I was reading this week an interesting article from the 1968 Phi Delta Kappan entitled The unheroic side of leadership: Notes from the swamp by Jerome T. Murphy. A portion of his thoughts focused on listening and acknowledging.
Often, folks just want an opportunity to express their frustrations and concerns. To quote Murphy: “The very process of verbalizing frustrations and having them acknowledged often enables these individuals to move forward.”
On a bigger scale, organizational resources typically don’t meet the demands, as reasonable as they may be. This puts leaders in a tough spot, and listening is often the only thing that can be done. “...There is a big difference between a disappointed employee (who can deal with limited resources) and an employee who feels unheard (and therefore angry).”