Listening Is So Important For A Successful Work Environment

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Learning to Listen

Listening skills can trump a lot of other personal skills when it comes to finding good managers. An active listener can help a business run more efficiently, resolve issues better and be more responsive to the customer.

 Importance of listening skills ?

effective communications

When a leader pays attention to what his team has to say, it can help him better manage them to produce optimal results. Active listening can help a manager pick up on cues from employees. For instance, being alert to passing remarks or recalling details of conversations can often be more useful for information gathering than a direct question. When an employee knows you are really listening, it helps you build a relationship based on trust. If they feel their voice is heard, they are far more likely to come to you with their problems, ideas or solutions. It makes you far more approachable besides making you seem like someone who they can count on to hear them out.With clients being a good listener can translate to business benefit. If your customer airs certain views or mentions their problems directly or indirectly in conversations, an active listener will be quick to spot these flags. Knowing what specific areas to address in your solution for the customer or prospect immediately ups your chances of creating something that will truly solve their problems. This can translate into more top-line growth.

 

Building active listening skills

active listening skills

Chances are, like many others, you too feel that you are an above average listener. Get a third party to evaluate you through workshops and training sessions and you might be surprised by the results. Quite often, leaders find that there is significant scope for improvement when it comes to listening skills. So how does one go from being an average listener to an active listener when looking to improving listening skills? For starters, you may need to work with professional leadership training experts, to undergo training on communication and listening skills. A third party will be able to assess your listening skills and help you identify potential problem areas. Your multitasking might be getting in the way of having meaningful conversations where your co-workers or team members feel heard. Or you might just be easily distracted. Perhaps you get restless and are impatient for the other person to just ‘cut to the chase’. Maybe you are dismissive of ideas you find unfeasible. But there could be a better way to respond.

Leadership and communication training workshops will teach listening skills and you will learn how to engage with the other person when they are speaking. This may involve responses in the affirmative to show you are following them, or non-verbal cues like a nod of the head, leaning forward as opposed to slouching or leaning away; that assure the other person that you are listening.

 

Listening is as much about responding

leadership group in room

There are arguably more people who act without listening than the other way round. But it is also important to ensure that after listening to someone you demonstrate your understanding of the problem by evaluating the issue and acting accordingly. If you have heard them out, you need to ensure you have also completely understood what they were trying to communicate. For anything you are unsure about, be sure to ask. Questions are a big part of active listening. Paraphrase what they have said and repeat it back to confirm you have the gist of what they said. It will also send the other person the right signals – that you are listening to every word they say.

Once you master the art of listening, team management becomes that much easier. Ease the way for yourself and your team by getting everyone involved in a workshop that provides listening skills exercises and you will see the difference for yourself. To learn more about listening skills for leaders, please contact Leaders Speakers.

 

 

 

How to Develop an Inclusive Team Culture

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Team Culture Assessment

As the workplace grows and continues to evolve into a more global structure with specific employee roles, creating an inclusive team environment and developing team culture is the need of the hour. Though top and middle management constantly develop several policies to encourage inclusion, they are generally useless without real effort.

One of the key aspects of a successful inclusion policy is to actually make sure that you implement it. Apart from providing equal opportunities for growth, employees must be given the necessary amount of freedom to embrace their true identities, personalities and should be appreciated for their contribution. It is highly counter-productive to group employees into certain sections rather than treat them as individuals with unique strengths.

Why Inclusion is Necessary for Team Environment

Not only is it valuable to have an inclusive work structure, it is also required by law to provide equal treatment to all employees.

There are several issues that tend to crop up when dealing with a diverse group of employees. Ask questions such as how much are the employees engaged in decision making or does your company even encourage employees to participate in decision making? Is every single employee given similar benefits or do only some of them have access to it?

Not paying attention to such details can result in employees feeling left-out and demotivated. This can result in severely negative consequences for your company in the long run.

team building 1

How to create an environment of inclusion for a positive team culture

There are several ways to implement an inclusive team culture in the work place. To start off, develop a specific set of objectives that encompass the principles of an inclusive workplace. For this, you could collect input from the entire hierarchy of employees to gain a wider perspective.

Communication is the key to understanding your employees better. Ensure that there are systems in place to help your employees communicate better. Timely feedback to their suggestions and ideas is a must and so, it must be prioritized.

Even in terms of infrastructure, make sure that none of your employees feels singled out. For instance, providing accessible features for older or disabled employees is a good way to boost their morale.

No policy is effective unless employees themselves are involved in carrying out the objectives. Engage with your employees and discuss the importance of an inclusive work culture. Ask them to take individual steps that would help propagate such a system.

team culture activities

Advantages of inclusion in the work place

There are innumerable advantages to creating an inclusive structure in the work environment. One of the most basic benefits is that, employees tend to contribute more if they feel like they are part of the team.

It allows employees from diverse backgrounds to see from each others’ perspective ultimately resulting in more productivity. It also minimizes dispute and provides a platform for proper conflict resolution. In fact, it can even help you weed out highly uncooperative employees who only serve as a hindrance to the overall progress of your business.

If you need advice on strategies for building an inclusive environment at your office, then get in touch with us. At Leaders Speakers, we provide programs that are designed to give you the exact results that you are hunting for.

 

 

 

 

How to Deal with Workplace Conflict?

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How to Deal with Workplace Conflict?

Conflict in the workplace can be a real buzz-kill. Even if you have the best qualified team, they won’t go far if they are disgruntled. So what can you do to keep that energy pumping and make each day be one that employees look forward to when they roll out of bed in the morning?

conflict management

 

Using a public speaking workshop to manage conflict

It is critical that business or unit heads understand their team, the intricacies of the work and processes and manage these moving parts well. Leadership training and conflict management workshops can equip your team leaders with the skills to manage conflict the right away. Having a leader that employees look up to, takes more than just a great work ethic. Perception matters too and nowhere is this more evident than on a public forum or at a company-wide event. Most savvy entrepreneurs and business leaders enroll themselves in a quality public speaking workshop to hone their skills.

 

How to reduce chances of conflict with fun corporate team building activity

If employees have high degrees of dependencies on others in the team due to the nature of their work, then it is even more important to foster healthy relationships. Team building activities away from the office can help break the ice and nurture good work relationships.change management Overcoming obstacles or working together to achieve a goal can be a great way to do this – fun work team building games – whether it is a scavenger hunt, a day of art or building toys for a cause. This degree of intense and close interaction in a lower-stakes scenario helps employees build a mutual understanding which sees them through tough times at work. Knowing where a co-worker is coming from with a certain point of view or action can sometimes even help deflect a crisis or conflict. Another way to reduce chances of conflict is by demarcating roles and responsibilities clearly. This will minimize chances of conflict arising from the classic ‘passing-the-buck’ move. In case of a failure, it will enable leadership to pinpoint the root cause of the issue and take necessary corrective action fast.

Resolve conflicts swiftly

If circumstances result in a disagreement, it is vital to address the problem immediately. team cultureDo not let the problem fester. Corporate team building activities and employee team building games can help you equip leaders with the skills to act swiftly to solve issues. Bring the concerned parties together and initiate open dialogue.

 

Communicate

If an employee comes to you with a problem, it is important to hear the other side of the story too – because there usually is one. A work culture that stimulates communication will stand you in good stead should a conflict arise. Healthy and regular employee-to-supervisor communication as well as employee-employee communication can help you identify a problem quickly. It also helps you arrive at a consensus faster.

Be fair with your employees

A third party team building activities company can help you find perspective and work out how to manage conflict in your workplace. If employees know that any conflict will be judged fairly and a solution arrived at, they are far more likely to bring the problem to you before it has a chance to flare up. It will also send the right signals to the team in general, encouraging them to try and rally together in times of crisis. Crisis resolution is an important piece in the business puzzle and how you handle it speaks volumes. In some cases, it could make or break a business deal. So why not get some professional expertise to coach your team leaders and units heads in conflict management?