In the digital age where everyone often uses the internet and their smartphones, it seems that individuals are spending more time talking with each other rather than being an active listener. But, the key to possess good and active listening skills is the ability to sense the other person’s feelings and imagine what it’s like to be in their position.
Without empathy, we simply hear words the other person is saying and unable to perceive the entire picture. So, if you wish to hone your listening skills as you aspire to be soar high just like those entrepreneurs, then follow the techniques that we have compiled below. After all, you as a leader should be in a better position to listen to your team members when they really need someone to hear their voice.
Here are some of the top active listening skills:
Always show that you care
Whenever you really spend those extra moments just for caring about your team members, they roll up their sleeves and work harder to accomplish goals. They are simply aim to surpass expectations and deliver performance more than ever. In fact, being concerned about someone, can actually make him/her feel where they stand in the team and what they represent in the organization on the whole. Rather than perceiving team members as tools and resources for business success, they should be considered as valuable assets who bring unique skills and capabilities not just around the prime job responsibilities.
Most of the time, the relationships between leaders and his/her team members just lasts for a short time span. But, team members want their leaders to be very much concerned about their well-being and a person whom they can count on and trust when they have to traverse those tough phases in life.
Make sure you engage yourself
Way beyond caring about others, ensure that you engage yourself in matters that may seem trivial to you, but are quite important to your team members. Whenever they share their opinions, ask a plethora of questions and encourage them to come up with everything in detail and broaden their own perspectives. Moreover, when you engage yourself beyond your energy, you should be responsible for everything and follow-up with your team members. At those instances, they would surely understand that you not just standing upright just sake of listening to them.
In case you’re lacking something, then you could probably embrace the style of your team members when they are expressing themselves in meetings. This would certainly help you to learn to stimulate the team further ahead.
Be an empathetic leader
With the stress and the workload piling up day after day, it’s vital that you are empathetic to keep a track of your team members’ performances. Take that extra step for expressing your concerns and show your team members that you are a part of they have been going through at the workplace. Moreover, you shouldn’t hold back and be afraid about expressing your feelings. You should also not dwell under the impression that expressing concern may weaken your position or your authoritative style of behaviour.
Empathy is a way of listening with a broad and open mind. If you just pass by without any emotional interactions, then you wouldn’t be making yourself approachable to those who want you to be beside them. Ways beyond, you should learn the art of balancing your mind as well as your heart. Your emotions shouldn’t carry you away and cause you to speak more than it should really be.
Also Read : 3 Easy Rules Of Empathy Into Leadership.
Avoid judging others
Even though you may doing a white-collar job, you shouldn’t judge others. In case this has been your natural instinct, then you are not an active listener. Instead, you would be leader who like to hurl harsh comments when you come across individuals with a different kind of approach. In such a scenario, you may be immature to embrace the differences. While you may have spent years of experience in a company and have climbed the career ladder quickly, you may find it tough to start on a fresh note with another organization. Rather than being complacent, you should be open to new ideas, always be along the learning curve, and able to change in an agile business environment.
Be mindful about the world around you
Imminent leaders are really conscious about where they are and mindful about the environment. Through the years, they have actually developed the art of being an active listener beyond non-verbal as well as verbal communication. While the leaders tune into what’s happening around, their body language speaks more when they acknowledge other individuals. Nods and facial expressions may actually show whether they agree to what the person is trying to convey.
As a leader, though everyone is busy with their work, they are still observing every action and move. In case your mind is not in the present, then it implies that you are totally disinterested and you are bothered about what the person in front of you is speaking. On the other hand, make it point to be mindful and never let your worries or anxiety reign over you.
Never interrupt when others are speaking
Usually, you may observe an individual interrupting all of a sudden when you are interacting. But, a compassionate leader, never breaks in and interrupts the flow of a discussion or the dialogues. Instead, they are patient enough to listen to their peers which earns respect in the long run. Several thoughts or suggestions may pop up in your mind. But, when you don’t divert your gaze and focus on what the team members are saying, then people are bound to listen attentively when it’s your turn to speak.
Mirror the person in front of you
Mirroring is nothing but a process when you are actually communicating non-verbally with the individual. For instance, when you are facing the speaker, you should sustain eye contact, position the entire body, and use the similar kind of tone just as the speaker. This means that you’re genuinely interested in the matter presented by the person. The speaker would then be more than happy to connect with you even when it’s a small problem. However, mirroring should be used sparingly and never be exaggerated or interpreted in a weird or negative way.
Finally, when a person goes off the track, the conversation may lose direction and this can lead to confusion or a heated conversation. So, for pivoting the conversation, you need to focus on the original subject or shift to a less volatile topic. This technique can serve to be helped in emotionally charged interactions.
Summary – Active Listening Skills
To sum everything up, there are many virtues of a good leader. Thoughts are developing in the leader’s mind even before he has to speak up for a longer period of time.
- A leader always shows that he really cares about the people in the group
- He/she ensures that he is going with the flow and engaging himself effectively
- The leader always shows empathy so that he is approachable even when the team member is groping for words
- He never judges anyone based on the conversation. Instead, he listens patiently and avoids presenting this views in a harsh manner
- The leader is always conscious about the surroundings and what’s going on around him
- When someone is elaborating the matter, the leader never interrupts and never loses his focus
Related : 6 Ways to Create a Great Work Culture
(The images used in the post are extracted from unsplash.com)