It’s that time of year when many managers are making plans and agreeing targets for their teams. Whether it’s the annual appraisal process or a goal setting session, a good leader will aim to understand what their teams want and feel. That means active listening. Here are 6 tips to help you:
- Listen to understand, not to respond – if you are planning your answer while they are talking, you may miss what they are saying.
- Use open questions – How, when, where, who, what and why, to avoid simple yes and no answers. But be sparing with “”why” – it can come across as challenging.
- Repeat back what you’ve heard – not only to check you’ve got it right but also to make them know and feel they are being listened to.
- Emotions matter, especially in the current pandemic climate, so pay attention to mood – but start with facts before moving on to feelings.
- Give the team your time – this is crucial to building trust as a leader (it’s the “T” in our CREST model) – don’t rush these conversations.
- Spend twice as much time listening as talking – you have two ears and one mouth.
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