We have all heard about the power of the written word, but what about the power of listening? We have all had “conversations” with individuals who are so preoccupied on what they are going to say next in response to you that they literally do not listen to your part of the discussion at all. This lack of connection greatly impacts their productivity and contribution because they are so wrapped up in themselves, they don’t know how they can contribute.
Listening is crucial in connecting with someone.
For example Ralph Schlosstein’s ability to read people has enabled him to become a powerhouse recruiter for Evercore, specializing in the firm’s hiring of senior-level management.
All good leaders will tell you they lead by listening.
That’s how Ron Kruszewski of Stifel Financial fixed the problems of the company when he was hired. He sat there in a meeting, had his team tell him what was wrong and then he empowered them to fix the problems.
Lisa Stone, Jory DesJardins and Elisa Camahort Page of BlogHer all stress they lead by listening to their community members so they evolve the BlogHer environment based on the needs of the community. Schlosstein listens to his team and then evaluates information he receives to see if it makes sense to make a particular investment
The relationship between company and customer is critical not only for success and longevity, but also for the company to stay adaptable and innovative. In the end it’s the consumers who dictate what they need, want, and purchase. It’s imperative for companies like Ford to listen to what consumers want so they can build a product that meets demand.
Listening is also necessary to effectively service customers. How can you fulfill the needs of your customers if you don’t know what they want? Or, to consider it from a different perspective, do employees want to work for someone who doesn’t take the time to hear what they are saying? Taking the time to listen is a huge morale booster. Nothing is worse than working for someone who doesn’t listen to you because they think they already know everything. The same goes for the employee- if you are not listening to your boss how can you deliver? You can’t.
Listening is an essential ingredient for anyone who wants to succeed.