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An Empathetic Ear

Employees take their problems to their managers when they know that they will listen to what they are saying. Such managers create trust because they listen in a supportive manner that encourages their employees to open up and be honest. You can develop your own ability to listen supportively by demonstrating interest eliminating interruptions seeking understanding

The first key to supportive listening is showing interest. The speaker can tell by your body language whether you’re paying attention. You can send the right signals by staying alert and focusing all your energy on the speaker. Use supporting remarks and nod. These cues encourage your employees to speak openly with you.

Minimize disruptions

Avoid fidgeting, looking at the clock, or shifting through papers. These actions send the message, “I’m not paying attention.” The speaker is then less likely to trust you. Minimize interruptions during conversations with employees. These talks can be sensitive, and you need to make sure the speaker has your full attention. Three simple techniques quickly and effectively minimize disruptions.

1. Make it possible to focus totally on your employees during meetings. Put your phone on hold and shut your door. If necessary, put a sign outside your door asking people to check back at another time. This way, you can focus completely on listening.

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