Supervisors worth their salt know that it pays to listen to the employees they manage.

But do you know all the ways it pays?

Here are five big benefits of listening, as listed by management trainer Madelyn Burley-Allen:

1. Problem solving. You might think the fastest way to solve a problem is for the expert – you – to give your advice right away. But it’s not. Problems actually get solved quicker when the supervisor encourages employees to explain the problems and work though solutions out loud, while the supervisor listens.

2. Accuracy. Good listening leads to accurate recollection of facts and issues, leading to fewer mistakes later on.

3. Temperature control. Some conversations with employees can be emotionally charged. If the supervisor focuses on listening, this will help both parties stay cool, or cool down.

4. Rapport. Listening generates respect and trust. Employees like, and respond better to, supervisors who they think are listening to them.

5. Confidence. Following on from No. 4, supervisors who listen well will have more confidence because they know their employees trust them.

Finally, remember this adage: “When we’re truly listening we have to anticipate that we might become changed by what we heard.” Do you have that courage?

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