How to Get People to Listen

Listen-to-me PersonEvery person wants to be heard – and that is the foundation of employee engagement. That’s just how simple it is…or not.

Leaders must create ways for people to contribute ideas, voice concerns or just confusion in order to engage employees.   Employee engagement has been a popular term for many years and it’s a worthy aspiration. It means getting employees connected and contributing to the organization.

Engagement is interaction with commitment. We commit to a purpose and, as we work to achieve it, we honor our values.

Listening is a foundation of employee engagement. There are strategic ways to listen that might include IT solutions but that’s not my topic here. Today, I’m about tactics – small human behaviors that foster interaction and build engagement.

Here are 4 ways to get people to listen to you:

1.  Listen first.

We are more likely to listen after we’ve been heard. That is especially true when there are strong feelings about a topic.

2.  Playback what you heard.

Make it very clear that you received the message they intended to send. Just because you didn’t interrupt does not mean that you really “got it.”

3.  Be relevant.

Relate your message to what your audience cares about and say so, clearly, before you deliver your message. Connect the dots to the thing that is on their minds.

4.  Be concise.

By following the above steps, you’ll be more likely to be brief. Discipline yourself to deliver your message in fewer words. Everyone will be grateful.

Focus on these small and critical skills of employee engagement and let me know how it goes.