In every office, business, and organization here in the Northwest, there is listening going on. Everything from problem solving to decision making happens through listening and information retention. We know that when someone is talking, the transaction is complete only when the information has been retained through listening. If we are talking, we are not in learning mode. There is no greater skill in human relationships than that of good listening. And the more we listen, the better the skill becomes.
As we pass through the halfway point in 2013, we know that in today’s business environment we have the capability to listen anywhere and everywhere. From social media to meetings in the office, it is listening that makes business simpler and marketing better.
Active listening has clear advantages in any relationship:
- We are more involved in the discussion
- We become the holder of the information
- It helps with problem solving and decision making
- It supports exchange and negotiation
- We understand both needs and wants that come from the discussion
- Learning is a key ingredient
In How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie comments: “Listen patiently and with an open mind.” It is important to mention that there is a difference between hearing and listening. Being involved in the discussion and actively supporting the speaker will usually ensure that the information is received.
Good listening by both leaders and employees sets the tone for both opportunity and success. It is important to note that listening skills are not taught in primary and secondary education; in fact, in many college curriculums, the communications department is the only place where aspects of listening and improvement take place. Business listening can make the difference in today’s organization.
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