The Samaritans do great work by offering a safe place to talk any time you like, in your own way about whatever’s getting to you. Really listening to people makes them feel valued and understood. Being able to listen well to others helps you to be someone who others can turn to.
Monday 24 July is Samaritans Awareness Day. Please visit their page and think about helping them.
Good communication skills are really important in the modern workplace and learning to deal with challenging conversations at work is a skill that all managers should acquire.
Talking to the staff
At 10Eighty we advocate meaningful career conversations as a route to a more effective workplace. Managers don’t talk often enough to their staff about career aspirations and development plans. It’s a shame because successful career planning requires employer and employee to have mature conversations about ambitions, aspirations, potential, opportunities and growth.
We have a serious problem with employee engagement and productivity in the UK so talking about effective career pathways and talent management with employees will pay dividends long-term. Talking to staff about the work they enjoy doing and committing to helping them with personal development and opportunities to meet their career aspirations is the starting point.
Learn how to communicate clearly and effectively. Focus on developing communication skills that enable you to effectively connect with others, build trust and respect, and feel heard and understood. Effective communication allows you to engage your listeners, convey your point of view clearly, and convince your audience of the validity of what you say. Communication is not just about what you say, but also about how you say it and how you present yourself.
Listening to the staff
Effective communication is not only just about how you convey a message so that it is received and understood by someone in exactly the way you intended, it’s also how you listen to gain the full meaning of what’s being said and to make the other person feel heard and understood.
Don’t focus only on what to say, because effective communication is less about talking and more about listening. Listening well means not just understanding the words or the information being communicated, but also understanding the emotions the speaker is trying to communicate.
Active listening involves paying close attention to what the other person says. Ask questions to clarify what you think you heard, and rephrase what the person says to ensure understanding (“So, what you’re saying is…”).
10Eighty’s checklist of communication skills you need in business:
- Active listening
Finally remember that Dale Carnegie once said, “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”