In September 2021 over 4 million people had quit their jobs as part of what is being called, “The Great Resignation.” When interviewed many of these people state their reason for leaving their job was due to lack of management listening to them. This is not the first time we have heard this as a reason people leaving their jobs.
Not being heard is frustrating for employees especially when they work with someone who lacks “active listening”skills. They never feel that they are heard and most likely they have not been.
Great managers/employers take the time to develop active listening skills, and even when they are practiced it still is hard not to fall back into the habit of thinking about your response instead of listening for understanding. When you take the time to gain understanding of what your employees are saying you will be able to respond appropriately.
When someone takes the time to really listen to us it makes us feel respected, cared for, satisfied, and understood. It is a positive experience, and the results are better relationships, better quality of work, greater cooperation, and less stress.
There are three stages of the “Listening Process” that need to be developed to become an “active listener.” You can learn these if you take the time to develop them. Some people are naturally better listeners than other, but that is no reason not to become a better listener.In fact, you are a manager or business owner the expense is great if you do not.
The Three Stages of Listening:
Receiving – We take in the message most notably through hearing and seeing. You listen as much with your sight as you do your sense of hearing. Your eyes help you read the nonverbal cues that play a part in how the speaker expresses his or herself.
Processing – This is done in your mind. It involves analyzing, evaluating, and trying to make sense out of what the speaker said, so you can answer appropriately. Most listening problems happen at this level, such as distraction, attention level or stress. When you are distracted, you do not fully get the message, only bits and pieces. Processing requires concentration to happen.
Responding – This is when the speaker finds out if the listener understood them because they hear the response. If they were understood, then a connection and a bond occur. If not, you have a process breakdown, which causes stress and frustration on the part of the speaker.
To save your workplace from becoming part of “The Great Resignation” take the time to invest in becoming a better listener so your employees will want to continue to invest in your business.
“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” ~ Ralph Nichols