Just ListenPosted: July 20, 2013
Real listening is hard. Real listening takes a long time.
As managers and leaders, we hear a lot about active listening, but how many of us heed the advice? How many of us are actually listening to it? 🙂
I had a conversation with a team member the other day related to some challenges she was facing in the work place. The conversation took almost an entire hour, with me speaking for, at best, 5-10 minutes of it. If you are like me, this is hard to do. Often, our instinct as managers is to jump in and offer advice, to give solutions. We need to hold that desire in check, because the best solutions are the ones the other person comes up with on their own.
Really listening also shows your team member that you really care about what they have to say. Our days are packed with more tasks than we can possibly ever finish and sometimes we feel we don’t have the time to really listen to our team. That’s why we have to make that time, because supporting our teams is one of our highest priorities.
A great coaching conversation is more about asking the right questions and helping a person see things in a new light. Also, if you really listen, it shows you really care about what the person is saying rather than just waiting to jump in with your own opinion.