It’s easy sometimes to get caught up in our own flow while speaking. We just keep going and dominate a conversation, leaving little room for others to provide their inputs or engage in the conversation. In doing so, we deny ourselves the opportunity to learn. The Dalai Lama once said “When you talk, you are repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”
At CEEK we encourage each other and our clients to speak less to hear more. By listening more as a leader, you encourage team members to share more ideas and solutions. Your team will feel more engaged, effective, and energized and you’ll transform your workplace into a positive and engaged environment.
We challenge you this month to speak less.
1. Ask Questions
Listening is more than just keeping your mouth closed and ears open. Not only do you need to keep your ears open, but also you need to engage in active listening, paying attention to what’s being said without planning your next words. Listen first, then think about questions you can use to learn more and facilitate open communication with your team members.
2. Let Others Suggest Solutions
The contributions of others are easy to overlook. As a leader, you need to see everything your team members bring to the table to let them feel heard and recognized. Instead of being the first person to suggest a solution to a problem, let your team members suggest their own solutions and participate in explorative dialogue. We are willing to bet that you’ll find your team members often have solutions that you may not have considered.
3. Encourage Dialogue
By asking questions and opening the floor for others to present their solutions, you’ve already started to encourage dialogue within your team. Another thing you can add to your regimen is asking your team members for feedback. Ask questions like “How am I doing?” and “What can I do better?” This allows team members to express how you can better lead them.
We challenge you as a leader to speak less to hear more. This challenge continues our challenge set designated to create an open communication environment that allows honest transparency to minimize stressors across you and your team members. This environment will lead to an increase in productivity as you and employees spend less time in wasted dialogue and more time establishing efficient communication to get things done.
CEEK a Better Way!