Improve team communication
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Show team members that you respect and value them, simply by learning and using active listening skills. Remember these basic strategies:
- Stop talking. You cannot use your ears effectively at the same time as you use your mouth to speak. Quiet, too, the voice in your head that distracts you from what the team member is saying.
- Put yourself in the speakerís position. Imagine doing the same work, facing the same problems and holding the same values. That technique reminds you to consider the speakerís perspective.
- Look, act and be interested. You should not glance at your e-mail, doodle, shuffle papers, peek at your watch or tap your fingers while someone is speaking to you.
- Pay attention to nonverbal cues. You can learn a lot from body language, including whether the person is telling the truth, nervous or uncertain.
- Speak affirmatively. You should not jump in with an evaluative, critical, dismissive or disparaging comment. You can speak honestly when it is your turn to speak. While you are actively listening, stay positive.
ó Adapted from The Radical Team Handbook, John Redding, Jossey-Bass, www.josseybass.com.
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