Listen Up! 6 Ways Leaders Can Become Better Listeners

Active Listening Skills for Leaders

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Employees want to be heard and feel like they have agency within their organization. How can business leaders address this need? It all starts with listening.

Linhart PR works closely with leaders to improve their employee communications and consistently encounter two key issues amongst executives and supervisors. First, leaders are often so tied up with meetings and tasks that they lack the capacity to give employees their full attention. Second, they often avoid tough conversations for fear that they do not all of the answers to employees’ questions and concerns.

The key to overcoming these challenges is to carve out time to engage with employees and listen. Active listening is a learned skill that can help build trust, establish rapport and connect with team members.

Linhart PR suggests six ways to improve active listening skills:

6 Ways to Strengthen Your Active Listening Skills

  1. Dedicate time and space to engage with employees and give them your full attention.
  2. Consistently restate the other person’s points to demonstrate listening and confirm that you understand their perspective.
  3. Ask for an example to offer the employee an opportunity to expand on their ideas.
  4. Give non-verbal confirmations of listening such as eye contact and head nodding.
  5. Acknowledge the emotion the employee may be feeling.
  6. Demonstrate respect and let them know they are valued. Withhold judgment and allow them to complete their thoughts before sharing your opinions.

For more insights, Linhart PR expands on these points about employee engagement and active listening in more detail in their blog post.

To get more tips on ways to improve employee engagement, watch the on-demand webinar How to Win the Battle for Talent with Worldcom’s panel of internal communications experts, or read more insights from partners on management.


Founded in 1996, Linhart PR is a national PR, corporate communications and digital media strategy firm serving clients nationally and internationally. The firm was recognized as one of the best of its size in the nation by PR Week in 2012, was a winner of the 2011 Top Small Company Workplaces award sponsored by Inc. Magazine, and was named 2011 Small Business of the Year from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

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