How to design a Listening session for your Salon?
“Listen with the intent to understand, not with the intent to reply”.
– Stephen Covey.
We get a lot of feedback from clients who that are not happy with the turnout of their team meetings. Some members tend to monopolize the conversation, where others do not seem to be engaged at all. The salon team members on the other hand complain that the owner usually does all the talking which usually sounds like preaching.
Leaders need to think about whether they are deeply listening to their Salon teams.
Often when we are listening, we are thinking about ourselves. We use our brains to create quick answers and strong arguments based on our own point of view and rarely empathize and really listen to what is being said.
There are many reasons for carefully designing listening sessions.
- Firstly, to create deep psychological safety where everyone can be included and where nobody is threatened, judged, or embarrassed.
- Secondly to facilitate insight and make associations that deepen our understanding. Insights are moments of energy where our brain creates new maps (neuroplasticity). Insights are powerful tools that can lead an employee to be intrinsically motivated.
- Thirdly to encourage action, so that all the good ideas are executed. It is important to be in a reward state so that we share our thinking. Threat triggers should be minimized.
- Listening Deeply demands a growth mindset and an increased level of concentration, focus and perspective.
Even if what we are hearing is triggering a threat response in our brains, we should continue to listen carefully and then try to deal with the feelings and responses.
- Listening with empathy, not sympathy.
When listening with empathy our mirror neurons light up to reflect what the other person is saying without being totally involved as we would be with sympathy. That helps not to judge or be biased and to use our brain more that our heart in accessing the information.
In listening circles everyone can speak in turns and there is no judgment, no interruption.
No one is aloud to speak twice if everyone else has not spoken. Relatedness is enhanced and the members start to feel in-group. Leaders should speak first and use genuine language to show vulnerability which will allow others to reduce stress levels.
We know a listening group is going well when people feel safe and are sharing their experiences and thoughts.
Leaders are prioritizing listening and learning instead of speaking and graciously receive any difficult feedback. When attendees leave the session feeling heard and understood. Leaders provide certainty as to what employees can expect going forward.
“The single most important problem in communication is the illusion it has happened.”
– George Bernard Shaw
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