Are You Using These Key Strategies for Active Listening?
The past couple of years have been tumultuous to say the least, leaving many employees grappling with uncertainty and strained communication. Managers need to trust their employees will receive direction, but employees also need to trust that they can speak up when problems arise and that their concerns are being heard.
These challenges require psychological safety in the workplace. But a key component to creating a psychologically safe workplace is active listening, that is, openly demonstrating to the person you are talking to that you are receiving and understanding what they have to say.
Research now confirms the value of active listening in company leadership when dealing with uncertainty.
Merzad teaches many of the concrete behaviors needed to practice active listening, including:
- Body Language: Show attention physically by making eye contact and nodding
- Affirmation and Appreciation: Thank the person for sharing their thoughts or for giving time and space for you to share yours
- Rephrase: To make sure you understood the person, rephrase what you heard them say in your own words (“What I’m hearing you say is…is that correct?)
- Ask Questions: Ask questions when the person says something you are unsure of and demonstrate curious interest
- Follow Up: Make a plan to follow up on points or further actions that you decided on togetherd
At Merzad, we don’t just teach you how to be a better active listener: we make sure you turn those abilities into action.
We work with clients to identify specific actions companies can take, and to embed new values and behaviors into their HR system.