How Managers Can Improve Employees Through Listening

All of us are judgmental. That may not be necessarily a bad thing. An ability to see danger and quickly assess a situation has enabled us to survive. However this need to survive has unconsciously caused us to increase our proclivity for bias and “justify” what we think.

There is a scripture from the Bible, “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise.” (Prov. 19:20.)

The time for a leader to listen is when someone needs to be heard.

Leaders who are silent can weaponize their intent. A leader who expecting positive feedback following an appraisal listened to an employee who said, “Is there a reason you are angry?” The leader responded with surprise, “I’m not angry at all with you. Why do you say this?”

The employee said, “Most of the time your hands are crossed and you’re searching the room with your eyes when I’m speaking. Sometimes you’ll stand with your hands on your hips.”

Leaders may not have time for listening but imagine the employee who feels troubled. When they appear strong not requiring “caring” i.e. attention and listening may need it most.

Parents with teenage youth may find that time for listening is often less convenient but more important when young people feel lonely or troubled. And when they seem to deserve favor least, they may need it most.

When we intentionally listen because we care about the other person and the situation we create a holistic effect that heightens the value of the other person instead of ourselves. We want the other person to succeed. We care about them and their progress. In time we no longer have to intentionally act because we have developed our self-awareness as a leader and person to care about more than what we have to say.

As people learn to feel our genuine concern about them as a person their ability to do things will increase. The need to intimidate or use the default stick approach ceases to be our impetus of change.

More than learning, we become. Simply because we cared.


The Woods Kovalova Group
The Woods Kovalova Group
'We are a family-run, minority and woman-owned company ' Located in the Denver Tech Building in Denver, Colorado, we apply the best tools and methodologies of larger firms in today’s complex and uncertain environment and with the personalized attention of a smaller firm. The Woods Kovalova Group brings energy, initiative, and imagination to solve clients’ business problems in ways that deliver value beyond expectations. Our clients have ranged from Whirlpool Corporation to Homeland Security to start ups and churches. Leadership is what we do! With more than 36 years’ experience, we leveraged our power to transform individuals, teams, organizations, and societies to achieve what matters most to them with results that are measurable and lasting. We have a passion to help you and your business! Sincerely, Jim & Lucy'

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  1. It is important to know there is a difference between listening and hearing what people are saying . When my bride gets aggravated with me she will say Norm are listening to me and of course I will say yes then she will say but Norm are you hearing what I am saying and at times I catch myself I am listening but not hearing..

    It is so important to listen and hear what your team is saying ( in fact what anyone is saying) and give them feedback tht lets them know you understand what is being said, It is a sign of Respect ..