A vital aspect to maintaining any successful relationship, especially in the workplace, is the ability to listen to one another. It is important for providing great customer service, when receiving directions, and collaborating with one another. However, the real challenge in listening is when to become the sounding board for a fellow co-worker who just needs to talk.
While it is ingrained in the employee psyche to leave problems at the door, sometimes it is just not possible. Every staff member who walks through that entrance has something on their mind whether it’s calling a child’s school to address an issue, dealing with flat tire on the car or getting over an argument with a spouse. No matter the problem, sometimes a person has to talk and someone needs to listen.
Being intuitive or just simply being observant can often times be beneficial, especially when these outside issues cause an employee to give less than than the proverbial one hundred and ten percent. Noticing when a co-worker is struggling and perhaps offering the opportunity to talk could be the difference in having a bad day and a really great day. Being there for someone whether he or she chooses to take advantage of the offer at that moment or not exhibits one thing - caring.
Put the offer out there to listen and let the person decide whether or not they want to share. When and if the time comes let them talk, and just listen because that is all they need. Be there for them - silently. And only if they ask you a question, then respond.
Remember that listening is the first step in building successful relationships. In the workplace, being able to listen is a key factor in providing great customer service. Furthermore, listening to fellow co-workers, no matter what they need to talk about, is also vital in building relationships of trust. And when there is trust amongst the team, it just makes them stronger and a more cohesive unit.
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