not-being-heard-by-friendsI have read employees leave organizations because of their managers. One of the most frustrating situations that lead to employees looking for other jobs is because they don’t feel heard by their managers, who expect to guide and protect them. As managers, sometimes we are too focused on getting the tasks done that we fail to notice the cues (subtle or overt) our employees share to let us know of their concerns. And when we do notice their concerns, we fail to realize that they may not be looking for answers from us but just to say, “I hear you.” Acknowledgment is a very powerful action, yet as managers, we don’t do enough of this. I’m guilty of that sometimes, and it’s a shortcoming I’ve realized that I’m now conscious of in my relationships at work. Have you ever observed yourself or others doing this in your workplace?

  • An employee brings up a concern to their manager and is told they are being too sensitive.
  • An employee is in the middle of stating their concerns to their manager, who is cut off by the person they are talking with.
  • An employee proposes an idea to their manager, and their ideas are immediately met with “yes, but…” instead of “yes, and ….”

I’ve been that employee whose ideas have not always been acknowledged, and I’ve also been told I’m guilty of being the not-so-receptive manager. Because of the pressure of having to complete tasks, we forget the human element of our work which include building positive relationships with those we work with and showing they matter and are valued. Part of this relationship building could start by taking the time to acknowledge others.

Image courtesy of ExtremeHealthRadio.