Employees want to know that their concerns and ideas are being heard. Instead of thinking ahead to your next meeting or activity, really listen to what the other person is saying. Here are some tips to help you become a better listener:
Don’t monopolize the conversation. Be precise and economical with your words. Give the person you are talking to the chance to say their piece and take questions. This will make your team feel that they have an active role in the discussion.
Participate in one conversation at a time. If you are talking to someone on the phone, don’t read your emails simultaneously.
Keep a mental checklist all the important points brought up during the conversation. At the end of your talk, you can sum these up and let the other person know that you are listening to what they said.
Clarify any vague or confusing points to avoid misunderstandings.
No matter what kind of discussion you are in, whether it’s a group meeting or a one-on-one, giving your full focus to the conversation at hand shows respect. On the other hand, a lack of focus devalues the discussion.
During meetings or even in informal conversations, maintain eye contact. Put all other things aside, especially your phone, to show the other person that they have your attention. This will also encourage them to focus and stay present.
Pay attention to non-verbal cues
The words you say are only a part of the entire message you give to your team. Body language, facial expressions, tonality, and other non-verbal cues also contribute to how your message will be received. Try out the following things the next time you have a meeting with your employees:
Maintain a relaxed stance and facial expression.
Avoid slouching or making yourself seem smaller that you are. Instead, fill up the space you have.
Keep your arms on your side instead of crossing them over your chest. The latter is considered as a defensive expression.
Make eye contact and smile at appropriate times during the conversation.
Nod your head when they say something that you agree with.
Practice intention-based communication
Intention-based communication is designed to help an audience understand why a particular message is important through proper delivery. It can be used to keep organizations on track by motivating and developing potential in teams. Here are the three steps for intention-based communication:
Analyze who you’ll be speaking to. Remember that everyone is different and has their challenges. Knowing how you can tailor your words to the other party’s profile and needs will make a difference in the impact and effectiveness of your message.
Understand the objective of your message. Focus on that objective and make sure that it is what your team will remember most when the meeting is done.
Personalize your delivery, depending on the two factors above. For example, if you want to inspire a call to action, communicate that message through the content, non-verbal cues, and body language.
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