Guide: Set and communicate a team vision

Listen and reflect

Reflective listening involves listening to and reflecting on the words and feelings someone displays. It can help managers more effectively communicate, making their team members feel better understood. In Google's manager research, a Googler described their high-scoring manager like this: “In every interaction with him, I felt he understood what I was saying, knew how to help, and wasn’t afraid to push me out of my comfort zone”.

Here are some tips Google shares with managers on how to reflect on both the words and feelings heard during a conversation:

Acknowledge emotion

  • “You seem frustrated/upset/happy about this.”

Summarize what you’ve heard to ensure you understand, highlighting the key points

  • “It sounds like …”
  • “In other words …”
  • “So you are saying …”

Use uncertainty to get clarification on the other’s frame of reference

  • “I’m not sure I understand, can you say more about …”
  • “I think this is what you mean, is this accurate?”

Respond with acceptance and empathy

  • “I see why this matters to you.”
  • “I can understand why you’d feel that way.”

Is this guide useful?

mood mood_bad