You may have heard it said that we have two ears and one mouth. The implication being that we should talk less and listen more. This is harder to do for many people than it sounds. After all, many people like to talk about themselves and what they know. It’s about properly listening too – not just hearing words but listening to the language and voice too – what are they saying? Real listening is extremely valuable in professional (and personal) life for the following reasons:
- The other person feels valued, when people feel valued they feel a greater sense of connection with us and the relationship is more likely to flourish.
- It helps us really understand someone’s perspective and respond to their needs better.
- It gives us space to hear what they are not saying, as well as what they are saying.
- It helps us tailor what we say when it is our turn to speak. E.g. If I find out someone runs the internal network in their law firm, as opposed to being a Partner, it means I realise I need to talk about the speaking work I do, rather than the 1-2-1/group work I do.
Are you listening enough? Often people, especially technical people such as lawyers, accountants and actuaries are so desperate to demonstrate they know stuff, they forget to really engage with clients and prospects to really understand their needs and build successful professional relationships.
If you or your team need to work on your people skills to boost the performance of your company or firm, then get in touch [email protected]. After all, clients and prospects are not just buying technical skills – they can get that from most other companies/firms in your market, they want people they trust and can connect with. Building skills, such as listening, drives individual career success too.
Image courtesy of freeimages.com/CarolinChan