When it comes to good leaders – in the office and in life – one trait stands above the rest: validation. Understanding and acknowledging someone’s circumstances validates what they are going through and can help managers build stronger relationships with team members, Entrepreneur magazine writes. Validation is not limited to rewarding someone financially for a job well done either. Rather, it’s more about truly listening and understanding where people are coming from, which is crucial for fostering inclusive workplaces.
Taking time to hear someone out and letting them express what they need to share sparks a connection. And connection is the lifeblood of a thriving team. Learning to listen is a key foundational skill. Our course – The Business of Listening – provides a great foundation for any leader in not just hearing, but seeing our teammates.
The author made the following observation about listening:
“Unfortunately, active listening is one of the least taught skills in leadership. Studies confirm that most of us are poor and inefficient listeners. When you talk to your boss, co-workers, or customers for 10 minutes, studies indicate you pay attention to less than half of the conversation. As managers, building up your active listening skills is crucial for solving problems, developing trust, and winning the hearts and minds of people.”
“Validation is the feedback that sends the clear message: ‘You are seen, safe, and supported.’ – Elayna Fernandez
As you think about all of this, what have you done to learn how to listen? Is your training ad hoc or formal? How would you rank your reflective listening skills? Finally, how much of your day is spent listening rather than speaking?