Communication has been a major theme over the past year and indeed every year for us at AccessEAP. Our Wellbeing in Focus Calendar dedicates a month and often a quarter to the theme each year. Anything on courageous, difficult or constructive conversations is very well received, and the feedback we get from our customers is that you are looking for more. A major part of communication is listening. We spend a lot of time talking about listening, and how important it is to demonstrate active listening, how important it is to “be heard”. Listening is a crucial part of what happens when you ask “R U OK?” or invest in diversity in your teams. Being present, having empathy and risking missing out by putting down your phone and giving someone your undivided attention, is easier said than done. Yet it is fundamental in gaining understanding, having meaningful conversations and establishing or nurturing connection. It is a skill that few truly do well, but when we find a good listener, they are often a very valuable person in our lives.
If we are good listeners, how do we do it? If we are poor listeners, how do we improve? If we are somewhere in between, can we do better?
Listening is so much more than just hearing, or waiting your turn to speak (without interrupting), it is an active skill and as a leader, you become highly attuned to your people and where they are at. Practice active listening by paying attention, asking questions and taking in behaviours as well as what is being said out loud.
Our Leader Tool focuses on ways to improve your listening skills and why its such an essential part of being a good leader. Our Personal Tool covers good listening skills and how listening skills can help parents. Find our wide range of Leader Tools and Personal Tools, in the Employer and Employee Login Areas of our website. Reach out to here at AccessEAP. As always, our people are here to help support you and your people be their best in life and work.