3. How can I engage in deep listening with my team members?
In transformations, both leaders and employees can underestimate what the journey involves and what it will take to get to the next level of implementation. Leaders need to be fully transparent and forthcoming about the peaks and valleys of the journey ahead to create trust, manage anticipation and mitigate the potential negative impact of surprises. Revealingly, 50% of the surveyed workers who were part of underperforming transformations were more likely to see these projects as just another word for layoffs. In transformations, trust is created and maintained through radical transparency. Consequently, leaders should flex their transparent communication muscles by crafting clear and easily digestible messages that employees can understand across companies.
Through what ways can trust be enhanced? Trust can be fostered through deep and active listening. Deeply listen to employees when they express their thoughts, concerns, or emotions. Give them your full attention, maintain eye contact, and provide a safe and non-judgmental space for them to share their feelings.
Listening is also encouraged through collaborative design workshops where ideas regarding the transformation can be captured, tested, prioritized and improved. Tap into and listen to your team’s influencers – often line managers – to capture raw and unmodified feedback about staff feelings and concerns. Trust will also be nurtured when you, as a leader, are open about how you feel yourself, and what emotional roller coaster you are also going through.