What’s your secret weapon? 

Watches that fire lasers or umbrella’s that fire bullets, maybe?

I guess there are times when you wished you had a weapon that the government denies even exists.  But you do have a secret weapon that is a little more sustainable in the workplace, listening skills.

It’s easy to tell people what to do, how to improve or solve their problems.  But instead of telling, try asking and listening.  Let your team discover what to do and how to improve.  Let them find out the answer to their challenges so they’ll have more commitment and ownership going forwards.  And they’ll learn more skills and independence.

Here are the three keys to effective listening.

  1. Paraphrasing

Putting what someone has said into your own words can clarify the message, and if you get it right, they will be happy that you’ve listened so well.  Get it wrong, and you may feel a little embarrassed, but at least you’ll have avoided a misunderstanding.

  1. Asking open questions

Unless you’re a mind reader, the only way to find out what people are thinking is to ask them.

Open questions such as ‘How could you…?’ and ‘What would you do if…?’ encourage people to talk more and start to think about how they can solve their own problems.

And they help you see things from your team’s perspective as you get feedback in their own words.

  1. Debriefing

Debriefing originated in the military, enabling them to learn and quickly adapt to rapidly changing situations. After an important meeting, spend a few minutes debriefing with your team member because you both may have heard different things.

It also strengthens relationships, brings a team together, and encourages team learning. In my experience, teams who debrief are more tight-knit than those who don’t.

One of the best-kept secrets of a successful manager is their ability to listen actively.

Learn how to listen, and you’ll have your own secret weapon!

A manager’s ability to listen can be the difference between struggle and success and of course, I’m here to help.

Give me a call on 07557 514880 and let’s get you started 🙂