#Retail Competency: Listening
Listening is one of the more important personal skills you can possess in retail and one of the most under-used and/or under-developed competencies.
In 2015 we have made some major changes to the way we work in our company by ensuring that we are providing an open forum for our team members to communicate with us and we have made a commitment to them to actively listen and have dialogue around how we can all improve workplace culture. We have implemented programs such as the “Stay Interview” program, which has been a huge success for our business and our employees and our Peer-To-Peer Recognition Program which allows us to truly hear, react, and respond to their needs and ideas.
Active listening means that you are practicing dedicated listening and processing what other have said, leaving people comfortable that they have been able to articulate their thoughts completely. Active listening means you do not interrupt, paraphrase, or interpret their words for your own point-of-view. Listening doesn’t mean that you accept what the speakers is saying but that you have committed to allowing them to verbalize their perspective and position on a topic so that their can be educated conversations in the workplace.
(1) Stop Talking
Here are signs that you are actively listening:
As leaders we need to be objective and set the standard for strong/active listening. Our employees will follow our lead. Here are some common issues that you may be identify that subconsciously effect how we listen to people:
-They are disorganized and fail to keep their thoughts straight
According to For Your Improvement [FYI]: A Guide For Development And Coaching, here are some of the common causes of challenged listening habits:
All of these things are very real impediments to effective listening . This is an area, if it is an opportunity for you, can really only be self-developed. You have to put focus and effort in to be better at listening to your co-workers, that is not a skill that anyone else can help you develop. It takes an individual to personally identify that this is an area that they need to work on and put into practice the principals above to improve this super important competency.
One of the reasons I am writing on this topic and I have been speaking to so many of my team members about this lately is that it is a skill I have to improve in 2016 and that I have made a personal commitment to be a better listener and to really manage the quality of content that I share to ensure I am verbally delivering value to those who have to listen to me next year.