Listening is maybe the most undervalued managerial talent of all time!

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Managers that pay attention to their staff have a greater beneficial influence on them, reducing employee dissatisfaction and turnover. Effectively guiding teams to success, good listeners provide superior teaching and direction.

They also have a knack for saying the perfect thing at the right moment (because they heard and understood concerns).

Despite this, approximately 80% of business programmes make presenting skills a goal, whereas just 11% make listening a goal.

According to Robin Abrahams and Boris Groysberg’s Harvard Business School research, “becoming proficient at active listening is a lifetime endeavour.”

“However, even slight gains in your listening effectiveness can make a difference.”

Here are the top recommendations and tactics from the researchers on how to become a better listener at work (and life).

Repeat the final few words

This is the most crucial of all the suggestions: Return the last few words of the other individual to him or her. It has three functions:

  • Helps the other individual feel as if they’ve been heard.
  • Everyone is on the same page.
  • Gives a break for both of you to collect your thoughts or recuperate from any emotional outburst.

Don’t paraphrase

You may have heard that rephrasing what others have said is a good idea. It only adds to the uncertainty. One example: if you need to double-check that you comprehend what they said, then say directly, “I’m going to rephrase this to make sure I understand.”

Give (or don’t give) nonverbals.

Make eye contact, stand alert, nod, and use other nonverbal clues – but only if it seems right to you! You won’t listen as closely as you should if you have to think about giving such signals.

Pay attention to nonverbal communication

It’s critical to pay attention to speakers, whether you’re dishing out nonverbals or not. Check to see if their tone, facial expressions, and body language match what they’re saying.

Distract yourself as little as possible

It should go without saying, but it’s always worth repeating: When talking with people, keep distractions to a minimum. Remove all gadgets from the room and turn off all alerts.

Minimize internal distractions as well. Refocus before you chat if you’re engaged with anything else. If the chat is going to be emotional, try to remain as calm as possible beforehand.

More questions should be asked

In a serious discourse, there can never be too many questions. You should ask more questions than you believe you need to. Questions:

  • Make certain you comprehend everything.
  • Act as a reminder to ensure that vital facts aren’t forgotten
  • Reassure the other person that they are being heard.

Don’t bother with the rehearsal

While the other person is speaking, do not practise your reply. Instead, take a few moments after he or she has finished speaking to collect your thoughts. This will take time and effort to master.

Stay one step ahead of your emotions

Slow down if you or the speaker is having emotional reactions.

Almost everyone has bad listening habits, such as tuning out, disengagement, and planning replies, all these are triggered by strong emotions.

Getting ready for a one to one meeting? See how HealthBoxHR can help your business and managers create and clearly oversee all one to ones, their frequency as well the agenda & description of the meeting with our Performance management feature!

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