The Swear Jar Podcast: Shut Up and Listen

Episode Summary

This week Andrew and Elizabeth talk about listening. Communicators and executives spend a lot of their time talking but many of us forget to listen or don’t do it as well as we should.

Organizations need to listen to make sure their messages are getting through, and to get out ahead of misinformation and rumours, but more importantly to make sure they understand employees’ lived experiences.

Done well, listening drives engagement and motivation so employees know why things are happening and to connect them to purpose. More practically it also supports enablement, which is giving employees the information they need to get stuff done.

A key part of listening is that it reinforces agency, the sense that employees have some ownership and influence in the organization. A big part of agency is what we call Listening Theatre, that is, it’s not enough to be listening well, organizations need to be seen to be listening well so that employees see their agency in action

Before we fire up the survey software, however, we need to take the time to plan our listening; specifically, we want to ensure we are considering the voices we normally don’t hear and to focus less on what we want to hear and more on what employees want to say.

Key Topics

Why listening is important for organizations (1:25)

·       The importance of agency (3:20)

·       Planning to listen (4:00)

·       Why survey fatigue is BS (6:30)

·       Interviews and focus groups (9:15)

·       Team meetings and anonymous feedback (10:10)

·       Town halls, eavesdropping and observation (13:30)

·       What to do with all that data (17:40)

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