LISTENING AND CARING
Listening is a powerful skill that makes employees feel valued. While increasing trust and motivation in employees, listening to workers also allows the manager to take the pulse of the organization. By listening to workers, the manager can get word of potential issues before they become major problems. There are four actions people should take for effective listening:
- Listen attentively, focusing on the speaker and shutting out distractions.
- Pause before replying to make sure the speaker has finished, and to consider what was said.
- Ask questions for clarification and to get the information needed to make a decision.
- Paraphrase the speaker to demonstrate understanding.
In addition to being listened to, individuals want to be seen as more than just employees. In fact, friendship between co-workers and between themanager and staff is an important element in successful businesses. The quality of the relationship between manager and employees influences how cooperative the workers are. Not surprisingly, managers who are likeable are more likely to get cooperation. In some ways, a manager has to walk a fine line, providing clarity about the tasks to be done and the responsibilities of workers on one hand, while being concerned and compassionate about workers on the other hand.
To enhance the friendship factor, the best managers practice the “Golden Rule of Management,” treating others the way they want to be treated by their superiors. To do this, they focus on the “three Cs” when interacting with employees:
1. Consideration — treating each worker as an individual.
2. Caring — making an effort to help workers when they present a problem.
3. Courtesy — treating each worker with respect.
In the end the job of the manager is to get the best from ordinary people by getting them motivated to work at 100 percent of their potential. Treating workers as trusted and valued members of the organization goes a long way toward this goal, and that can be accomplished by adopting some simple habits:
*Smiling at workers
*Showing an interest in them
*Listening to them
*Keeping them informed about the company
*Encouraging them to do the job well
These behaviors can help create a work environment where people feel motivated to do their best.