Join Lisa Gates for an in-depth discussion in this video Becoming an active listener, part of Coaching and Developing Employees.
Listening, this is the most important practice in your coaching toolbox. The challenge is, that in our everyday conversations we're full of preconceived ideas about what's being said and what we think people mean and where we think the conversation is headed. We're listening for what we want to hear and filtering things through our opinions and biases and we're waiting for a space to interject our perspective. Coaching requires a different kind of listening. So let's go back to Eric, with his new responsibilities as team lead he's recently been challenged by a ton of emails.
He's missing deadlines and reacting irritably to new requests. As his manager you might think the solution is simple. He just needs a couple of focused hours to clean things up, purge his inbox and make daily to do lists. So you give him a little direction then off he goes, but that kind of fix comes from listening from the outside in. The solution may work temporarily, but your employee's being directed not empowered and it also means that you're doing the work of generating that solution.
So how do you move from giving instruction to inspiring self guided choices and actions? Here are four strategies. 1, Be present. Once you're sitting down face-to-face ready for your power talk, your objective is to clear your mind, set aside your own to-do list and make yourself present and available, that's your goal. 2, Minimize potential distraction by closing your door and turning off ringers and alerts, take a moment to unplug and focus.
3, Give cues that you're listening. You can do this verbally by saying things like, Uh-huh, mm-hm, and yes and through body language, by nodding and smiling occasionally. 4, Reflect what you hear. Again, our assumptions and judgments can cloud what we hear, your role is to understand what's being said. Saying things like, what I'm hearing is or it sounds like you're saying, are excellent starts at getting to clarity. It takes a lot of discipline to listen well.
You're not just gathering information so you can craft a response. You're listening so you can be of service to your employees' immediate agenda, as well as the long-tail vision of their careers.
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- Finding time to coach
- Establishing a relationship with your employees
- Asking powerful questions
- Becoming an active listener
- Maintaining accountability
- Using questionnaires and self-assessments
- Aligning professional goals with company objectives<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.