“Genuinely Listening” – The first step to creating a Continuous Improvement Environment

Many organizations are investing in developing a culture where employees are engaged in problem-solving at the workflow level. However, many are missing one key element: supporting the managers that are asked to lead a continuous improvement culture by enhancing the skills and habits needed to be effective leaders in the new environment.

Many of the underlying assumptions about management in the traditional model leads to attitudes and behaviours that are barriers to engaging employees. Traditional models expect our managers to use their own knowledge and experience to know and fix, where what we really need them to do is create an environment where employees feel safe and confident to share what they know and step-up as self-initiating problem solvers.

The first step to creating this environment is for leaders and managers to “Genuinely Listen” to the team. Some tips to get started to sincerely open the door to improvements that we didn’t know or believe:

  • Ask questions focused on things you wonder about, not just to confirm what you already know or think.
  • Listen to the person, not just the problem
  • Acknowledge what you gleaned from what you heard
  • Ask what help is needed or wanted

Efficiency Works are acknowledged experts in supporting organisations deliver business improvement through our highly experienced business improvement practitioners, RTO training programs, and specialized business improvement support tools.