Why are you ignoring me?

One of the toughest jobs in an organization is that of a front-line supervisor. In this position, they get hit from both directions – from those who directly report to them and from those that they report to. Often, they have less authority to make decisions and more overall constraints. Instead, they are given directives on what should or should not be done and are expected to carry out the directive without question. Recently, we’ve had several front-line supervisors share with us that they are frustrated and feel like their suggestions, recommendations, and opinions are dismissed, ignored, or not taken into consideration.

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The Business of Listening

Of all the skills important to a successful manager, effective listening is arguably the most valuable. It can be the difference between mediocre and exceptional relationships between friends, customers, employees, and co-workers.

Listening is one of the most difficult skills to master. Most people aren’t born effective listeners. One reason is because real listening involves letting go of personal agendas to better understand another’s message. Many would much rather be heard than hear, usually resulting in misunderstanding.

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What the Heck?!

Let’s face it – on a daily basis, someone will do something you don’t like. Here’s your moment of truth. Whether it’s cutting you off in traffic, not replying to an email within your timeframe, or not following a specific process…it will happen. And when it does, what’s your first thought?

I know…It depends. I hate that response, though it may be true. Let’s talk about when someone cuts you off in traffic. Do you yell at the person? Shake your fist? Or something more drastic? Do you ever think, “What the heck?! Learn how to drive!”

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How Do Your Communication Skills Measure Up?

Communication: It’s an exchange. A process of sharing your thoughts, ideas, or feelings with another person. It’s easy right? Not so much. For communication to be effective, it requires great skill in both listening and speaking. Here are a few tips to improve your skills as a communicator.

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Communication…It Doesn’t Come Easy!

As we all know, the way people interact with each other in today’s world is drastically different than it was twenty years ago…Who are we kidding? It’s even different than it was five years ago. Problems can quickly arise if people don’t know how to handle or manage conflict. Even something as small as a short email can be easily misconstrued. As a result you have a cascade of collusion affecting culture, morale, and even productivity. And getting your team back on track can take a large amount of time as you try to act as referee or translator.

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Calling All People with the Word “Manager” in their Title

A strong leader can communicate an exciting vision of the future. He can provide his team with something important and valuable to focus on. She can set the tone and morale of the entire team. We know that communication is the key to maintaining a healthy team environment. Both in listening and speaking, it is critical to the team’s productivity that everyone is involved and on the same page. Take a look at the six points below. We hope this serves as a reminder and a trigger to evaluate yourself. Are you leading your team in the right direction?

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Keep your Cool in Conflict

Have you been in the middle of a conversation or meeting and started to feel your blood boil?  That vein in your neck starting to bulge.  Your face turning a little red. What do you do when this happens?  Do you immediately look for a quick getaway? Do you quit listening because you are too busy thinking of a great comeback? How do you keep your cool?

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It’s as simple as a conversation…

Do you find yourself doing projects yourself because you don’t trust that others will do the job correctly? Team members and managers alike fall into this habit more than you think. What tends to follow are things like enormous workloads, anger at teammates, job dissatisfaction, low morale, and employee burn-out.

Common sense would tell us to confront the people on our team to fix the problem. Right? Well, in reality, many people will avoid this confrontation altogether. 

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