Management Tip: Active Listening


Tip number 2 is about “active listening”, which can be useful in any interaction, but very useful as a manager. These tips are in order of how you should listen with the other person, who has some problem to solve, but should solve it themselves instead of you solving it for them.

1.               Provide an opener: “tell me about…”

2.               Provide responses: eye contact, take notes, listen for “but” and “should”, “Can you tell me more?”

3.               Restate what has been said

4.               Empathy: “That sounds like a dilemma”

5.               Don’t provide a solution

6.               Help explore their options

7.               Ask “which option would you choose”

8.               Closure: “Let me know how it turns out”

Again, I do share this information with my team and the rest of Microsoft via MySite on our internal deployment of SharePoint Portal Server.


Comments (6)

  1. GW says:

    What do you do if you don’t like how they decide to solve it?

  2. Brian Groth says:

    You have to trust your employees to do the right thing. You can always coach an employee if they are dealing with a new topic, but eventually you have to trust them. Micromanaging someone or being unable to delegate is usually far worse than the risk of an employee making a wrong decision.

  3. Serghei says:

    I think that sometimes the very word "Like" needs to be examined. Sometimes it’s like "if he chooses what I would choose, then it’s ok. In other case I need to correct him". But nowadays we find that there are more than one road that can lead to the right result. So if your people choose what they choose but still get the right results – fine!

    But when you’re starting with that – remember about some time buffers, man! 🙂

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