- August 29, 2019
- Posted by: Alyson Van Hooser
- Category: Employee Relations, Leadership Development, Leadership Pitfalls, Motivation
Leaders, it is your responsibility to consistently push the envelope to drive increased performance– year after year– through your people. To do that, you have to give your full attention ➡️intentionally. You have to listen on purpose. When you give your ear, you will get increased employee loyalty.
Give Your Ear, Get Employee Loyalty
Leadership is influence. If you want to create a deeper influence with people, you have to serve them. One of the most valuable ways you can serve your people is to listen to them.
The thing is, you can hear but never listen. Very few leaders listen well. Instead, what happens is you get caught up with what you already know, how you can fix it, what you think they should do, etc. All of those thoughts start flipping through your mind as someone else is talking to you and you are ready in an instant to respond back to them… without ever really listening to what they have to say.
Listening is a skill. Great news for you ➡️skills can be learned! If you think about it, you probably never signed up for Listening 101 in college, right? They didn’t even offer it! You have not been formally taught how to listen well–MOST LEADERS HAVEN’T! At VHA we train leaders of all levels across the country to become more influential leaders, including teaching them a time-tested process for listening well. We’ve been able to come alongside companies and see how intentionally listening is transforming their internal culture and their customer loyalty. Think your team could benefit from training? Lets Talk.
I can’t dig into the listening process we teach right now, but here is a quick tip!👇
Next time someone comes to talk to you, give them your FULL attention. Focus your entire body and mind on them…not the person across the room, not your desk, your phone or the to-do list in your head. Lock eyes and pay attention to what they are saying. Don’t interrupt them — even with reassuring phrases. Keep your eyes focused on them and your mouth shut. They will eventually ask you what you think or how you can help, THEN it is your time to respond.
Great leadership is all about intentionality. Be intentional in the way you listen so you can drive your business results.
Take time to intentionally listen to what it is your employees really want. When you do, it could save you time and money. Here is one example:
Businesses all over the world are spending outrageous amounts of money to add fitness centers to their offices, rushing to implement a bring your pet to work day, and scratching their heads on the next big thing they need to do to develop a better culture and higher employee retention. But, what if you’re missing the mark? What if all of that NEVER pays off in the end. What if the one thing that would really make a difference for your employees would be giving them a window with natural light? How much time and money could you have saved if you knew what your employees really wanted? (Here is an interesting article I read on this very topic this week: Harvard Business Review: What Employees Want Most From Their Workspaces)
In offices across the country, hours upon hours are wasted every week with unproductive conversations. To increase productivity, don’t interrupt, just listen. Here’s an example:
An employee comes in to talk to you about an issue. 30 minutes later you are knee-deep into a conversation about sports or food and haven’t gotten anything accomplished on the issue at hand! How did you get off on a tangent? Why have you both now wasted 30 minutes? My guess? Someone, somewhere, interrupted the person talking about the original issue at hand. Don’t let that be you.
As you intentionally listen, your conversations will become more focused. You will get to the heart of the matter faster and be able to fix issues fast, stop wasting time and both of you will be more productive. All of you will feel the positive effects.
Leaders across the country are wanting the secret sauce for retaining their best employees. You too, right?
No matter the generation, employees want to work for leaders they feel care about them. Intentionally listening is critical to showing your people you care. Your employees will be turned off instantly if they get the vibe that you don’t care about what they have to say.
Listening is critical to your success as a leader. Choose from this point forward to be an intentional listener. If you give your ear, they will give their loyalty. Together, you can increase your business results!
For more tips on how to better serve your people, check out the re-release of Phil’s book: Willie’s Way: 6 Secrets for Wooing, Wowing and Winning Customers and Their Loyalty. (For details on a chance to win a Kindle version of Willie’s Way, look here.)
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