This article is about improving and growing all parts of our businesses by listening.
One of the biggest challenges in relationships, whether in teams, business, sales, social, family or personal, is that they don’t listen as much as they should. Listening is different to hearing. Hearing is something that we do with our ears whilst listening is something that we do with our brains. More often or not, people who don’t listen don’t do so because they have poor hearing.
There are many things that contribute to us not listening as much as we should or would like to. Here’s a few that occurred to me that can get in the way:
Can you think of any others?
Any, or all of these can get in the way of a person getting or understanding your message or you understanding theirs. The way to tell whether you or they are listening is to take a moment to observe your own and the other person’s body language while you’re talking. Don’t try and get too analytical with all this. Go with what you yourself are ‘feeling’ and it should tell you, whether she’s listening to you or not and vice versa.
Bill Clinton has often been described as one of the greatest listeners of modern times. In the book Primary Colours by Anonymous (later revealed to be Joe Klein), the author describes Bill Clinton’s great listening ability, the way he looks into a person’s eyes, leans in, etc. He calls it putting on the big ears. It’s a great way to describe what he does as he goes into ‘listening’ mode. The key here is that he makes a decision to listen and then does it completely.
Now, I’m not saying that we should all turn into Bill Clinton and, I know, it’s very easy to get caught up in our own stuff on a day-to-day basis and skip listening as a key skill as it takes time and effort. But, taking a little time and effort and applying this to yourself and your business is a guaranteed way to connect more with your customers, improve your sales, team performance, leadership and overall business growth
I think all of us can be better listeners. Here’s a few tips that have helped me work on my listening skills:
I’ve found that working on my listening skills has had a tremendous, and positive impact, on all of my relationships, business and personal. I’ve also found that listening to others is one of the greatest compliments you can pay them.
What’s worked for you?
Please share your comments and experiences.
Thanks to Kathy Cassidy for the photo