As an employer, your main job is to manage your workers. But this isn’t always an easy task! Across a diverse workforce comes a wide variety of viewpoints and opinions, and people don’t always agree. When conflicts arise in your company, it helps to practice good listening skills. By being a good listener, you can get to the root of the issue, understand differing points of view, and use all the information you gather to reach a conclusion and manage your workers through the situation.
The best listeners use these four techniques
If you could use some guidance on how to listen better, you’re not alone! Many of us tend to put ourselves in the driver’s seat during a conversation. But listening skills can be learned and developed. Just try these four techniques:
- Be present. It’s so easy to be distracted in the modern workplace. Smartphones are an arm’s reach away, full of texts, emails and other notifications. When talking to someone, remove distractions and meet in a quiet place where you can talk in peace, away from the daily office buzz. Pull yourself out of your thoughts and try to focus on the moment.
- Make eye contact. One of the easiest ways to stay present is to keep regular eye contact with the person who’s speaking. Pay attention to their emotions to gain an even deeper understanding of the meaning behind their words. Non-verbal communication gives powerful clues and can enhance your listening experience.
- Be empathetic. Try to put yourself in the other person’s position. This can help you understand why they’ve reacted the way they have, and can also help you listen more fully, and without judgment.
- Respond accordingly. This can help keep the conversation going. By nodding, smiling or saying things such as, “I see,” or “I understand,” you can give the person an opportunity to get all their thoughts out. You may feel the urge to jump in with related experience to show your connection to the conversation, but try to keep the focus on the other person. It can also help to ask questions that show you’re listening and that you understand what they’re saying.
It takes time to develop good listening skills
But with practice, you will be able to listen closely to other people, reach informed decisions and resolve conflicts quickly and justly in your workplace.
In search of new employees?
If you’re working short-handed or expecting business growth, it can help to build up your workforce. And Inter-Connect can help. To learn more about the staffing services we offer and how we can help you reach your staffing goals, contact us today!