Listening - the art of communicating with employees

Service Business

A good boss has the ability to listen. He can listen to his employees and understand them. Communication in the company cannot be one-sided. When an employer interacts with employees, it cannot merely demand obedient listening and nodding. Employees can have their own opinion on a given topic. Sometimes it turns out that what your subordinates have to say turns out to be useful. Do employers use the ability to listen? How to listen to understand and remember the message conveyed by our interlocutor?

Active listening

Learning to listen is not easy. Of course, there are people who do not have difficulties in understanding the content, feelings or experiences of the interlocutors. It is also important to correctly interpret the statement. For this reason, listening does not only consist in receiving a message conveyed in a verbal form. You should observe the interlocutor, read his body language and non-verbal behavior. Sometimes the same sentence in different situations can mean something completely different.

Most people don't have a well-developed listening skill because they don't spend too much time and attention interacting with another person. Employers usually have a lot of tasks to do, so when calling an employee for an interview, they expect confirmation of their beliefs or obtaining a satisfactory answer. Sometimes, however, the interlocutor has other, much more interesting content to share, which the boss does not want to use anymore.

Rules worth applying

You can learn to listen actively. Sufficient will be enough and following the rules below.

  1. Pay attention to the interlocutor - when an employee comes to your office, take time for him. Get involved in the conversation. Make eye contact, smile, nod. Do not cross your arms or legs - your closed attitude may discourage the interlocutor from speaking honestly.
  2. Do not interrupt, judge or think stereotypically - people who have a developed listening ability try to listen to the whole statement first and then respond to it. It is incorrect to make an assessment during the interlocutor's monologue. The way in which we approach the employee will affect the reception of the conveyed content.
  3. Use the paraphrasing technique and ask about what you do not understand - when the interlocutor finishes his statement, try to repeat with your words what was said just now. Be sure to clarify matters that were incomprehensible to you. Maybe your interlocutor has gotten a little stressed out and has chosen inappropriate words or phrases to convey what they meant.
  4. Take notes - during long speeches, you can prepare a notebook and write down the most important information that your interlocutor gave you. Thanks to this, you will not forget what was said. You will also be able to analyze the submitted content.
  5. Make sure you understand the information given to you correctly - Use phrases such as: Did I understand correctly that ... / You wanted to tell me that ... / You meant ... / You think ... In this way, you will encourage the employee to explain his views and position on the matter.
  6. Pay attention to non-verbal communication - listening skills involve picking up content that has not been conveyed in the form of sentences and verbal statements. The human body reveals his true intentions and feelings. When an employee says that he or she felt very comfortable in the role of the presentation leader, observe what he communicates to you with his body posture, gestures and facial expressions. If he is tense - he did not like the presentation at all and was not happy that he had to do such a task.
  7. Ask if the interlocutor has finished speaking - you cannot interrupt others, but sometimes it is difficult to tell if someone has finished speaking, wondering what else to say, or maybe pausing too long. Kindly ask if the employee is going to add anything and if you can speak now.

Listening skills - test

Do you think you can listen to your employees? Complete the test below to find out at what level your listening skills are well developed. Answer the questions in the table below. Put a plus sign next to each statement that matches you. Then combine your answers - you will get a graph. The more the line you mark comes to the left, the better your listening skills are.







I pay attention to the feelings and behavior of others as much as I am interested in facts.


I can hear what is not said.


I try not to interrupt the person who is talking to me.


I am not pretending the interest shown.


I do not discourage my interlocutor due to the appearance and manner of speaking.


While listening, I do not judge my partner's speech.


I pay attention to the behavior of the interlocutor, non-verbal speech.


I try not to disturb the interlocutor.


When I concentrate on listening, I don't pay attention to other things.


I can listen to a person who has difficulty speaking, repeats himself.


I react to statements using non-verbal communication: I smile and maintain eye contact.


I can summarize a statement to check that I have understood it.


I admit when I don't understand something and ask for an explanation.


I pay attention to what I can learn from the speaker.