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Build Relationships with Your Employees by Listening to Them

All too often, managers behave as if relationships are built at the office holiday party and other social events and are hindered by actually working. If the only way you build connections with your employees is by chitchatting, you’ll either spend valuable time not working or overbook your calendar with social obligations. Instead of relying on long lunches or happy-hour drinks, build good relationships with your employees by making sure they feel heard: Get to know what your people are thinking. Solicit feedback from them. And make listening tangible. Showing people that you hear them is important not just for your direct reports but also for everyone who works for them, because it creates a listening culture that’s self-reinforcing.