Are you listening? Or are you simply hearing?

What’s the difference?

One practice gets you results – satisfied employees, resolved rifts, and a positive rapport with your colleagues.

The other practice gets you nowhere, doomed to repeat the same errors that are holding your business back from greatness. If you are really listening, then you can provide better solutions and minimize future problems/complaints. Here’s why active listening not only smooths operations in the workplace but also helps you improve as an employer.

Active Listening 101

To become a better boss, you need to apply active listening to all conversations with your staff. Your workers need to know you fully hear them, and that you’re ready to respond from a place of empathy and understanding. Active listening requires you to provide your undivided attention and affirm you’re hearing your employee. It’s all about building trust in your relationship and understanding their viewpoint. For example, if a worker complains about their supervisor taking extended lunch breaks and showing up late, you can practice active listening by repeating that back to them. “I understand you feel like your supervisor is coming in late and taking long breaks.” Give respect and understanding, and you’ll receive it in return.

Eliminate Recurring Problems

It can become difficult to hear the same problems all the time. Problematic patterns, like consistently late workers or intrapersonal conflict, can really drain your organization’s resources. Use active listening in either group sessions or one-on-one chats with your staff to determine recurring problems in the workplace. Determining persistent concerns and actively listening to employee input can help you end the issue, once and for all.

Squash Big Issues

Active listening helps you as a manager because it allows you to anticipate problems. If you listen to staff members when trouble starts brewing, you can eliminate the issue before it becomes a large conflict. Knowing what’s going on in your work keeps you one step ahead of concerns. Don’t sweep mistakes or miscommunications under the rug – talk to your people about it, and truly listen to what they have to say. The last thing you want is for people to leave the team because of an issue you are not aware of.

Deter Misunderstandings

People get their wires crossed – it’s human nature. However, the most pressing miscommunications need to be avoided. Active listening is an essential skill to reduce misunderstandings in the workplace. If you are carefully taking in suggestions from others and repeating back the ideas, you can guarantee there will be no mixed messages. If you’re not sure, follow up and ask for clarification. We like to argue there’s no such thing as over-communication.

Find the Best Talent in Chicago with Davis Staffing

Looking for more ways to stand out as a leader? Contact Davis Staffing. As a top staffing agency in Chicago, we can streamline the hiring process and help boost your team’s productivity. Our Chicago office works diligently to get you the help you need, fast. Check out our website today to learn more.