>How many times have you had an employee miss an important due date because they claimed they didn’t hear you announce the correct one?
Or, how often do your staff members claim they can’t recall you ever mentioning a new project?
Although these may seem like mere excuses to you, it may in fact be true that what you said was not heard by the intended party.
Or even if they did hear it, they quickly forgot it.
Harvard Business Review confirms this idea, quoting the results of research done by Florida State University and Michigan State University, which found that within eight hours of hearing something, most people forget anywhere from one-third to one-half of the information.
To make sure that your team members not only hear, but truly understand the information, follow these tips.
Require Undivided Attention
Are you guilty of any of the following: walking by an employee’s desk and giving out directions while they are typing an email; shouting instructions for your assistant from the confines of your own office or mentioning something to a staffer in the middle of a meeting?
Undoubtedly, all managers have done this, and then have been frustrated when what they said never resonated with their employees.
The first rule of thumb to making sure you are truly heard is requiring undivided attention.
Ask the person you want to speak with to put down their mobile, look away from the computer screen and only focus on you.
Making sure you have their full attention is the first step in getting them to listen.
Ask Them To Repeat The Information
The easiest way to verify that the intended individual not only heard, but really understood what it is you are asking for is to have them regurgitate what you just said back to you.
This may seem redundant or a time waster, but it is a sure fire way to prevent miscommunication.
If you ask your worker to pull the last ten highly-grossing marketing campaigns from the last five years, that may be too much information for them to remember.
To make sure their brain didn’t misinterpret this information into the last five campaigns from the last 10 years, ask them to say what their mission is, verifying it is correct.
Supplement With Visuals
Some people process information better by listening to something orally, while others do so visually.
To improve the chances of others hearing what you have to say, supplement the speech with visuals.
You may either ask your employees to take notes when you speak in a meeting, or simply send them a follow up email after assigning them a task.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 14 February, 2017
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