Skill#1: Effective questions
Develop your ability to ask effective questions, so you can:
· Get your employees to relax, open up and talk to you;
· Help your employees find answers for themselves;
· Encourage thinking, as well as learning;
· Make use of your employees' ideas, opinions and recommendations, etc.
In asking effective questions, you can:
· Ask mostly open-ended questions;
· Ask a few closed questions, but only when you need to direct the conversation;
· Avoid questions which are probing;
· Avoid asking 'Why?', because it has the potential to incite defensive behaviour. Instead, try phrasing as such: 'Why do you say so/What are your reasons for that?' etc.
Skill#2: Be an active listener
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Focus on listening very well. Try truly understand where the employee is coming from. Doing this can greatly enhance trust, openness and mutual respect between you and employees.
All in all, active listening has the following characteristics:
· It doesn't judge what is being said;
· It clarifies on information you're not sure of; and
· It responds in ways that encourage further communication;
Skill#3: Give only constructive feedback
By giving constructive, you:
· Give your employees recognition;
· Give your employees positive reinforcement towards your desired direction;
· Increase your employees' awareness levels with regard to their performance.
*Those were 3 key skills to use when counselling and coaching your employees. Develop them today and see an increase in your employees' overall productivity.
To learn more on counselling and coaching, subscribe to the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.