Five ways to put listening at the top of your agenda

Listening is widely acknowledged as one of the foundations of great leadership and the list of listening channels and tactics is long … from annual engagement surveys to online discussion forums. But listening is at its most powerful when done face to face.

Here are five ways to get in front of your teams to improve listening in your organisation.

Feedback Friday – Set aside a specific time and day for feedback. Having some kind of structure will help people to get involved.

Mine’s a latte – Sitting down over a coffee in the canteen can open up new channels of communication. Ask people to throw their questions into a pot whilst you’re off getting a cuppa to keep things anonymous.

On-site insight– When you’re out and about visiting sites up and down the country, schedule half an hour to get in front of staff … and make sure this precious time isn’t bumped in favour of a ‘more important’ meeting.

Feedback forums – Hold regular sessions where nominated employee representatives can put forward the broader view to get honest and open feedback and build rapport.

Panel debate – Invite staff to submit questions ahead of a panel debate where several of the leadership team will be on hand to answer those questions … and any that come up on the day too.

These ideas may sound simple … but putting them into practice needs discipline and buy-in from the leadership team.

If you’re struggling to get that level of support, you may want to consider inviting us in to run a Discovery Workshop to help unearth some of the issues that are halting progress in your organisation.