Has this ever happened to you? You go to speak to your boss, or a colleague, a friend or even someone in your family and you feel they're not listening. How does that make you feel - not very good I suspect.
When I bring this up in a team motivation seminar, some managers start to feel a litle bit uncomfortable.
If you want to motivate and have a good relationship with the people in your team, your customers, colleagues, friends and family, then you need to be a good listener.
You need to look and sound like you're listening. When face to face you need to look interested, nod your head and keep good eye contact. Over the phone you need to make the occasional - “Uh-Huh - I see. "
I've seen managers, when faced with a problem from a team member, start to do something else, like work on the computer. I've also heard managers say - “It's okay, I can do two things at once, I can listen to you and work on the computer. "
Maybe you can, but the message your team member gets is - “My problem isn't that important, my manager just isn't interested. "
When you're spending time with people you need to give them your full attention. You need to look them in the eye, concentrate on them and make them feel that what they say is important and deserves your attention.
As well as looking interested in your team member's or your customer's problem, it's a good idea to write it down. I've fallen into the trap of thinking - “I'll remember that when I get back to the office and I'll check on it. " However, one person I was with said - “You wont do anything about what I've said Alan because you wont remember it. " From that point on I wrote things down.
It's also a good idea to paraphrase - to repeat back what the person has said to ensure your understanding and let them know you've been listening.
It may seem like a simple thing but it's very important to use names. You could say in response to a problem from a team member - “I'll speak to the accounts department about that. "
Its far better to say - “I'll speak to the accounts department about that Susan, thank you for bringing it to my attention. " That's a much better way for a motivating manager to act.
A person's name is one of the warmest sounds they hear. It says - “I recognise you as an individual. " However, don't overdo it as it may come across as patronising.
So just some food for thought - many people believe that to be a good motivator you need to be a good speaker when in fact - you need to be a great listener.
Discover the “3" Secrets of team motivaion. Alan Fairweather - “The Motivation Doctor" -is the author of “How to get More Sales by Motivating Your Team" To receive your free newsletter and free ebooks, visit: http://www.howtogetmoresales.com