As a manager, listening is an important part of what you do, whether you’re talking to an employer, a peer, or even your own boss. Good listening helps you identify the needs of others, learn about problems before they escalate, and forge stronger relationships with those who work for you.
So what are some common qualities of the best listeners and why do these matter for you? Here’s what you need to know.
#1: Good listeners focus.
With so much technology around us, from computers and tablets to smartphones and more, it can be hard to focus. However, a good listener is able to put this all aside and remain full present, in the moment. This helps them understand and the process the information they’re being told.
#2: Good listeners aren’t thinking about what to say next.
Another attribute of a good listener is truly just listening…not thinking about how they’re going to respond or what they’ll say next. Instead, a good listener focuses on the person talking, so they can fully understand and remember the conversation.
#3: Good listeners are thoughtful.
A good listener doesn’t jump right in with a reaction or to give advice. Instead, they listen and try to talk through the problem with the other person. In some cases, there might not be a solution and all the other person needs is someone to vent to. Being a good listener doesn’t mean you’ll have all an answer. It simply means you are willing to listen and provide support.
Another quality of a good listener is the ability to be patient and not interrupt. This can be difficult for many people, especially if you feel you have something to contribute. However, this could get the conversation off track or make it sound like it’s more about you. Instead, simply listen without trying to jump in until the other person is done speaking.
#5: Good listeners ask questions.
If there’s something you don’t understand or need clarification on, a good listener will always ask follow up questions. They won’t react immediately with an opinion or response, but instead will probe deeper to try and learn about and understand the issue. Asking questions also encourages the speaker to continue to talk and ensure they’re making themselves as clear as possible.
#6: Good listeners summarize what the speaker said.
A good listener will repeat back what they thought they heard the speaker say to ensure everyone is on the same page. This doesn’t need to be a word-for-word statement, but by summing up what you heard, you can ensure you truly understand the issue at hand.
Do you need additional help managing your team?
At Provisional Recruiting, we’re one of the Northwest’s leading staffing agencies, working hard to help employers hire, train and retain the talent they need. If you’d like expert help in this area – so you can build a stronger, more communicate team – turn to us today.