“None so deaf as those that will not hear. None so blind as those that will not see.” —Matthew Henry
Employees are the life-blood of any organization. Even though many leaders think they are the key to organizational success, it is employees that are the eyes, ears, muscle, and brain that keep things running. When you have the attitude that it is you and not your employees that deserve the credit you tend to stop hearing what they have to say. This is a mistake that can have dire consequences. So, why is it so important to hear your employees?
What do they see?
If you don’t hear them, you will never know what they see. You can’t be everywhere and you can’t see everything. Your employees are your eyes on the floor, at the job site, in client meetings, and in the hallways. They are witness to many things that you really need to be aware of. If you aren’t willing to listen to them you will never know what they see.
What do they hear?
If you don’t hear them, they will never share what they hear. It is impossible for you to pay attention to every sound or every word. Your employees are your ears. They hear the hum of the machinery. They hear conversations between clients and colleagues. They hear the concerns of other employees. If you aren’t willing to listen to them, you will not know a piece of equipment sounds different until it is breaks down. They will not share the information they gained from conversations they have participated in or overheard. You will never know what they hear.
What do they know?
If you don’t hear them, you will never benefit from what they know. Every employee brings with them a unique set of skills, knowledge, and experience. It is the combination of these three factors that make each employee one of a kind. If you are not willing to listen to them, you will never know what knowledge they have to offer.
Are You Willing to Listen?
Your employees have so much to share. If only you could see everything they see. If only you could hear everything they hear. If only you had access to everything they know. Wait, you can and do if only you are willing to listen. Can you hear them now?
© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli
Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.
Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.