Good managers listen - part 2
In the previous video, we saw the 3 unconscious habits that hold you back from effective listening:
- Constantly jumping in
- Being distracted
- Controlling outcomes
Having recognised factors that affects listening, a manager can replace them with corresponding practices to overcome these the unconscious habits:
- Suspend your opinion - Whenever the urge to jump in starts, try to do the opposite i.e. suspend your opinion and ask a follow-up question like "Tell me more". With practice you'll act like a coach rather than a player, and you’ll not only become a good listener but a strong leader.
- Put away your toys - When entering a meeting room, switch off the the Wi-Fi on your mobile. At first it is difficult but with practice you'll become a calmer, more present leader and listener.
- Practice influence over authority - The more you learn to deliberately listen to others, the more they're inclined to listen back to you and buy into your agenda. This psychological quid pro quo is called the concept of reciprocity, a key indicator of influence.
When people feel heard by you, they are more willing to open up, share and reward you by paying attention to your points.
As a manager, realize that your vantage point is very different than that of your direct reports. You have a telescope (vision) and they have a microscope (details), hence they see and hear things you’re unable to and vice-versa.