Be a Better Listener
Most good listeners work hard at listening. It might come easier for some people than others, but you can work on your listening skills. And when you do become a better listener, you’ll notice that your relationships improve, performance increases and your own ability to persuade and influence will grow stronger.
Here are the top three things you can do to be a better listener:
#1 Avoid Distractions
Stay focused on the individual, making eye contact and avoid letting your eyes wander to things happening in the background. Put away any distracting devices and make the person in front of you your priority. If you have something urgent to attend to, tell the person you need to take care of something first and then you’ll be able to give them the time and attention they deserve.
#2 Let them finish talking before responding
Many leaders are fast-paced and they will have a tendency to finish people’s sentences or cut them off before they finish expressing their thought. This can be perceived as disrespectful to the team member. In many situations, all the person needs is the opportunity to get something off their chest and they may even be able to solve the issue on their own by simply talking it out.
#3 Use active listening skills
You can show you’re listening by nodding and using words like, “Tell me more” or “That’s interesting”.
You can also ask questions for clarification before you respond. The ultimate listening skill would be to summarize what the other person said before responding.
Some leaders avoid certain employees because of past run ins and experiences. Try and suspend judgement about the person or the message until you hear them out.
By focusing on your listening skills, your team members will see you as a more effective communicator and a better leader.
To continue your growth as a leader, you are invited to check out our books, videos and training workshops and visit us online at frontlineleadership.com or join with other like minded leaders on Facebook.