Listen – You Might Hear (5 Tips to Better Customer Relationships)
One of the shortest distances between success and shut down involves listening – listening to customer wants and needs – listening to competitors’ approaches and changes – listening to learnings of other business owners and trying not to repeat the mistakes – listening to the market environment and staying in front of the ball – and listening for opportunities that may or may not lead somewhere.
Many times we hear information without actually listening to what is really being said. We interpret what we hear through personal perceptions and filters which can result in the speaker’s message being lost in translation.
To reach the goal of an effective listener:
Be Present: make a conscious decision to listen. Focus on the speaker and their message and block out all distractions.
Be Involved: demonstrate interest and encouragement using both verbal and nonverbal cues (eg, prompting the speaker to continue; nodding).
Be Restrained: exercise patience and suspend judgement about the speaker and what is being said. Be aware of your personal biases and filters and try to hear what is being said not evaluate it. Ask for clarification or for more information if necessary without accusing, blaming, debating or demanding.
Connect: find connections to the speaker’s ideas, intent and what, if anything, they want in return. Listen for the action the speaker is trying to communicate.
Learn: be open to new ideas, views and opinions even if they differ to your own. Explore the possibilities of the new information through asking questions and discussing further with the speaker and with others.
If you listen with engagement and purpose you will hear valuable information for your business. This information could strengthen your competitive edge and increase your business in the market place.