Masterful Communication: Listen. To. Me!
Addison is our three year-old. She is at the age where she absolutely knows when daddy is listening to her or not. Although her mother and I believe her to be an angel, Addison is a standard-built little human and communicates her frustration with daddy by a good dose of crying, screaming and stomping. She doesn't like it when she feels like daddy isn't giving her the attention she needs and deserves.
This exchange happens every day in households across the world. However, they also happen in companies and organizations every day. They don't always end in crying and foot pounding (at least not in public), but team members get ignored daily by their bosses and it dramatically impacts their job satisfaction, productivity and overall quality of life.
Patrick Lencioni, the business leadership author, calls this anonymity in his Three Signs of a Miserable Job. (It's one of the three signs, also.) He frames it as the feeling that no one is paying attention to you. Your voice isn't heard. Your boss doesn't care. No one is listening.
This Labor Day think about your work as a leader as an opportunity to help your team love their work. A big part of this is having their needs and desires met and even exceeded. And from the age of three your team has desired to have others listen to them - especially the people closest to them at work and at home. They may not cry or throw a tantrum, but they are telling you they want your attention. You just need to listen.
A few ideas:
- Have regular one-on-ones.
- Give your full attention to them.
- Practice active listening every chance you get.
- Remember little and big things about each individual.
- Do things that show you listen to them.
- Ask their opinion.
- Involve them in decisions. Especially when you don't have to.
- Don't make assumptions.
- Posted using BlogPress from Rhett's iPhone 4.