A good talk is futile without good listeners. A good message is useless if it will not be comprehended by its intended recipients. That is why if you are a manager, an employer, or the boss of your company, you have to make sure that there is an effective communication between you and your employees.
Whether it’s a formal office meeting or just a simple talk anywhere inside or outside of the business premises, managers should ensure that their messages are penetrating into the minds and hearts of their employees.
Your employees need to know your organizational plans and objectives, and learn how to realize them. They also need to understand your strategies to carry out your business successfully. That is why you need to motivate and encourage them so that they may become more productive in their assigned tasks and duties. Thus, getting their full attention is one thing that you have to also give an attention.
The following are tips and ways on how to make your employees listen and effectively communicate with you.
1. Prepare them for listening
If it’s not an emergency or a very urgent meeting where a minute delayed is crucial, then it’s wise to invest enough time and effort to get your subordinates become ready for a meeting. Just like any container that should be prepared and be cleaned first before pouring any water, your employees should also be prepared first before putting some information on their brain. Here are some tips on how to prepare them for a meeting:
a. Make an early announcement. Announce a meeting earlier enough to finish their current or immediate tasks. This is to avoid talking with them while their minds are still on their unfinished business.
b. Make your announcement clear. Make your meeting announcement clear to include your specific agenda, date and time, duration, and even the participation expected from your employees.
c. Make sure their stomach are not empty. Avoid summoning your employees an hour before lunchtime or dinner which can cause them to be stuck in a meeting while their gastric acid is already playing inside their tummy. This is to avoid talking with people who cannot absorb your messages because their stomach nerves are already sending a lot of messages to their brain, saying “it’s time to eat now!”.
d. Prepare yourself. Prepare yourself as a speaker or a motivator to make your listeners comfortable as possible. Check their current status, performance and evaluation report to know the best talk you can give to them.
One of the best ways to prepare your employees to listen to you and prepare yourself to talk to them is to constantly have a friendly, short and non-destructive conversation with them. Take note that a simple hello, good morning, take care, and goodbye are already quick friendly conversations you can have with your employees to make them always comfortable to talk with you anytime.
2. Send a clear message
Keep it simple and straightforward. Don’t make your talk or speech too short and too long. Making your talk too short can leave them with many unanswered questions, resulting to confusion. On the other hand, making your talk too long can cause information overload, as well as boredom.
For formal meeting or when comprehensive topics are involved, it is always useful to present them with visual aids, like PowerPoint presentations or the like.
Managers should also remember that a clear message doesn’t only involve clear physical voice heard by the ears and clear visual aid seen by the eyes. But a clear message importantly means it is understood by the mind, as well as by the heart. Hence, managers and organizational leaders should learn how to talk by the heart as necessary.
3. Add some humor
Laughter can be a medicine for your stressful employees. It can also eradicate their boredom. Therefore, learn how to be humorous in your talk. But make sure that your jokes are relevant to what you are talking. You can add humor to your examples or explanations to clearly bring your messages to your employees. And of course always look at your audience if they are really smiling and having some fun to ensure that you are not getting cheesy.
4. Let them be part of your talk
People are naturally interested to hear things that are related to them rather than things that have nothing to do with them. Hence, include them in your talk. If it’s about your company’s plan for the future, then tell them what it has to offer on their future. If it’s about the success that your company is now enjoying, then tell them their slice of the cake of success – recognize their efforts and contribution.
You have to talk not only for the development of yourself as the business owner or for the growth of your company as a business, but you have to ensure that your employees are also receiving or will be achieving financial growth and personal development too.
5. Ask and listen
If you want people to listen to you, you have to learn how to listen to them too. Ask your employees if they understood what you say. If not, then you have to encourage them to ask questions and clarifications. But of course, there are some people who don’t have enough confidence to stand up and raise a question. That is why you have to motivate them to ask and make your conversation more fruitful.
One effective way to encourage them to participate and ask questions is to reassure that their questions are answered and their voices are listened. In other words, you have to give them proof from the past that sharing and exchanging questions or opinions can be good for them and will not embarrass them instead. You have to realize that if they have already experienced being embarrassed or their questions are ignored, then that will not certainly make them attempt to ask questions and raise their voice again. Therefore, always make your employees feel appreciated.
Moreover, you also have to ensure that your talk will flow smoothly and will not be disrupted by unexpected exchanges of questions and opinions. Hence, you may ask your audience or encourage them to ask questions after delivering your talk or a certain topic.
6. Walk the talk
Actions speak louder than words. Hence, if you want to catch your workers’ attention, walk your talk and be a role model. This will not only make them lend their ears to you, but will also make them lend their mind, heart and hands to you. If your employees can see the transformation of your words into actions, they will always be willing to hear your voice and be excited how you will turn every word you say into reality.
Why not offer some goodies or rewards to your employees? Add more fun to your office meeting, if applicable. It is common to some managers to punish or embarrass their subordinates who are not listening or giving full attention during office meeting. Why not take the brighter side of life? Instead of punishing the non-listeners, why not give some reward to the listeners? You can try giving an award or recognition for the “best employee in listening comprehension”. Perhaps, if you are blessed with financial wealth, then you may try to reward all your audience by simply giving them some snacks or changing your usual place of meeting from your office to a more relaxing place, like in a quite restaurant or in a coffee shop.
8. Continue honing your communication skill
Finally, don’t stop practicing and improving the way you communicate to your employees. Continue doing your job as a leader or as a manager to monitor your employees so that you may always know what can make them more interested to listen to you. An effective and efficient communication inside an organization is not achieved overnight – you have to always work for it and find ways to make it better.
If you have any thoughts or insights to share to us, please don’t hesitate and make a comment below. We also love to hear your strategies and tactics on making your employees listen to you. If you’re an employee, you may share us what things can make you more interested to listen to your boss. Thank you for reading this post.