We are all far too quick to talk these days, we love to hear ourselves talk, I’m part of this club at times, but I’ve learned that I’m better served avoiding this trend. I strive every day to talk less and to listen more.
When we talk over people or tune out we miss valuable information all around us. We miss language cues we miss the messages that people are trying to tell us.
Every meeting I hold now, I repeat the first item on the agenda, then I ask for thoughts from the team I’m working with no questions asked. A meeting pulls people away from their normal work, it disrupts a day often, giving the team a chance to talk first is the best first step to running a productive meeting, one where people feel genuinely empowered. As a leader, this is your time to shine.
Managers that listen well, leave every meeting with any employee learning something new either about them, their role, their struggles, or the business they operate in.
Not every meeting is going to be a good one, not every meeting is going to have good news either. There will be some meetings that have nothing but bad news. This is the best time to listen. When things are not going well, listening will help you understand where their might be room for improvement.
Reflection on what you have heard is the best way to start with a clear head and path towards improvement.