The Power of Listening

The Harvard Business Review has published research by Prof. Avraham (Avi) Kluger of The Hebrew University's School of Business Administration, together with Dr. Guy Itzchakov of the Ono Academic College.

The study focuses on the importance of managers listening to their subordinates, and how such listening can enable employees to learn, grow, and improve. The study strongly suggests that supervisors steer away from providing feedback; in fact, Prof. Kluger has published articles demonstrating how feedback actually negatively affects employee performance. Instead, managers should listen attentively, ask constructive questions, and avoid being judgmental or imposing solutions.

Through laboratory experiments and field studies, Prof. Kluger and Dr. Itzchakov discovered that when paired with a good listener, speakers reported feeling less anxious, more self-aware, and achieved higher clarity and nuance. In one study, speakers assigned to talk about their leadership skills with a good listener were more likely to elaborate upon their strengths and weaknesses, compared to speakers paired with distracted or poor listeners.

Listening may make leaders feel weak. Listening takes time and requires being open to change. But this study demonstrates listening's immense benefits: employees are more likely to open up, feel empowered, and share their views.

It's true. Listen to us.

November 2019


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