The Impact of Team ListeningEnvironment on Team CoordinationPeter CardonUniversity of Southern CaliforniaBryan MarshallSally HumphriesCatherine WhelanGeorgia College & State UniversityABC Asia Pacific Conference, Kyoto, JapanMarch 14, 2013
“What do you think are the keys to effective leadership?”[The key to leading] is really being able to listen to people. So much ofleadership, I’ve come to learn, is about getting a team to work together. It’snot about being smart. It helps, but it’s not about that. It’s really about beingable to bring together a group of people, get the best out of them and getthem wanting to work as a unit toward some goal post. I think the buildingblocks that go into that are listening to people, really understanding whatmotivates them and getting them to push themselves beyond their comfortzones. Ask a lot more questions and make a lot fewer statements. Leadershipis really about asking questions and letting people answer them.-Answered by Ms. Anne BerkowitchCo-founder and CEO of SelectMindsSource: Adam Bryant, “Learn to Lead from the Back of the Boat,” NewYork Times Corner Office Blog (September 4, 2010).
1. Ability to Work with Others (93%)*2. Listening Skills (90%)3. Ability to Influence Others (89%)4. Communicating with Diplomacy and Tact (87%)5. Managing Expectations/Managing Up (80%)6. Leadership Skills (78%)7. Understanding Problems from Diverse Perspectives (78%)8. Presentation Skills (74%)9. Networking Skills (70%)10. Writing Skills (69%)11. Meeting Management (68%)12. Negotiation Skills (65%)13. Managing Organizational Politics (65%)14. Giving Constructive Feedback (65%)15. Cross-Cultural Sensitivity (52%)16. Mentoring Skills (45%)Source: GMAC, 2010 Alumni Perspectives Survey (McLean, VA:Graduate Management Admission Council, 2010)Importance of Various Communication Skills for Current JobAccording to 7,674 Graduates of MBA Programs from 2000-2010*Percentage of MBA Alumni Who Rated as Extremely Important in Their Current Job
Listening Training Makes a Difference*Study of 144 Managers and 827 of Their SubordinatesSource: Judi Brownell, “Perceptions of Effective Listeners: A ManagementStudy,” Journal of Business Communication 27, no. 4 (1990): 401-415.9%58%0% 25% 50% 75%Poor-listeningmanagers(Bottom 25%)Good-listeningmanagers(Top 25%)Percentage of ManagersWho Had Received Listening TrainingAs RankedbyTeam Members*Effective listening training is primarily behavioral (not cognitive)
Poor-Listening Managers (Bottom Quartile) Think They’re Good ListenersStudy of 144 Managers and 827 of Their SubordinatesSource: Judi Brownell, “Perceptions of Effective Listeners: A ManagementStudy,” Journal of Business Communication 27, no. 4 (1990): 401-415.0%0%6%88%6%0% 25% 50% 75% 100%Very PoorPoorFairGoodVery GoodPercentage of Poor-Listening Team LeadersPoor-Listening Team Leaders are Those Ranked in the Bottom Quartile Accordingto 827 Work Team EmployeesListeningSelf-Rating
(1) PayingAttention(2) HoldingJudgment(3)Reflecting(4) Clarifying(5)Summarizing(6) SharingActiveListeningSource: Michael H. Hoppe, ActiveListening: Improve Your Ability to Listenand Lead (Greensboro, NC: Center forCreative Leadership, 2006).
Overview of Active Listening• Paying attention: giving undivided attention to others• Holding judgment: making it safe for others to speak candidly• Reflecting: paraphrasing to ensure that you understand thecomments of others• Clarifying: attempting to understand how others are connectingideas, forming meaning, and making conclusions• Summarizing: identifying the broad issues and key themes thatothers are discussing• Sharing: expressing your viewpoints
Approach to Teaching• Class Discussion (45 minutes)– Goals: recognize the importance of listening and conceptualizethe aspects of active listening, non-listening behaviors, andobstacles to listening• Self-Assessment (10 minutes)– Evaluate one’s one listening abilities• Group Exercise (15 minutes)• 7-Day Listening Journal– Reflect on listening behaviors daily and interpret them in termsof the components of active listening
Listening Journal Assignment1. For seven days, write daily in a journal about your listening skills.2. Each day, describe one interaction that you had and discuss your ability toactively listen to others.3. Explain how well you did at each of the following active listening skills:paying attention, holding judgment, reflecting, clarifying, and sharing.4. For each of these interactions, describe the nonverbal behavior of othersand the nonverbal behavior you exhibited to show your interest in others.5. For each daily entry, describe any non-listening behaviors that youobserved during the day.6. At the end of the seven days, conclude your journal with a summary oflessons that you have learned and five goals for improving your activelistening in the future.
Team Listening Environment (TLE) Scale1. The other group members genuinely want to hear mypoint of view.2. The other group members show me that theyunderstood what I say.3. The other group members listen to what I say.4. The other group members understood me.5. The other group members seem attentive to whatothers have to say.6. The other group members pay attention to me.Johnston, M. K., Reed, K., & Lawrence, K. (2011). Team listeningenvironment (TLE) scale: Development and validation. Journal of BusinessCommunication, 48(1), 3-26.
Team Coordination Scale1. Members in my work group plan together andcoordinate efforts effectively.2. Everyone in my work group understands what to doand how to do it.3. As a work group, we are dedicated to meeting ourobjectives successfully.4. Group members work hard to provide substantive andtimely feedback on ideas and work presented.5. My work group is usually aware of important eventsand situations.6. The people in my work group make my job easier bysharing their ideas and opinions with me.
Demographics of Survey Samplen %GenderMen 126 54.5Women 105 45.5Age21 to 25 49 21.226 to 30 24 10.431 to 40 50 21.641 to 50 53 22.951 to 65 51 22.1Over 65 4 1.7Current Professional PositionAccounting 17 7.4Finance 14 6.1Human Resources 5 2.2Information Systems 39 16.9Management 41 17.7Marketing 15 6.5Supply Chain/Operations 10 4.3Other 90 39.0Total 231 100
Descriptive Statistics for theTeam Listening Environment ScaleItem M S.D. % AgreeThe other group members genuinely want to hear my point of view. 3.91 .88 73.8%The other group members show me that they understood what I say. 3.93 .85 73.6%The other group members listen to what I say. 4.02 .83 79.2%The other group members understood me. 3.93 .87 72.7%The other group members seem attentive to what others have to say. 3.87 .88 72.7%The other group members pay attention to me. 4.01 .84 75.8%Total 23.73 4.49Note. Percentage agree refers to those who selected agree (4) or strongly agree (5) on the survey.
Descriptive Statistics for the Team Coordination ScaleItem M S.D. % AgreeMembers in my work group plan together and coordinate effortseffectively.3.87 .94 72.7%Everyone in my work group understands what to do and how to do it. 3.66 .88 61.0%As a work group, we are dedicated to meeting our objectives successfully. 4.10 .89 80.5%Group members work hard to provide substantive and timely feedback onideas and work presented.3.82 .94 67.1%My work group is usually aware of important events and situations. 4.00 .89 76.2%The people in my work group make my job easier by sharing their ideasand opinions with me.3.88 1.00 69.3%Total 23.35 4.62Note. Percentage agree refers to those who selected agree (4) or strongly agree (5) on the survey.
Regression of Team CoordinationB SE B pAge .016 .022 .471Gender (Men)Women .672 .510 .189Employment Tenure -.215 .208 .302Team Listening Environment .600 .056 .000**Communication FrequencySpontaneous Meetings .377 .187 .045*Scheduled Meetings -.146 .203 .473Email .001 .190 .996Phone -.306 .192 .112Note. R2 = .35. *p < .05. **p < .01. Variables in parentheses are baseline measures for dummy coded variables.Positive coefficients imply positive influence on team coordination. Negative coefficients imply negativeinfluence on team coordination.