Practicing Active Listening Can Improve Employee Communication and ROI
Active Listening: Is It The Key To Strong Workplace Relationships?
Listening may seem simple but in fact, it is a powerful communication tool that many don’t use correctly in the workplace. Knowing how to listen effectively when communicating with your employees and co-workers can enrich workplace relationships, improve productivity, and even boost employee morale.
Don’t believe us? Keep reading and you’ll learn why you should.
Listening skills are becoming increasingly important in companies, especially when it comes to conflict and crisis management. Over years of facilitating trainings, Training Company has met with many businesses that weren’t leveraging this skill to their advantage.
When many of our daily interactions with others in the workplace involve us having to be 100% confident in interpreting communications, developing great listening skills will inevitably help to build long-lasting and strong relationships both internally with colleagues and externally with clients and customers.
What Is This Form Of Communication Technique?
Have you ever heard someone mention how many people listen with the intention of responding instead of listening to understand? Every day in the workplace, you may be approached by a fellow co-worker or an employee with a problem. While you might give them your best answer and assume you helped, this isn’t guaranteed unless you were truly listening to what they had to say.
Active listening is the practice of giving your complete, undivided attention to what someone says, rather than what their words literally mean. Oftentimes, we don’t fully listen to hear a message as it was intended to be received. In fact, the average person only listens with 25% efficiency.
When we communicate, there are many verbal and nonverbal cues that we use to get our message across. The same should happen when we listen. In order to actively listen with intentional focus, we need to show both verbal and nonverbal signs of listening. These signs can include:
- Using positive reinforcement
- Asking questions to open conversation further
- Reflecting on what has been said
- Clarifying what the speaker is saying
- Maintaining eye contact
- Avoiding distraction such as fidgeting
- Having good posture
- Mirroring the speaker’s intentions with your facial expressions
Listening is the most fundamental component of interpersonal communication skills. And for this reason, it is essential that all members of a company – leaders and employees alike – develop this skill with practice.
What Benefits Will My Company Receive By Improving Listening Skills?
There are many clear benefits that you can receive by practising active listening in your workplace.
Firstly, it acts as a key component in workplace productivity and performance across many different levels. For example, those workers who feel like they’ve been truly listened to by their manager are known for displaying higher levels of enthusiasm and confidence. Those who don’t feel listened to are more likely to look for other opportunities.
Listening with the intention to understand also reduces the chances of misunderstandings occurring. This goes both ways. When an employee engages focused listening, they can ensure they have understood your requested task and then complete it more effectively. When a leader engages it, they can build trust among employees and improves overall workplace communication.
Inevitably, these skills will also benefit your customers and clients. When messages are communicated effectively in the office, this results in higher levels of productivity, performance, customer satisfaction and return on investment.
How You Can Improve Your Company’s Active Listening Skills
Putting measures in place to make sure that messages are being sent and received exactly how they should need to top of all leader’s priority lists. When it comes to listening with an intentional focus, it is vital to remember that you need to pay attention, use the right body language, seek to understand, not interrupt and respond appropriately.
Active listening skills aren’t inherent communication skills but they certainly can be learned and developed. Looking to improve employee communication in your business? Why not consider investing in one of our Professional Development course packages. We also offer customizable and sustainable training plans for small to medium-sized businesses. Get in touch with us today and upskill your team.