Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Learning to Listen Best Investment in Workplace Morale

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Learning to Listen Best Investment in Workplace Morale

Article excerpt

More companies could improve workplace harmony and productivity if key people were only trained to listen better, management authorities believe.

"Front-line supervisors, managers and human resources executives - the people who have the most contact with employees - would profit the most from practicing active listening," said Marcie Lightwood, program director of the Center For Humanistic Change, Bath, Pa. Regrettably, she said, "few managers have learned how to do this."

"Companies need to have skilled listeners on board who can hear employees' real message behind their words," Lightwood said. "If one woman employee says, `I could kill her' about another (woman employee), her stated position should not be taken literally. What's she's really saying - her interest - is, `That woman's success is making me feel insecure about my job,' " Lightwood said. The key here is knowing the difference between just listening and active listening. The latter is defined by Andrew DuBrin, management professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, as "listening for the full meaning of what someone is saying without making premature judgments or interpretations." In his just published "Personal Magnetism" (Amacom), DuBrin writes, "most people suffer from not being listened to enough" by others who do not know how to hear their true meanings or reflect on the other person's feelings behind their words. "Behind every stated position there's usually a softer, more negotiable interest which can only be arrived at through skilled listening," Lightwood said. "The skilled listener has to know how to separate a person's rigid stance (position) from their (underlying) interest." For example, Lightwood said, "If an employee demands extra pay for overtime, the skilled listener could determine if that is their true interest or if it masks a need for more personal time or maybe even to have their job analyzed for wasted time by requests to do things outside of their job description. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.