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5 ways bosses can become good listeners

Admin| Dec 01, 2016 - 10:20 PM India

5 ways bosses can become good listeners

As a leader or a manager, it is almost given that you will have a lot on your plate. But when a subordinate approaches you, it is good to stop doing whatever you’re doing and listen. ET’s Varuni Khosla brings tips from experts on how you, as a boss, can become a good listener.

1) Undivided Attention

Signing papers or replying to emails or glancing at your phone every two minutes while your subordinate is speaking is not going to help you become a good listener. Give undivided attention while showing empathy and think of the situation from the subordinate’s point of view. Don’t dismiss what is being said because of bias towards the person or the topic of discussion. Listen with an open mind instead of being judgemental, says Swapnil Kamat of Work Better Training.

2) Get to Root Cause

When a team member seems anxious, delve into the root cause. Doing so will enable one to avert/resolve conflict at the workplace. “Effective listening requires the manager to probe beneath the surface, if need be, to gain a more balanced perspective,” says Vikas Malhot ..

3) Be Perceptive

Try to gauge the emotions behind the words: Is the speaker angry, afraid or frustrated? Is there a meaning between the lines of what is being said? Try to decipher that and respond accordingly, says Kamat.

4) Never Interrupt

When you interrupt people when they are speaking, they may lose their flow and become incoherent. So, don’t interrupt. Once they have finished, paraphrase your understanding of what they said. This not only helps you reconfirm your understanding but also makes them feel heard and cared for, says Kamat.

5) It’s Not About You

Pay heed to the words as much as to the tone, A manager must be self-aware and in control of her/his emotions to be able to give undivided attention. “Where there is a fierce discussion, one needs to keep a handle on oneself to ensure it doesn’t escalate into a conflict,” says Malhotra.


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