April 12, 2011 / 3:26 PM / 9 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: Help your employees listen

Small-business owner Ralph Gorham (R) speaks to employee Elijah Ocean at his shop "Redhook Lobster Pound" in New York December 16, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - When change initiatives fail, the culprit is often a lack of good communication from management. But that’s not always the whole story, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (http://www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“Many worthwhile initiatives fail because of communication breakdowns: management thinks they’ve shared the relevant information and yet, somehow, employees never heard it.

Here are three ways to get employees to listen even when they don’t want to hear:

1. Test your message. Informally try out the message with individuals or groups, especially those you suspect will resist. Improve your communication based on their input.

2. Incentivize. It may seem silly to bribe people to listen, but it’s better than letting your initiative fail. Serve breakfast or lunch to get more people to show up at communication meetings. Offer rewards to people who can answer a survey about the messages.

3. Follow up. Make sure people heard and understood what was said. See if they have questions or feedback.”

-Today’s management tip was adapted from “Help Employees Listen When They Don’t Want to Hear” by John Baldoni.

For the full post, see: here

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