Most business owners and leaders take listening for granted. Yet, listening is a vital part of human communication. For example, influence can be a powerful tool when it comes to dealing with people. Unfortunately, many leaders simply do not listen to people, especially the individuals beneath them. Most of the time, listening simply involves some form of reciprocal response. In other words, people will generally listen to what you are saying if you would just listen to them. Listening can be one of the best tools for business leaders. The simple truth is, when you listen to other people you discover what’s on their mind, and by doing so, will help to breakdown much of the barriers in the communication process.
Of course, many leaders possess a know-it-all attitude and want to respond instantly during a conversation. This could signal poor communication skills or you may simply be a bad listener. Being a bad listener can often give people the impression that you are not interested in them or what they are talking about. The right thing to do is just listen to the person speaking.
Whether you are a business leader or not, ask yourself this question. When you are talking, how does it make you feel with the people who choose to listen to you? Do you feel better about yourself? Is there some sort of appreciation for those people listening to you? Hopefully it does make you feel better knowing that people are listening to what you have to say. Now, wouldn’t it be great if others felt the same way about you.
As a business leader, you should make every effort and take time to listen to the people around you. Listen to their thoughts, their feelings and even ideas. Sometimes, in order for the communication process to work properly, you may need to spark the conversation. Asking questions is usually the best way to get people aroused or at least get them thinking. When you trigger the thought processes of most people, you present an opportunity for them to express certain feelings and ideas, many of which can be work related. Asking questions provides people with the opportunity to think on their own. And, listening to other people fulfills a need and a chance to feel important, and maybe even a chance to feel special.
Remember, good listening skills often requires time and effort, something business leaders should focus clearly on. But more than anything, the key to good listening is simply to listen.