Dear leader, do not just talk; be an active listener

Nov 15, 2021

Listening is not a human’s strongest suit. We are mentally preparing how to respond most of the time instead of internalizing what the other person is actually saying. In a study done in 2020 by Emtrain, one in every ten employees said there is a meagre chance their employers would take them seriously if they lodged a complaint. Henceforth, a majority of them feel their leaders do not support them. I believe this is one factor that makes a work environment deteriorate and heavily affects performance in organizations. 


It is often said that listening is a crucial communication skill, but I will slightly differ. Active listening is the core communication skill, whereby the listener pays attention to the speaker’s words and responds accordingly. The critical component of active listening is empathy which validates the terms of the speaker and recognizes their feelings. It should begin by asking yourself, “How would I feel if I were that person? “This should help you figure out how best to respond to someone’s concern. 


So why is active listening an essential skill in being an effective leader? Poor productivity has been linked to authoritative leadership, which makes workers afraid to communicate. Little do such leaders know that if they don’t listen, they will be eventually surrounded by people who have nothing to say. Failure of communication from these workers is the beginning of failure for their companies.  


Active listening gives a leader the actual perception of a day in the life of an employee. Through this, a trustworthy environment is created as the coworkers can speak about the challenges they face, openly improving employee engagement and motivation. 


I have realized that effective listening makes workers feel valued, and in turn, they are more likely to share their ideas and opinions. Inputs from employees put me on the map as a leader since I garner the reward of their innovative ideas. Also, the employees often are aware of so much in the work atmosphere that I may not have access to. Listening actively to such details is a critical part that helps me make better-sophisticated decisions. The more informed I am, the easier it is to execute tasks. 


Creating solid relationships between workers and their managers is a significant part of leadership and can only be achieved through effective listening. Listening to people will make them feel you care about them, and they will most likely follow your leadership.  


Good leadership entails molding behaviors that you would wish to see practiced in the company’s culture. This helps nurture an organization’s values of effective communication with empathy. Soon, through listening, greater importance on employee experience will be placed by organizations. Active listening is, therefore, a powerful tool in improving your leadership capability. 


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