Give your employees your full attention when they speak to you. You’ll send a strong nonverbal message that their comments are important if you:
- Lean toward the employee. When we hear an exciting speaker, we often say “He had us on the edge of our seats.” Show the same enthusiasm with your staff members.
- Speak eye to eye. Negotiators often sit in a tall chair to intimidate their opponents. You want to put employees at ease, so position your chair at the same level as the employee’s.
- Avoid distracting gestures or movements. Drumming your fingers, shifting your weight, crossing and uncrossing your arms and legs all distract from the conversation.
- Create a welcoming environment. Turn off your computer, close the door and move out from behind your desk, if possible. The fewer physical distractions you allow, the more you show that you’re engaged.