3 ways first-time managers can help create a healthy work culture

One of the most vital aspects of success in our personal and professional relationships is communication, the thread that connects us to each other. Without effective communication, ideas don’t get shared or transferred, collaborations suffer, relationships break, and leaders become dictators. As a first-time manager, get in the habit of taking the time to truly listen to what the other person is saying. Your teams will feel heard and want to do their best.

In any interaction, you can improve communication by using the following these tips for active listening:

  • Practice empathy: Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see things from their perspective rather than yours.
  • Focus your attention: Do not allow yourself to be distracted by whatever else may be going on around you. Checking email or texts during a conversation, for example, is a sure way to make the speaker feel you are not listening.
  • Show listening: Let the speaker know without a doubt that you are fully listening. Give subtle encouragement by responding with “Yes,” or “I understand,” or body language such as smiling, nodding, or any other response without words that suggests, “Yes, I’m listening. I hear you. Go on.”
  • Suspend judgment: Allow the speaker to portray their message without interrupting, being careful not to derail what they are saying.
  • Be responsive: Ask questions, paraphrase and summarize what you heard back to the speaker; it will make a huge difference in creating shared understanding.