Managing people can be a daunting task, and it can often feel overwhelming to keep track of everyone’s needs and preferences. However, there is one small thing that can have a massive impact on your people management skills and it’s simply this; listen first and then speak!
True listening is the act of fully concentrating on what the other person is saying, both verbally and non-verbally. It involves paying attention to the speaker’s words, tone of voice, body language, and emotions. By deep listening to your employees, you can gain a better understanding of their needs and concerns, and you can respond to them more effectively.
Here are a few ways that active listening can improve your people management skills:
- Builds trust and rapport: When you really listen to your employees, they feel valued and respected. They are more likely to open up to you and share their thoughts and feelings, which can help build trust and rapport between you.
- Increases empathy: Really listening requires you to put yourself in your employees’ shoes and see things from their perspective. This can help you develop a greater sense of empathy, which can improve your ability to understand and connect with your employees.
- Improves problem-solving: By really listening to your employees, you can gain a better understanding of the issues they are facing. This can help you identify potential solutions and work collaboratively with your employees to address the problem.
- Reduces misunderstandings: When you really listen to your employees, you are less likely to misunderstand their intentions or motivations. This can help prevent conflicts and misunderstandings in the workplace.
This should be the easiest management technique in the book, but honestly, it’s practiced so infrequently. It doesn’t really need anything more complicated than keeping your mouth shut for longer! Focus on the speaker and avoid distractions and give the speaker your full attention. Try it, it will pay dividends.