It has never been easier to ask employees about what they think and feel and want.
New employee surveys. Annual surveys. Evaluations of specific training programs. Reviews. Virtual suggestion boxes. Short “pulse” surveys throughout the year. Exit interviews. These are excellent ways to tease out key information that you use to shape a company culture that encourages growth, rewards excellence, and draws the interest of top candidates. But too often all this inquiry fails to deliver on its promise.
Not listening in action
Here’s an example of how asking turns into not listening. A company has a retention problem. They do a survey to better understand why employees are leaving. What they learn is employees would like to work from home more. But the leadership team doesn’t see how that will fit into the productivity objectives of the company. Instead, they beef up the vacation policy thinking that will make employees happy.
Funny, right? How could this happen? The way our brains take in and process info isn’t as straightforward as we think. Everything we hear is filtered through our individual biases, assumptions, objectives, and needs—which shift our perception of what we hear or read. In the above scenario, the employees requested something very clearly from their perspective, but the brains of those making the decision considered what they heard through their own filters, which brought in other competing thoughts and intentions. This shifted their decision to recommend a solution more closely aligned with their internal needs rather than the needs of those making the request. The employees didn’t feel heard—because they really weren’t.
The solution to ensuring this type of scenario doesn’t happen in your organization is to, listen—really, really listen—to what your employees are saying. And while that sounds simple, it’s not. We’re taught to speak, read, and write, but not to listen.
Cultivate listening skills
We “hear “with our ears and we “listen” with our brains. Since no two brains are the same, no two people hear the same thing or interpret information in the same way. There are a few key aspects to improving your listening skills. The first is to understand your personal listening style that describes what information you pick up in conversation and what you may miss. You also need to be being aware of the individual biases, assumptions, needs, wants, and other filters your brain automatically applies to information it takes in. It doesn’t matter whether you’re having a conversation or taking in information via the written word. It works the same. Our brains are trained to seek and consider information from our own perspective—and go to great lengths to make what we interpret about what we hear or read syncs up with it.
The great news is that listening is a skill that can be taught. In just one day, our Listening Edge™ workshop can train learners to recognize their own, and others’, listening habits and adapt how they communicate accordingly.
Create a culture of listening
Listening is increasingly being recognized for its importance across companies in every industry. Building a listening culture starts at the top and is an effort that pays dividends in the form of more creative ideas, smarter questions being asked, and, of course, high marks on culture and engagement surveys.
Want to know more about how Mandel can help your company develop more effective listening skills? Whether you’re looking for large-audience training or more focused workshops for smaller teams, we’d love to talk to you about how we can help you build and sustain a culture of listening that transforms relationships, improves team performance, makes employees valued, and attracts top candidates.
With remote jobs increasing in 71% in 2020, many leaders continue to manage remote workers as if they were managing a co-located team.
Yet, fifty three percent of leaders we surveyed at a recent webinar said that they had NOT received any training on leading a virtual team.
Under normal circumstances, staying present and being able to fully commit to listening is difficult. However, in this new reality of digital interaction and mental fatigue, listening has a new set of challenges.There’s good news. We can make listening easier in our virtual meetings, improving the experience of our participants! Here are a few tips.
Sales professionals need a mix of soft skills to be successful. While rapport building is often considered the top sales skill, listening is the most critical skill for closing sales, and building long-term client relationships.
Learn 3 crucial tips to closing sales, and why listening is the top sales skill of 2021.
As part of our research into listening intelligence, we’ve detected four distinct styles (or preferences) of how people listen. These four listening styles cover what individuals pay attention to as well as what they are likely to miss in any collaboration.
Learn more about the 4 Listening Habits, and how listening impacts both the well-being and productivity of your virtual teams.
Mandel Communications, known globally for its presentation and conversations skills workshops, fills a major gap in the field of human communications training by announcing its new neuroscience-based, listening skills-building workshop, “The Listening Edge.”
This innovative training is bolstered with a validated, proprietary, science-based personal listening assessment that accelerates this learning and its application on the job.
It happened fast. One day you were meeting with your colleagues at the office. The next day you and everyone you work with are working in remote isolation from home. Whether you’re new to working remotely or an experienced veteran, we all need to raise our virtual collaboration game to not only make this new reality work, but to make it work really well. Read on to discover seven practical, high impact tactics you can implement right now to ensure the success of your virtual meetings.
- Welcome to the Future of Sales (Hint: It’s Virtual)
- Listen Closely: Your Company Culture Depends On It
- How to Deliver Impactful, Engaging Hybrid Meetings
- Leading a Virtual Team Means Doing Things Differently
- Are You Really Listening?
- 4 Listening Tips for Improving Your Virtual Meetings
- The Irresistible Power of Stories in Virtual Selling
- The Top Sales Skill for 2021!
- Top Virtual Communication Mistakes – and How to Overcome Them in 2021!
- Tell a Story. Close a Deal. Even on Zoom.