How are your listening skills? I am not talking about just hearing what someone is saying, but really listening.
I was recently reminded about how important listening is when writing some training materials on active listening for a sales audience. Generally we listen to gain or confirm information, however, the skill of active listening involves focus to pick up on details and hear what is really being said. It also requires that we don’t rush to judgement, make assumptions or come to premature conclusions.
In today’s environment, there are many distractions that serve to interrupt our focus and engagement with others. Whether it is constantly talking or texting or using apps, our digital devices have created new habits that take away from our ability to focus and as a result, we have developed a tendency to “zone out”, make quick decisions or judgements. It has become increasingly difficult to hone-in-on what someone is saying or in our rush to jump to conclusions, assume we understand the point someone is trying to make.
Taking the time to focus and practice active listening ensures the person you are engaging with feels you are really present and concerned about what they are saying. Not rushing to judgement allows for deeper understanding of another’s point of view and allows for better conversations and enduring relationships.
In business, active listening provides a way to focus on your customer, to really hear what they are saying and ensure the conversation leads to a mutually beneficial experience. When there is a focus on your customer, they feel heard, respected and valued. Consequently, when a business practices active listening, it stands to gain a reputation as a credible and trustworthy resource which has their customer’s best interests in mind.
At CA14 we listen! Give us a call, send us an email or share a coffee with us to discuss your business needs and concerns. We will actively listen and help develop solutions to address your challenges.