Employees will not always feel comfortable sharing their professional aspirations, personal information, and feedback without invitation and encouragement from those in a position of leadership. While listening does include paying attention to an employee’s demeanor, body language, and facial expressions, conversation tends to be a much more direct way of connecting and communicating. Understand that not all employees are created equal; just because one employee is very vocal in meetings while another hangs back quietly doesn’t mean that the latter has nothing to share. Encourage everyone on your team to provide input by directing questions to each person in turn. If you have an employee who is somewhat introverted, seek ways to meet her in her comfort zone-perhaps discussing a matter over a one on one lunch or discussing social matters with her before diving into professional issues.
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