Your most valuable skill... The ability to LISTEN
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” Ernest Hemingway
If you want to know WHY it is important to listen to customers, employees, spouses, friends, family, children, do an internet search because the masses agree on this point.
Listening is the single most important thing you can do to grow personally, financially, and in relationships.
As a child you probably asked countless questions. You listened because you wanted to know the answers. You were CURIOUS and your brain was soaking up all that information like a sponge.
As we age, our desire to listen wanes as we become concerned with our own thoughts, needs, concerns.
Some people are naturally better at listening but EVERYONE can benefit from consciously practicing it.
You don't even have to act or respond for others to feel comforted by your listening. It is literally the most affordable customer service tool your business can utilize.
From Mindtools, there are 5 key elements of listening:
1. PAY ATTENTION!
2. Show you're listening with body language
3. Provide feedback
4. Defer judgement
5. Respond appropriately
The most critical of the 5 is number 1. PAY ATTENTION. If you don't respond, if they didn't even know you were listening, you still stand to benefit from hearing what has been communicated.
Listening is a habit that must be repeated, reinforced and diligently practiced to be successful in any relationship or endeavor.
More to come on listening, hearing, communicating.
Questions about communication? I'm listening. Comment below.