There is an old proverb that says “listening looks easy but it is not simple.” It takes a considerable amount of skill to truly listen and react or not react accordingly. As any experienced manager will tell you it is achieved through the school of hard knocks because even the best personal development seminars can not prepare you for that one individual who will push every explosive button on your body. Whether you’re in a position of authority or not, how you react can impact your team and organization negatively.
As the proverb stated, it looks easy enough but it is not as simple as people think it is especially if you are in a heated discussions with another person. The best way to apply this behavior is by reminding yourself “your job is only to listen” and repeat this mantra over and over until it becomes part of your makeup. If you know before hand you will not react you will most likely not react because it is possible to defuse almost any situation by not reacting.
Once you are able to come to terms with the fact that you will not react to any situation you will be able to focus more on what is taking place instead of trying to remember the moves of the tae kwon do classes you took in summer camp. Focusing on what is taking place at that particular moment allows you to provide rational solutions between the involved parties and or yourself.
Experts who coach managers advise them to delay their reactions. This however is not realistic every time because you allow yourself to react to a situation irrationally and delaying it is not a permanent solution. The reactions will always be there so the best solution and one that is permanent and more reasonable is to understand irrational reactions in office settings are irrational in themselves and can be eliminated.
The workplace houses many different types of personalities and no matter how benevolent you are the possibility exists that someone in that group will trigger a reaction you don’t want to show to your coworkers. Knowing what triggers these types of reactions will help you to either avoid them or be able to deal with them whenever they take place.
Promote A Respectful Environment
A great example of how people react according to their environment is a library. Everyone understands the rules and it is followed implicitly by most rational people. If everyone in your organization knows that management does not tolerate irrational behavior your employees or other staff members will not break this rule. This however is not a guarantee sometimes emotions gets even the best of us if the right stress factors are in place whether they are personal or business related.
There comes a time when you will not be able to stop your reaction despite your best intentions. If the way you reacte is responsible for creating friction between you and other employees or the team in general let everyone know immediately about what has taken place and your role in it. If apologies are in order don’t hesitate to offer them. A negative environment will decrease productivity, moral and employee collaboration.
Listening takes patience and understanding and as Calvin Coolidge said “No man listened himself out of a job” so only react by being rational and level headed and your company will have a more creative and productive environment.