-views about different matters relating to the smooth running of operations.
If you talk less and listen more, you will be able to gain more valuable knowledge rather than when you do all the talking – in which case you might miss some helpful information when you’re doing all the talking.
Active listening is a skill that can be learned and developed over time, just like most other essential managerial skills. The most vital part of active listening isn’t listening. The most critical factor is letting the person know that you hear them and are interested in the information they have to give.
Imagine you have to talk to your boss about a concern, and they fidget with their phone while you spend several minutes explaining. After such a case, you’ll be able to understand the level of frustration that builds.
The purpose of “active listening” is to be overthrown if the employees feel like their concern is not being heard when trying to communicate with you. Irrespective of the communication channel, whether physical or not, your employees would be disappointed when they felt like your active listening attitude was fake.
It doesn’t matter if they send you an email or a message on social media. The dynamics remain the same. This is why letting them know that you are interested in what they have to say is the key to active listening.