Let’s discuss why it’s so important for you to listen to your employees’ opinions and points of view. But like, really listen.
All right, here’s the thing – I honestly believe the business world would be a much better place if we all just communicate better and listen to each other. And this doesn’t only attributes to our discussions with the customers – it’s incredibly applicable to the communication in the office as well.
I’m happy that the times when the boss/the manager didn’t care to listen to their employees are long gone. You get the idea – here’s this big company where the transactional leadership approach is the preferred method of management and all the employees need to do is execute their assigned tasks without asking questions.
But have we really benefited from all this? As time went by, we all witnessed people that felt sadder and sadder at their workplace. Some of them continued staying at the job which made them feel miserable, while others chose to search for a better place. Some of them managed to escape this leadership style, while others ended up in the same work environment, only for the company to be a different one.
But today things are different – today leaders love communicating with their employees
At least in the majority of places.
A lot of things changed in the business field and the way leaders managed their teams. As if we all saw that the previous approach was heading us to no good. Managers used to burn out incredibly fast since they faced unhappy and unfulfilled employees. Therefore, the projects began running short and were unsuccessful. On the other hand, employees began to feel sick of the constant burden of stress and pressure and simply were choosing to leave for good.
Therefore, something had to change since both sides were unhappy with the work they are doing.
And there was the epiphany! There weren’t two sides in the first place.
See, when we talk about leader-team relationships, we all need to understand that we are all on the same side. We are all on the same page. Here we have a project. The leader’s job is to explain the goals to their team and to assign the tasks among the employees. The employees’ role is to execute them on time and correctly. What’s the mutual purpose of both the leader and the employees? To provide for the company by finishing up the project successfully.
There are no enemies here, just people who play on the same team. A pivotal part of any teamwork to be successful is the communication between the participants. That’s why I wanted to dedicate this article to leaders communicating with their employees. We should all cherish, nurture, and encourage questions, opinions, and points of view.
Tips on how to encourage your employees to share opinions and how to handle them
My observations as a CEO and a leader have led me to this: If your employees share opinions and points of view with you, then they trust you. A lot.
As you may know, a relationship without trust is not a stable one – this goes for both personal and professional ones. So, in reality, you have to be happy if your employees feel free enough to speak out loud. This essentially means your professional relationship is hitting it off.
So in order to encourage your employees to openly share thoughts and opinions, you first need to show them you value their words. Take the first step and ask them individually what they think on a certain matter. You can do so during your weekly meetings for example. I can guarantee you they would appreciate it. Show your team that you trust their judgment by assigning them to a bigger and more important project. A good approach might be to decrease the micromanagement. This will also encourage your staff to be more productive, and proactive, and simply have more self-belief.
Once your team feels confident enough to speak freely, you can do the following:
- always make time to listen to their opinions, thoughts, and suggestions – it’s not enough to only encourage them to speak. It’s also important to listen.
- don’t forget to ask the appropriate questions – this shows them you are invested in the discussed topic
- put into practice their suggestions – if an employee has an idea regarding the execution of the next project, try to implement it in the project strategy
- show appreciation for the fact they shared their opinion – remember that sometimes it takes courage to put yourself out there
- be open-minded – even if your opinions differ from one another, still be accepting and appreciative
To wrap things up
I don’t think there’s anything more fruitful and great in business communication than having a smooth one with your team. Enabling and encouraging your employees to openly offer thoughts, opinions, and points of view means you’ve done a nice job being a leader, a manager, and a mentor to your team.