Have you ever worked for a really great manager?
We hear a lot these days about horrible bosses, disengaged employees, and how work, in general, isn’t much fun. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are some awesome places to work, and one of the things that differentiates a great work environment from a house of horrors is a great leader. Good managers bring out the best in the people on their team. They make work better, more fun, more inspiring, and more engaging.
There are a lot of ways to become a better manager, but today I just want to focus on one skill, that more often than not, makes the difference between being a good manager and being a bad boss.
That skill is listening.
When I talk about listening as a management skill, I’m not talking about someone who is giving you half an ear while they check their fantasy football scores from last night. I’m talking about the practice of active listening: giving someone your absolute, 100% full attention.
Active listening is the secret weapon of great managers. While some people still think that a manager’s job is to tell other people what to do, the truth is that most good managers spend more time listening than they do talking. Active listening is a communication technique that allows managers to more deeply understand information, and to build strong relationships with their team.
In this video, part of my Tips in Two series, we’ll walk through the elements of Active Listening, and see why it’s the fastest way to become a better leader.