“The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.” ~ Seth Godin
The success and growth of your business and its employees is a tangible reflection of yourself. To be an effective leader in the workplace, it is vital to acknowledge that employees want their voices to be heard, an ethical, inspirational and motivational leader will possess attributes such as:
- Effective communication skills
- Relationship building
- Perceptive of the needs of their team
- Acute problem-solving abilities
- An ethical approach that commands respect
And whilst employees seek, confirmation of performance, direction, and feedback, it is for all leaders to aspire to the development of their team in order to inspire others in their professional development and workplace performance. Creating a sense of transparency and a culture of loyalty stems from a leader who “listens”. The great JFK said “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other” making the practice of Active Listening a must-have skill for all leaders who wish to create a platform for and foster an environment in which, their employees can be heard.
The University of Adelaide defines the practice of Active Listening as a way of paying attention and responding to others, thereby improving mutual understanding. Encouraging employees to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas freely is a crucial element of the communication process. The fundamentals of communication and understanding are made possible through the deployment of Active Listening. So what is Active Listening? What are the benefits of Active Listening? Let’s take a look:
- A way of listening and responding that fosters a deeper sense of mutual understanding
- Listening attentively rather than passively
- Listening with all senses
- Showing both verbal and non-verbal signs such as eye contact, nodding and smiling
- Automatic reflection/mirroring of any facial expressions used by the speaker
Active Listening is the foundation of all communication, so what are the benefits of Active Listening in the workplace environment?
- Employees respond proactively to an open-door policy
- Provides clarity which leads to enhanced productivity
- Can act as a motivational tool, employees feel a sense of renewed self-worth
- Decreases the potential for miscommunication and misinterpretation
- Develops healthy, strong interpersonal relationships with all team members
All leaders who attentively and actively listen to their workforce place themselves in a position in which to lead the ever-increasing diverse and multi-generational workforce that awaits them. By embracing the art of Active Listening, present and potential leaders of business will themselves become compassionate, empathetic leaders and as studies suggest, employees do not leave jobs – they leave managers, stressing that this central relationship between manager/leader and employee is critical to employee engagement and the long term sustainability of your business and workforce performance.
If you would like to discover more about Active Listening please contact Tony at Headspace Behavioural Science on 0458 888 756 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further consultation.