Success in business (and life generally) is as much about how we get on with people as it is about the thing that we do or sell. Building relationships with our customers and clients – and our colleagues, staff and suppliers for that matter – is what can make all the difference – people like to do business with people they know, like and trust.
In order to do that, we have to talk with each other and conversations are, of course, a two-way activity. What that means is that while one person is talking the other person is – supposed to be – listening. Really listening, not just aware that the other is speaking but actively hearing and understanding what is being said – and sometimes what is not being said.
All too often that doesn’t happen and the listening isn’t done well, sometimes by one and sometimes by both. One consequence is that poor listening skills can get in the way of building relationships – and success in business.
In this episode, I explore how to be a good listener, why it’s important, and the things that can get in the way and how to avoid them.