The Great Resignation: The Antidote is Simple

Vanessa Porter, Managing Director - All of You

The Great Resignation is on everyone’s agenda because it’s hurting us in our pockets. Whilst most are still searching for the antidote, I believe I have it! And no, it isn’t free kombucha. People want to feel a sense of connection, purpose and belonging. We know that the quality of our relationships has a measurable impact on happiness and satisfaction. So, where do you start?

As Leaders, we spend so much time ‘doing’ to get results and not as much time as we would like on ‘being’. By ‘being’ I am referring to the behaviours in how we treat one another. If we treat one another consistently well, then people will want to take the appropriate action and the desired results will follow.

In my experience, the best way to cultivate quality relationships is to focus on listening. Not listening in the general sense, I’m talking about the next level of listening which is powerful – Generative Listening. Listening sounds so simple but, it takes a lot of practice to perfect.

There are three key behaviours to perfecting Generative Listening:

  • Guarantee no interruptions
  • Eyes focused
  • No distractions

Guarantee no interruptions

Have you ever tried listening without interrupting? We all think that we do this most of the time. So how hard could it be? Next time, guarantee the person that is speaking that you will not interrupt them, even if they talk constantly for five whole minutes. The speaker’s brain is anticipating that it is going to be interrupted because that is what normally happens in a conversation. Here we are seeking to understand, rather than reply.

When we promise the speaker that we will not interrupt them, then the brain starts to fire up and goes to the cutting edge of their thinking rather than just rehash what they have perhaps thought or said before. You are giving the other person’s brain the opportunity to really think about something independently.

Eyes focused

I am not talking about a stare in a creepy stalker kind of way, but more like a conscious relaxed gaze. Have you ever noticed that when people think, their eyes move all around the room? As they gather their thoughts, some people write, and others move around the room. However, at some point they will stop and look at you. When they do this, and they see your eyes are still focused on them, you are signifying that you are paying attention, you are fully present and engaged and that they are being fully heard.

No distractions

it is so easy to interrupt with things like taking a sip of a coffee, taking some notes, having a mobile on the desk. All these show that the person in-front is secondary. If we remove distractions, then we are showing the speaker that they really matter and what they are saying is the only thing that we are interested in. We are totally present and curious and intrigued in what they must say.

These behaviours can feel quite clunky the first time that you try it but stick with it – I guarantee you it is worth the effort. It is worth it because you are showing another person that they really matter, and you are genuinely interested in what they say.

Can you believe that you are communicating all of this to another person and not uttering a word, just listening. Generative Listening is next level. It allows the listener and the listened to, the rare space of ‘being’.

I believe that if we practice Generative Listening daily, we will discover that The Great Resignation is simply an easy shift to allow the time and space for people to be really heard. This will enable deeper, intrinsic connection with our people to understand them, particularly what matters to them and ultimately, we will retain them.

Should you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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