Business > Show Employees You’re Willing to Hear Them Out

| May 1, 2015

Business School 2

Harvard Business Review:

Managers are often more accustomed to speaking than listening, but there are times when you need to shift gears and really hear your employees out. When you’re having a conversation, show that you are listening by silencing your phone, shutting off your computer, and getting rid of any other potential distractions. You don’t want to risk sending a message that the employee and his message aren’t important. Then look for nonverbal cues.

In a conversation, people might say one thing while their face and body say the opposite. Don’t let these cues pass by unaddressed. Acknowledge them with questions like, “You seem excited about this, can you tell me more?” or “I get the sense that this upsets you, is there anything you need to share?” Finally, verify what you’ve heard and ask clarifying questions like, “Here’s what I thought you said, is that correct?”

Adapted from “How to Really Listen to Your Employees” by Sara Stibitz.

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