The three areas she identified where leaders fail to listen actively and empathically are
- Taking control, directing the conversation, focusing on their reply rather than the person speaking
- Becoming distracted, reacting too quickly and not allowing time to hear what is being communicated
- Allowing their egos to get in the way, competing or multi-tasking (ie. reading their emails)
... Sound familiar?
The behaviours associated with empathic listening in the article are
- Recognising verbal and non-verbal cues (facial expression, voice tone, body language), acknowledging emotional content
- Processing skilfully, understanding and following the train of the conversation (summarising, remembering)
- Responding, appropriate responses, questions, head nods and acknowledging agreement
Most crucial of all is that leaders follow up on the points raised, and Christine Riordan highlights the importance of demonstrating that people have been heard through follow up meetings, memos and incorporating changes.
The positive benefits of empathic listening she identified are building trust, allowing others to air their feelings, sharing information and promoting collaboration in problem-solving.
Read the full post here:
“Most people do not listen
with the intent to understand;
they listen with the intent to reply.”
Stephen R. Covey