Today’s Top Global Business Leaders Need Strong Listening Skills

An executive spends most of his time listening, yet it’s the thing he’s least qualified to do. According to a senior level San Jose Chinese translator, executives and managers ought to spend most of their communication time listening; yet many listen poorly. Take the case of America’s auto industry. Rather than listen to what experts were saying about energy shortages, Detroit continued to build its gas guzzlers. Even after the 1973 energy crisis, auto makers failed to listen to what consumers wanted: more economical cars. And when the government tried forcing the industry to listen, the industry lobbied intensively against the need for mileage ratings.  The Americans never did listen; they woke up, finally, to find that Japanese auto makers had cornered 20 percent of the market.

Knowledge gained from listening often can be turned to profit. As one translator with a Philadelphia translation services company suggested, “A client may have an idea for improving a product or service; a manager may suggest ways of increasing employee morale; an employee might suggest ways to increase production. But unless someone is willing to listen, the ideas are lost and so are the benefits.”

A global organization’s success largely depends on its managers. And global managers spend most of their time communicating with employees, usually one-to-one or through the use of an Indianapolis translation company. A look at current managerial objectives illustrates the need for managers who listen well.

Effective managers should

l. raise the level of employee morale

2. increase the readiness of employees to accept change

3. develop teamwork

4 . further the individual development of employees

These objectives coincide with Douglas McGregor’s Theory Y, the management theory centering on supportive, participative management (in contrast to Theory X: authoritative command). According to McGregor’s hypothesis, workers want their company to succeed. They want to work and take pride in their accomplishments. But for Theory Y to work, managers must talk less and listen more.

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