Listening attentively

Next in the series of behaviours identified by Deci and Ryan as creating the conditions to motivate employees is Listening attentively. Scanning the news, reading diverse whitepapers and collecting anecdotes here are a few of the things I have found that you can do as a leader when your employee comes to speak with you:

  • First what can you do to control distractions in the environment? Your attention is crucial and noticeable...

  • Close your laptop / blank your screen

  • Put your phone out of sight and on silent mode

  • Have your own office? Close the door for privacy

Next think about how you listen - check out my post on Cappuccino Listening here

  • Pay attention not just to the words they use but look at their facial expression, their body language - is that congruent with their words?

  • Make good eye contact (on a video call - look at the camera - it's like looking them in the eye)

  • Offer non verbal encouragement (gestures, nodding or para verbals like "uh-hu", "mm hm" etc.

  • Try rephrasing what the speaker jut said to check your understanding (and to show you are listening)

All these will help you focus your attention, listen more deeply and build a better relationship


What other techniques do you use to listen attentively?


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