Solving the Mystery of Motivation by Mastering the Art of Listening: Part 2

June 25, 2024

Matt Gainsford

Matt Gainsford

According to a Gallup study, employees who feel heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work. Being heard and listened to are two separate experiences.... Learn more in our blog.

mastering the art of listening

How to Understand What Motivates Your People  

In part one of our motivation series, we explored the power of why, the RICE method, and why it is essential to understand what motivates each individual within your team. In part two, we focus on the importance of effective listening. We discuss how to encourage your team members to open up to you, ensuring you can provide them with something of value.  

We will also dive into Hire 4 Performance, an integral part of our Whole Person hiring method, and help you put these ideas into practice. 

The Power of Listening: Unlocking Motivational Insights  

Listening is the key to truly understanding a candidate’s motivation. Active listening during interviews and ongoing dialogues allows hiring managers to gain deeper insights into what makes an individual tick. 

This goes beyond simply hearing the words; it involves paying close attention to non-verbal cues and underlying sentiments. By fostering a culture of open communication, organizations can align their strategies with employee motivations, leading to higher satisfaction and retention. 

Active vs. Actual Listening 

According to a Gallup study, employees who feel heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work. Being heard and listened to are two separate experiences. For example, you can HEAR passing traffic; to hear is passive, but to truly listen is much more active. This is where active vs actual listening comes in. 

If you have ever talked with someone multitasking, you may have experienced active listening. They can repeat what you are saying, but active listening and actual listening are often discussed in terms of depth and engagement. Understanding their distinctions can enhance communication significantly. Active listening involves engaging with the speaker through nodding, repeating what was said, and asking questions. This method shows the speaker they are being heard and understood on a surface level.  

However, actual listening goes deeper. It involves hearing and engaging with the words and comprehending and connecting with the underlying emotions and intentions. Actual listening requires a deeper level of empathy and presence, allowing the listener to understand the full context of what is being communicated.  

According to a Harvard Business Review study, managers who practice actual listening, which includes recognizing non-verbal cues and underlying sentiments, are better at resolving conflicts and building trust. By prioritizing actual listening,one can foster more meaningful and effective communication, leading to stronger relationships and better outcomes. 

5 Steps to More Effective Listening 

  1. Validate their perspective: Acknowledge the feelings and viewpoints of the speaker, even if you do not agree. Use phrases like “I understand how you feel” or “That must be challenging.” 
  2. Reflect on what was said: Reframe or summarize their main points to demonstrate that you understood their message accurately. This shows that you are actively processing their words. Respond to the person speaking with,“What I heard you say was…” This gives them the chance to clarify what they are saying while also ensuring they feel heard. 
  3. Ask follow-up questions: Show genuine interest in their thoughts by asking questions that delve deeper into their perspective or seek clarification on specific points. This encourages them to expand on their ideas.  
  4. Provide supportive responses: Offer empathetic responses that show you are attentive to their emotions and concerns. Avoid dismissing or minimizing their feelings, even if you have a different opinion. Using the term,“Thank you for sharing that.” is a great way to ensure the speaker feels supported. 
  5. Act based on their input: Show that you value their input by taking concrete steps or making decisions that reflect their contributions. This demonstrates that their voice has had a meaningful impact. 

Hire 4 Performance Methodology: The Heart of Talent  

Listening in the interview process is essential for helping the candidate open up to you so they can present their best self. As part of our Whole Person hiring method, we explore motivation, meaning we get the candidate to open up about what inspires them, what brings them energy, insights into the environment they thrive in, and what was personally important to them about their greatest accomplishments. People open up when they feel safe, seen, and listened to. 

Our Hire 4 Performance method measures the heart to align your organization’s core values with a candidate’s passion and purpose. When we discover their “why,” we unlock their true potential and ensure deep motivation.  

This approach goes beyond resumes to evaluate core values and internal makeup, helping us pursue quality talent and create lasting impact. Combining the heart section with our head and briefcase, we can develop a deep understanding of a candidate’s alignment and potential for future success within your organization.  

The Wrap Up  

Understanding and using motivation through the RICE method can significantly enhance the hiring process, leading to better candidate selection, higher engagement, and improved retention. By prioritizing listening, and genuinely understanding what drives each individual, organizations can build a motivated, committed, and high-performing workforce. Focus on listening and use our Hire4Performance method for hiring to improve your people strategy and achieve success. 

At Titus Talent Strategies, we understand the power of human connection. We believe that building genuine relationships is paramount in the talent acquisition process. Our commitment to being relentlessly relational goes beyond transactions; it is about fostering trust and understanding with both candidates and clients.  

We invest time in getting to know your unique needs and the specific qualities that make a candidate a perfect fit for your company culture. This focus on people ensures we deliver high-caliber talent who will make a lasting impact on your organization. Connect with us today to learn more.

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