As an entrepreneur, one of the best ways to understand how problems in your company are being handled is by actively listening. Do not let management issues consume your time and energy unless you have already listened to the workers themselves because they will inform you of the real issues on the ground and what can be done about them with regard to employee or co-worker morale.
Your role as a leader is to assess this information, decide what’s acceptable and not, and to make decisions for those who aren’t able (or aren’t making the decision) for themselves. If everyone else doesn’t feel that their concerns are actually heard by their leader in terms of possible changes needed during shifts in workplace environment (or workplace culture), then it’s that much less likely they’re going to have trust in you as a manager who can help deal with other issues at work.
Active listening is a valuable skill in which the listener makes a conscious effort to understand the speaker’s entire message. Active listeners don’t interject, and let the speaker know that they understand what was just said. Active listening is a great way to grow team morale because it shows your employees that you understand their struggles and are willing to listen to them with attention.
It’s easy to become distracted when someone is speaking to us in a workplace – or any other environment for that matter. Sometimes we focus on what’s happening around us, or on our own thoughts about what our response will be when the speaker has finished speaking, rather than listening to the person and just being present. Active listening means focusing solely on the speaker, and not getting distracted by anything else that may be going on around you.
Benefits of active listening
It is important to develop an active listening skill. If you can accomplish it, then you will be able to become more effective in your role, whether you’re an aspiring leader or a leader, or are working in another professional capacity. Below we have listed five benefits of active listening and what they can do for you at work.
Active listening can help resolve conflict and achieve understanding
The conflict resolution skills of different people vary, and some naturally know how to step into someone else’s shoes and see a situation from the point of view of the other party. Active listening is important in these situations because very often we only hear what we want to hear but being able to understand another point of view completely can avert many potentially negative outcomes.
People involved in conflict often feel misunderstood. The reason they argue is because they don’t fully know each other’s positions, which can increase the tension between them. If you aim to resolve conflicts at work, and encourage others to do the same, you must begin by putting your own bias aside and listening to the opposing point of view objectively. Conflict resolution without active listening may fail you in the long run. Active listening leads by example a culture of respect towards one another.
Active listening can help in problem solving
Active listening is an incredibly important skill. Active listening means seeking clarification to ensure you understand everything being said to you. This ensures that there are no misunderstandings and that you and the person speaking with you can feel confident in what is being communicated to one another.
People who do not actively listen may find it difficult to discover any underlying problems or even intentions for future conversations, which can lead to problems not being addressed at their root, or simply happening all over again down the line.
Empower yourself as a leader by listening properly to your team
Active listening will empower you, and that power of influence is a key trait that helps leaders to be confident. When you listen to what your followers have to say, you understand them better. Having a wider perspective helped by active listening builds confidence. You’ll notice what is lacking in the workplace – and your workplace communication skills will improve. You’ll be able to work out with colleagues or employees about where improvements can be made for the benefit of all involved.
Active listening is an essential part of learning
Leaders should always be open to exploring something new, and active listening is an innovative skill that allows you to retain the knowledge you gain which could lead your company into a better future. It can make it easier to put two and two together and understand things from different angles, which also means that you’ll benefit from remembering more details about what you’ve learnt along the way.
One way to prepare for strategic growth or an organisational change, is by making sure you are listening more closely than you have been. The more closely you pay attention to the things that are going on around you, the more prepared and focussed you will be when it comes down to taking action with regard to these newfound discoveries.
More deeply understanding a concept – think about benefits of a particular service or product that you hadn’t considered before, for example – is crucial when trying to synthesize information into something valuable or actionable for your company’s future.
Trust and strong relationships can be built on a foundation of active listening
Trust is a major commodity. Consider your team’s past behaviours and how they typically relate to you and other people in the workplace. Is there someone who doesn’t engage much with the rest of the team? Do they seem to remain aloof and reluctant to share too much information?
These are all signs of bad working relationships which might have developed during an important time like sourcing money for example, and these signs could damage progress by building resentment and lowering productivity.
Your employees may not be feeling heard as teams need to be on the same page as one another if they’re supposed to be able to succeed at any given task, so learning active listening can help re-establish trust among your staff members and forge stronger working relationships vital for business growth which makes it an absolute necessity.
Active listening will help avoid missing important information
Listening to the whole message means you’re engaging on a deeper level with the speaker, which allows you to absorb more precise details from the conversation itself. If you’re receiving instructions or training, you will be able to recall said details more easily.
As a business leader, you will likely find yourself communicating with others on your team and this will most likely mean that you’ll need to train others for the tasks at hand. While there is no doubt about it that training others can be difficult, especially because newcomers might have a hard time getting accustomed to your work environment, no news is good news.
On the other hand, when something has gone awry in a project and those “in-the-know” don’t tell anyone else what they know, it’s only natural to feel frustrated or even angry which could lead these feelings stirring up in unexpected ways which isn’t going to help productivity on any end.
So as an entrepreneur , you should always take care of your company’s well being by keeping some people around you who are familiar with what makes your company tick.
Active listening is a critical skill for leaders to master. If you are good at listening, you will be able to more effectively understand and connect to your team. When you are actively listening, you are sending the message to your employees that you are interested in what they are saying. This can help you build trust and rapport with your team.
Learn more with about communication skills with Tribel – Go Deeper