Being a Good Listener
How often did you start talking in front of your co-workers or friends and noticed that some of them were not listening at all? How did that make you feel? Do you do the same thing to others?
One can benefit a lot from being a good listener both in private and professional life. In this article we will try to provide you with some guidelines on how to be an effective listener.
If you hold a managing position in your company, you may very often draw a wrong conclusion that you no longer need to listen to your subordinates. This is a common mistake with certain elements of arrogance that a lot of people occasionally make. Listening to your colleagues and your subordinates may bring you a lot of benefits so it’s never late to become a good listener.
Once you develop a reputation for being a good listener, you will be able to prevent some of the conflicts in your company that are sometimes inevitable to happen. Be on top of all internal problems and listen to your subordinates when they complain. This approach may save you from a lot of headaches later on.
Not every idea is a great one. Some points of views or ideas you hear from your employees may not be realistic or, on the other hand, they may be simply too complicated; however, try to pay attention when they present it anyways. By doing so, you will recognize their effort and show them a respect, which they will repay you by doing their job better.
While indeed sometimes you may feel a little bit frustrated with every day commitments and obligations or problems, you still need to find some time to listen to people. Show your employees that you respect their positions and what they have to say, and they will respect you more as a boss and follow you even through the times of hardship.
Remember that multitasking might be your enemy in these situations. Talking over the phone or texting others while listening to your employees or co-workers is not a way of how to be an effective listener and may be considered as a sign of disrespect and lack of interest for their problems and concerns. Hence, you should avoid all distractions such as sending emails, playing with your cell phone or surfing the Internet. Stay focused during the conversation and occasionally repeat by rephrasing something your collocutors said. This will re-assure them that you fully understand what they are saying and help you stay focused as well.
Treating your employees in this way may result in increase of respect they have for you. Furthermore, it will show that you do care about their problems and that you are approachable to them, resulting in a boost of productivity and positive working environment. Aside from improving alternative ideas for fixing arising issues and problems, by listening to your employees you also improve decision making, which may differentiate a successful company or department from an unsuccessful one.
By being a good listener, you are setting a stage for good cooperation with all your subordinates and coworkers, which will hopefully last for a long time. Establish yourself as a good mentor by being a good listener and enjoy the benefits of your successful cooperation with everyone from your working environment.