You don’t have to be a great public speaker to inspire people. You can inspire people with the questions you ask and how you listen.
But listening is not just ensuring you’ve accurately heard the words coming out of someone’s mouth. Listening to understand, rather than just to hear, requires more of a conscious effort than the passive approach most of us are used to.
It’s also not just waiting for someone to stop talking so you can speak. It is choosing to empty your mind and set aside your opinions while someone else is talking. Active listening requires humility, vulnerability, and empathy. In return, it boosts understanding, reduces bias and improves workplace relationships.
Think about whom you haven’t heard from lately — and then ask them questions with a learning mindset. See how much more you learn when approaching things with opinions set aside.
For a wider approach, you can use surveys and focus groups to gather and actively seek employee perspectives. Don’t forget always to provide feedback and take appropriate actions in response.