6 Tips That Help Improve Managers’ Listening Skills

Helping to improve managers’ listening skills will better engage a work team.  Managing subordinates is a difficult task. It requires discipline, patience, and hard work. The key to being a good manager is great communication skills. Listening is half of communication, and here is a list of six tips that will help to improve managers’ listening skills.    

Active managers' listening skills

Look at the subordinate

Making eye contact is one of the important practices to take on when supervisors communicate with subordinates. It is not surprising, since humans are the only primates who have white on their eyeballs. The other primates’ entire eyes are black.  Humans have a big contrast between their eyes and the pupil. It makes us capable of noticing what the other humans are focusing on. Thus, looking at the speaker is an indication, that the manager is focused on what a worker is saying. If managers avoid eye contact, it is a clear giveaway to the subordinate that the manager is not listening.   

Don’t interrupt

Interrupting an employee is not only rude, but it also makes it obvious that the boss who interrupted is not really listening to what the worker has to say. Besides, interrupting others gives an impression that what you have to say is more important, than what they have to say. As a manager, it is very important to show that everyone is equal and employees’ words have value. Even if supervisors want to make a quick point in the middle of an employee’s discussion, it’s important not to interrupt. Wait until after they are finished and then come back to the remark you wanted to make.   

Give subordinates time to express themselves

It should be obvious, that some problems require more time to explain than others. Also, some people need more time to say what they think. A good listener-manager will grasp this and will give as much time as needed for a subordinate to fully and comprehensibly express their thoughts. Managers should not hurry things. They need to be sure to sacrifice their time if it is required.  Because this sacrifice will pay off by making it a higher quality conversation.    

Focus on understanding

It can be easy to listen, but it is hard to listen correctly. It is a waste of time for both an employee and a manager if they don’t try to comprehend what the other says. For a manager, it is especially important to focus on understanding what the worker has to say because, without full comprehension, right decisions cannot be made. A manager must try to make an effort while listening to catch every word and phrase, and try to comprehend what points are being made by the employee.    

Suspend your judgement

Judging others is easy. Thinking through and solving problems is difficult. When listening to an employee, try to avoid judgment. Backlashing at an employee will bring no good for the subordinate or the company. At most times it is hard to hold back feelings like anger or disappointment, but showing these emotions to an employee will ensure that in the future, the employee will avoid talking and solving problems with the boss. If an employee knows that the manager is non-judgmental, an employee will trust the manager more, and a strong relationship will be born. Such a relationship will bear fruit for a long time.    

Ask questions for clarity

Even if a manager involves all of these tips into their listening practice, there might be moments where he does not understand some of the speaker’s points. Because of that, the final tip is crucially important. As a manager, if there is something you do not grasp fully, do not be afraid to ask questions. Asking is not a sign of weakness, but rather of strength. It also shows that you were actually listening and not daydreaming through the employee’s discussion. An employee will be willing to answer these questions, since it will be obvious that the manager was making an effort and listened carefully.    

Conclusion

If you want more pointers on how to improve managers’ listening skills, contact Flexicrew and listen to some sound advice.

 Listening is difficult, but trying to be a good listener pays off. When listening to the employees remember to stay focused and try to grasp what they were trying to say. Without conscious effort, no value will be gained, and it will be a waste of time for both parties involved.

Part 1 – Manager Behaviors that illustrate Effective Leadership

The success of an organization depends on effective leadership to inspire the commitment, energy and engagement of their workforce. A classic example is the United States Navy SEALS. That organization trains the best manager behaviors. It never tries to force engagement. It possesses empowered teams and ecosystems that are well engaged but work in a decentralized environment.

Engaged employees will help reach company’s goals easily.  A report published by Gallup Organization on State of the Global Workplace, reports only 15% of the workforce feel engaged in their current position.

This shows that the members of the workforce overwhelmingly have not invested their time, energy and ingenuity in bringing additional value to their employer. Such workers are not going to attain a leadership position. That is, unless they begin to consistently practice positive values, positive attributes and true manager behaviors. 

Here are 5 ways that workers can practice some manager behaviors that illustrate effective leadership:

1.Effective Leadership Commands Teammates’ Respect

A leader must be respected by teammates. This shows that they are aware that you are responsible, professional and ethical in managing. Occasionally, a person is liked by teams because they tell jokes to lighten the mood or lower tension. However, they are not being a leader.

A reputation for having a great work ethic will help you to command respect as well as help you rise to a leadership position.   When you are in a leadership position you are expected to make real promises and create an impact on the organization.   When you act consistently with a positive ethical approach you become a reliable and trustworthy member of a company and, more importantly, of a work team.   You become others’ role model. Now, you can bring about a impressive impact on the organization as a whole. 

2.  Manager Behaviors that show Interest in the Team and the Big Picture

If you show a keen interest in the organization build- how the organization works how it is staying together and how it makes money and how it can improve its cash flow. Even if your suggestions are only based on a small department or function, Management will notice your attention to the company. This shows that you are trying to work out strategies to solve company problems or achieve strategic company  goals. 

When you engage your time and energy solely for the company, it will demonstrate your readiness to assume responsibility and take care of what matters to the business. The potential impact of a change, for example, in the costs or margins of the company and your concern/viewpoint on the same will reflect how closely you monitor the trend. This comes under the umbrella of effective leadership

3.  Has Gained Deep And Varied Experience

Now you are ready for leadership role thanks to your experience with good managers as well as bad managers each of them have taught you valuable lessons and those lessons you will never go out of your memory. They will help create a good culture at the workplace and will result in effective leadership.  Your personal knowledge and the knowledge gained after having worked with the team will help you to understand the company is better. 

Working with people of different ability helps invent new ways of doing things in a given set of circumstances. Thus, when your manager is difficult one and you’re hard-pressed to work the way he likes, it’s an opportunity to gain new experience. 

4. Attempts to Forge New Relationships and Seeks Challenges

If you are good at meeting new people and new teams and forge a relationship with those teams, you are on the leadership ladder. Being in the leadership position you need to deal with several teams are departments with distant discipline and visit different organizational goals.  

Being an effective leader, you need to forge new relationships with other teams as well as make sure that the relationship across teams is in sync with the goals of the organization.  By being in a leadership position, you can extend a helping hand to support the success of your other team members. This will help you keep a good rapport with engaged employees. 

5. Effective Leadership is Devoted To Learning More about Subordinates and Self

You’re so interested in learning more about the people around and yourself. For, you have a keen sense to learn because as you know assuming leadership is a challenge and it is not easy. To become a leader, you need to be humble and this makes you ready to learn from your employees. This will help you learn new ways of doing things, new behavior and habit easily. 

A leader who feels s/he has all the knowledge and solutions can never command the respect of teammates. And if you don’t command this respect it doesn’t constitute effective leadership.  Your business has top challenges ahead because of competition. And as a leader, you need to be ahead of others on a learning curve. You can learn new skills and new attributes. This will help encounter new challenges that confront your business. Therefore, you need to have a great passion to learn new things and we came to meet new people. 

Do you need more help finding top performers for your team?

Call Flexicrew. As one of  the Southeast’s top staffing agencies, we have years of experience serving employers – and helping them find truly exceptional people. Contact us today to learn more!

About Flexicrew

Flexicrew is family-owned and run since 2008, focusing on fast and flexible staffing solutions. Flexicrew makes use of technology and industry best practices to deliver the most talented and qualified professionals –industrial, skilled and unskilled, clerical – to clients within most major industries.