The Power of Active Listening: A Must-Have Skill for Employers

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Active listening is important for fostering trust, understanding and boosting team morale. Tune in for insights on how mastering active listening can transform your approach as an employer.

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Amy Roepke:

Hi again, good to see you. Thanks for stopping by. I’m going to talk about a topic that you probably know well, today, it’s called active listening. Now, I want to preface this by telling you that these are non legal tips, you’re not going to get any legal nuggets, necessarily out of this quick synopsis of active listening.

But if you’ve ever wondered what active listening is, or whether you use it properly, stick around for the next couple of minutes, because I’m going to help you understand that.

First of all, active listening is merely just listening. How many times have you been talking to someone telling them about your day or a story or an experience that you had just talking to someone, and you can tell that their attention is not on you, they might be looking at their phone or watching a TV or listening to another conversation going on in the background? That person is not actively listening to you.

How often have you been guilty of the same thing, listening to somebody, usually it’s our children or family members, because why not. And they’re telling us a story. We notice that our brain starts to tilt, so to sort of tune them out and their voice fades away. We’re thinking about something or looking at something on our phone or looking at your computer, you’re not actively listening.

Active listening is merely consciously listening. And if you use I guess I could say, you know, you’re doing it, when you’re taking in what the person is telling you. You’re receiving, what there’s what they’re telling you, and you’re responding with verbal and nonverbal cues of your own. So now, you could appear to be actively listening when you’re not.

So someone’s telling you a story about your day, and you’re looking down and going Ah, yeah, verbal cues, nodding your head indicates active listening.

However, eye contact indicates actual active listening, leaning in towards the person, actually getting their story. And like I said, absorbing it, bringing it into you.

The reason that I wanted to bring this up and talk about this today is because what does active listening look like in the workplace? And that’s the question that I was thinking about, as I was thinking of what’s happening at this time of year, and we’re going into performance review season, and we are going into the holidays, we’re already there, we’re we’re fully in the holidays right now, if you haven’t noticed, and especially those people who waited until the day after Halloween, to put up their holiday decorations, which is not me.

But even though I want to only so active listening is a tool and a skill that you can use at all stages in all facets of your life, you can use it with your parents, you can use it with your kids, your spouse, your significant others, you can use it with your siblings, you can use it with your employees, you can use it with your boss, you can use it with the customers and your vendors and pretty much anybody that you talk to on a daily basis, you can use it with the UPS person and the male person, anybody that you talk to on a daily basis, are you involved, interested and engaged in the conversation, that’s what you want to ask yourself. And if you are, you’ll know it and they’ll know it.

And and so I implore you to think about this translated over to the workplace, especially if you’re an employer, and you have employees who are giving you updates and you’re sitting in meetings with them and you’re listening to maybe they’re bringing you problems, and you’re having to solve those problems.

Hopefully, if they bring you a problem, they also bring you potential solutions, but maybe not either way. When you’re in the workplace and you’re listening to other people, your colleagues, employees, other people in the workplace it’s important that you actively listen and that you use these skills to to make sure that you’re getting all the information that you need to do a good job and so that you can give them the information that they need in order to do a good job.

Like I said, purely non legal tip for you today, but think about it, try it out in your conversations with others. My my top tips here are be present in the conversation, try to minimize distractions if you can use things like nodding your head, so verbal and nonverbal cues, eye contact, words like not interrupting, not asking questions, just listening and taking in.

And then the third one is is that when it is your turn to talk and ask questions. Before you do that, summarize or paraphrase what it is that that person just told you to make sure you got it right Make sure that you have the right information.

Because when we say about assume making something out of you and something enemy, if you have to assume information because you weren’t actively listening, and you were part of a conversation, you’re more likely to make mistakes as well.

Okay, so that’s all I’ve got for you today. Super quick and easy. Let me know what your experience is with active listening in your own life.

I’m really interested to hear how it goes. Thanks!

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