How Hard is Business Listening?

March 7, 2013

Here in the Northwest and across the country, there seemingly has been very little research done in the area of organizational listening. In fact, it is the most challenging people skill that someone has to learn if they want to succeed within a corporate environment. No matter the situation, listening is a skill and a clear conclusion has to be assessed and understood within interpersonal communication. Listening, almost by definition is a voluntary willingness to eliminate distractions and put the other person at ease. Listening excellence often makes a problem and a situation manageable enough to create a solution. Being consistent in listening within every interaction has to be purposeful to be successful. Often active listening is very tough to do.

In recent studies, it has been found that about half of anyone’s income can be derived from the act of listening. So it is imperative that we listen in every situation for accurate information; we must watch for inferences, and we must understand as many details as possible in the efforts to understand and take action to complete a task or solve a problem.

The true meaning of a message always stems from the mix of words and body language. Listening can be looked at as a critical skill that supports both decision making and problem solving. We can bet a better listener if we follow the following four aspects of information gathering:

  • Understanding: The reason for the interaction must quickly be understood and the subsequent discussion must always be transactional to be successful.
  • Evaluation: The is always the most critical aspect when there is a problem or an issue that needs action to be resolved. Assess what is important and target that for success.
  • Summarization: This aspect of listening involves both focus and attention. The key message has a lot of information. Understand the points that move the issue to fruition.
  • Response: Everything that is said, from the tone to the phrases that we use, have to center on the situation so it can be addressed and solved.

In business, poor listening is a common problem. This creates average results at best, takes valuable time and destroys efficiency. By listening for results and importance, we always put the other person first. There is success in that strategy every time.


This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training Northwest, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in the Northwest. We’d love to connect with you on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Photo: imagerymajestic,

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