Effective listening establishes quality relationships and helps you solve problems, both of which are critical for business success. Have you ever finished a conversation and been unsure what the other person really said? This can be frustrating, and could lead to hazardous misunderstandings, wasted time and lost customers.
To really promote understanding, avoid these listening pitfalls. While the other person is speaking:
- Wait to evaluate: Don’t weigh each statement the speaker makes while they’re still talking. Instead, hear them out. By reacting too early, you will miss the main point they’re making.
- Don’t be defensive: Don’t spend your listening time figuring out how to respond to perceived allegations you feel the person is making against you. Again, let them speak their piece, think about it, then respond. Try not to respond by blaming. Instead, check to understand by saying something like, “you’ve expressed the concern that …., is that right?” This helps make sure the speaker knows you have heard them.
- Don’t interrupt: If you interrupt, you’re responding as if others are attacking you. This can make you appear under-confident, irrational or unpleasant.
- Realize you are not always right: Best practice is to respond patiently, taking other points of view into account. Being dismissive of other’s points alienates them–and you want these people on your team. You may be surprised what you learn when you listen closely–you can even learn from people who have much less experience than you.
- Don’t assume: Let the speaker finish their thought, rather than jumping to conclusions, thinking that you already know what they are going to say. You will get your turn, and you’ll respond better if you really listen to what is said.
- Build relationships: Listen completely and calmly to others, whether employees, customers or business partners. This shows that you respect their right to speak, and also shows that you’re a confident, logical individual. You are the kind of person they can disagree with, and still work well with.
- Listen to people who disagree: You’ll miss valuable perspective if you exist in an echo chamber (only listening to people who share your point of view.)
When you need funding to grow your business, we’re listening. Talk to Grecco Capital about your business financing options. Contact us today.