how to improve workplace culture

Workplace Culture Part II – Listening is more than Half the Work

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Are you looking for ways on how to improve workplace culture? You’re at the right place!

Our minds are like puzzles. A billion thoughts in and a billion thoughts out every day. We take these same minds at our workplaces and communicate with our colleagues and work on projects.

Have you ever felt that daze where you’re talking to someone and the other person appears to be listening but he isn’t actually there? It happens to the best of us, we have personal lives and they do interfere in our thought process. Workplace culture is all about creating an inclusive environment where things are geared towards higher productivity. After all, a business’s ultimate goal is to maximize profit through productive means without employee exploitation. This is one of the ways on how to improve workplace culture.

Workplace Culture Part II focuses on an important aspect from an employee’s perspective. An employee’s listening abilities and skills are more than half the work! Did you notice we just referred to listening as a skill? This is because it really is a skill to get the best out of your day in the workplace.

Listening is more than Half the Work:

How to improve workplace culture is all about listening. Listening is a skill because an employee with better listening skills is able to achieve more as compared to someone who doesn’t listen with full focus. The word focus is thrown around all the time without even addressing on how to focus. Let us tell you, in a workplace, it’s the ears that are the doorway to understanding what requires to be done. Once you, as an employee have the arsenal up your sleeves then you can focus on things that are important rather than wasting time on gathering information.

How to improve your listening skills?

Workplace culture is built on trust and effective communication. In order for you to establish trust among your employees in a purely work-related sense, you need to listen when someone’s talking. Also, it goes without saying that it’s always a two-way thing as communication needs to effective from both sides. Here are some of the ways you can work towards listening better. Trust us, it’ll make your job easier with effective results and provide you the real deal on how to improve workplace culture.

The Common Case of the Careless Listener:

Note: We don’t mean to offend anyone by calling them a careless listener, however, the case we’re discussing is quite common and relevant to our discussion. Here’s a prime example on how to improve workplace culture!

Let’s create a hypothetical situation where Boss X is communicating about a new Project with Employee A.

Boss X begins by saying a few words about the project. Employee A listens carefully and minces at the words. According to a survey, an average American speaks around 125 words per minute. These words might seem a lot but the fact is that the human brain is conditioned a little differently. The human brain has a thought process where he’s thinking a million things per minute. When Boss X is speaking those 125 words in a minute the employee’s brain will try to listen to the words. However, the words are slower for cognition which diverts the listener’s attention. The employee will catch the first few words completely and internalize them but soon he will feel that there’s a lot more going on in his head.

His thought process will shift towards something like maybe I’ll let Boss X know about a significant detail or maybe he’d just end up thinking about something he needs to do after the conversation. During this process when he comes back to his boss’s words he has a few problems. He just missed out on certain details and he will not be able to connect the dots.

Solving the problem through Oral Discourse:

Oral discourse is a four-step process and once internalized can be extremely beneficial in increasing your overall productivity. Here are the four steps on how to improve workplace culture

1- Anticipation:

If a brain is thinking other things, let it think about the conversation. When you’re in a conversation with someone put your brain in anticipation and try to predict the overall outcome. Even if you have incomplete information regarding a conversation, you can still anticipate it.

2- Evidence:

The next step is to look at the evidence and think about it in split seconds. The talker will provide some backing statements on why a certain task is to be accomplished. Make mental notes on the evidence.

3- Listen between the Lines:

Look for clues that might be dubious as to why the other person is saying that. You can’t possibly understand completely what the other person is saying, that depends on the topic of conversation. However, once you listen between the lines, you’ll be able to find out areas where you lack.

4- Summarize:

Mentally summarize the discussion. You can do this in split seconds as take that information and internalize it.

In a Nutshell:
Listening is hard but there’s a process to everything and listening is no different. Oral discourse allows thought deviation and gives you a tested method that can help in honing your listening skills. The fact is, listening is more than half the work. So, imagine if you actually do listen? The possibilities of your productivity and efficiency become endless. This is one of the best ways and answers the question on how to improve workplace culture.

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