Learning to listen is a skill that requires practice. If you want to achieve it then you must read this.
The opinions expressed by employees are personal.
Nelson Mandela , was a philanthropist, anti-apartheid activist, president of South Africa (1994-1999), and was also the son of a tribal chief, and on one occasion a journalist asks:
Journalist: How did you learn to be a great leader?
Nelson Mandela: When I was young I accompanied my father to the meetings of the tribe and I remember two things. The first is that at meetings they always sat in a circle, and second my father was always the last to speak .
There is a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak. Active listening, at its most basic level, is about focus and paying attention. However, at its most effective level, listening goes well beyond simply paying attention.
Learning to listen is a skill that requires practice. It is trying to find meaning to what you hear. It is not just about concentrating on what they tell you: it is the active search for understanding.
Those who know how to listen have a great advantage. On the one hand, when they participate in a conversation, they make people feel heard and really understand their needs and desires. Someone like that cares to understand.
A good listener must be good to ask questions. It is almost impossible to understand what someone wants or needs on the first attempt, not because it is not being clear (although sometimes it may be the case), but because people often do not express their real needs.
Listen to this example …
An employee demands more money for his work, because he feels he is being underpaid for what he is doing. A good listener, will want to understand the root of his feeling, will want to understand the reason why the employee does not feel appreciated. You will ask the right questions, it will be revealed that it is the work itself and not the money as the cause of discontent.
The employee feels that he is struggling because he does not have the ability to handle the responsibility given to him. Paying more will take care of the symptom, but only when additional tools or training are provided, will the employee feel cared for in the future. And its true value to the organization will be fully realized.
Here are some tips to practice and become a good listener:
1. Work to understand
He consciously works to understand the reason why someone is saying what he is saying. Do not assume what they say and what they mean are the same. And don't assume that the solutions they offer will fix the problem.
2. Have specific questions
Don't ask, “what do you mean by that?”, After each statement.
That is frustrating for the person who talks to you. Ask specific questions to the things they say. For example, if someone says, “I want to be a doctor,” instead of asking why you want to be a doctor, ask: what kind of doctor do you want to be?
That way you will get a clearer picture of the type of person he is and what his strengths are.
3. Repeat what has been said
Practice saying, “Let me see if I understand,” then repeat what you think it means in your own words. They will agree or disagree with you. But most importantly, they will feel heard and work together to find clarity and common understanding.
Great leaders are those who know how to listen, this gives them a pulse with their people, or an innate sense of what is happening in their organization, their team or their tribe.
The same goes for innovation or customer service. The companies that know how to listen are those that develop products and serve people based on their wishes, and current needs.
“We have two ears and one mouth so we can hear twice what we talk about”: Epictetus.