Many leaders are good at making decisions and issuing directives. They are used to doing most of the talking. And this is good as far as it goes. But to be effective, leaders must also know when to listen to their employees as well, realizing that leaders don’t always know all the answers.
Here are a few tips on how to be a more effective listener.
1. Put it at the top of your to-do list
In other words, you have to actively engage in doing it. Just like any other project or task you have to do, you need to focus on it and treat it as a task that you have to accomplish. You won’t flip the switch and instantly become a better listener. Even if you make a mistake, learn from it and try to get better in the next situation.
2. Take your personality into account
Some people are extroverts, for example. They are naturally talkative and less inclined to sit back and quietly listen. When you begin your listening campaign, you need to understand what your personality is like so you can take that into account when you are doing your listening project.
3. Pay attention
Listening well means that you are paying attention to the person speaking and only the person who is speaking. That means you are not glancing at your cell phone, watching who happens to be walking by, or thinking about your next appointment. Your focus and attention are completely on the person.
You are following their words, nodding when appropriate to show you are listening, and making eye contact.
4. Pay attention to body language
Communication is more than just the words people use. It’s about their body language as well, so you also need to pay attention to that aspect. Body language is another form of communication. If you notice their actions don’t seem to match their words, question them about it. Body language could also be more honest than the verbal communication.
5. Maintain control over your reactions
You need to watch how you react to what the person says. Many times our reactions are almost involuntary or impulsive, like when we roll our eyes at something or make some dismissive gesture like shaking the head.
Listening is about more than just passively absorbing information. It is also questioning what you don’t understand, probing for greater clarification or detail, asking for more explanation or evidence. If you ask good questions, that shows you are being an active listener and can really help the dialogue.
If your company is looking for qualified and reliable employees who will make an impact, give Arrow Staffing a call. Arrow is one of the leading staffing firms in the Inland Empire. We find the right people for the job. Give Arrow a call today.