We’ve explored the importance of listening in this series, and now it’s time to talk about some simple and practical strategies for honing your listening skills. It’s especially important for leaders, who have employees to manage and guide. Because simply standing in the room while someone talks is not enough.
Listening is critical to your workday and poor listening skills can ruin it. Top executives for a Chicago manufacturing plant were asked to survey the role of listening in their plant. After hearing a seminar on listening, Ralph G. Nichols and Leonard A. Stevens explain in their Harvard Business Review article, that one of the most common responses was:
“Frankly, I had never thought of listening as an important subject by itself. But now that I am aware of it, I think that perhaps 80 percent of my work depends on my listening to someone, or on someone else listening to me.”
This is true for nearly anyone who works with other people. Having good listening skills is critical to avoiding miscommunication and staying connected with other team members and managers.
Effective listening is a critical part of communicating—you can’t have one without the other. No matter where your position lies in the chain of command. Both managers and entry level employees alike need to hear feedback, take direction and understand the needs of the people around them.
In this day and age, millennial-run startups prefer a more horizontal type of organizational structure. People are more and more inclined towards blurring the lines between formal and casual. However, formal communication hasn’t totally lost its power. There are still instances in which this type of communication is needed. In such cases, it can make all the difference between order and chaos at work.
In this article we are going to discuss the main advantages of formal communication, and how we can overcome its disadvantages.
Inappropriate behavior can happen in any company. As a boss or manager, it falls under your jurisdiction to manage such situations, and fast. When left unchecked, unsuitable actions can have serious impact on other employee’s performance as well as the office environment as a whole.
As humans, we are all unique. Not only by looks, knowledge or beliefs, but also when it comes to communication abilities and preferences. Everyone has a different approach and a unique way of expressing themselves. However, there are also shared traits that unite us, and are used to place us into different categories of communicator: extroverts and introverts, creative and analytical, morning persons or night owls, and so on.
Poor communication in the workplace has the potential to create conflict, negatively impact the morale of your team, and eventually translate in poor performance and loss of productivity. More often than not, work mistakes and failures are caused by miscommunication. Failing to communicate efficiently with your employees can have lots of negative consequences for both your company and your employees.
By this time in your personal and career development, you likely learned quite a bit. A lot of it is undoubtedly about communication techniques. Without communication, you cannot have teamwork. Or leadership. Or any sort of cooperation, to be precise.
Improving communication is at the core of organizational development. Anything you can do to improve communication will benefit your organization in all sorts of ways. Hence, it makes perfect sense to train teams into using effective communication techniques. Yet oftentimes, a few very effective ones go overlooked.
People work harder if they know compensation is waiting for them at the end of the line. Yet, studies show that shortly after getting a financial incentive, actually in less than a week, people lose their motivation and their energy levels go down. Financial compensation is a two-edged sword, and should not stand as the only motivator. Truth be told, meaningfulness and recognition matter more. People want to be recognized for their efforts. They need to know if and how they’ve contributed to the team’s success. And they can only find out, if they receive feedback. Regularly, honestly, and with care.
In any process, team or business, feedback is many things. A necessary ritual, a moment of truth, a condition to progress, and sometimes a dreadful experience. This article explains the why, when, and how of giving and receiving feedback. Because, whether we like it or not, people need to know that their work matters, that it has meaning.