The Consequences of Poor Listening Skills
Small business consulting firms will tell you that poor listening leads to costly miscommunication, the consequences of which can be a recipe for failure: Higher stress levels, decreased productivity, increased employee turnover, lawsuits, low moral, misunderstanding, less creativity, poor customer service and a loss of respect. The opposite of these consequences, however, are the ingredients for business success, making active listening crucial to any business.
How to Actively Listen
One of the most effective ways to have a successful business is to let others do the talking. However, listening well isn’t an innate skill. It must be developed and practiced so you can learn to incorporate the participation of others when you communicate. When you work with a small business consulting firm, you’ll learn the following active listening techniques:
- Encourage participation. When employees or customers know how they can contribute, they’re more willing to open up. To help instill confidence, state the purpose of the conversation, make it clear that you don’t have all the answers and welcome input.
- Talk less. Reverse the stream of data and let the information come to you. Be willing to explore new ideas and understand different points of view.
- Be aware of non-verbal language. Non-verbal communication speaks loudly, so look at the other person directly, don’t mentally prepare what you’ll say next, avoid distractions and pay attention to the other person’s body language.
- Indicate that you’re listening. Nodding, paraphrasing and asking clarifying questions show the speaker that you care about the conversation.
Active listening gives you access to new ideas and invaluable insights about how you can grow your business. With the help of a small business consulting firm, you can learn the skill of actively listening to properly receive and apply information from others. This will undoubtedly help you be a better business owner and get closer to your goals.
If you’re looking for a small business consulting firm, please call 610-380-8735 or complete our online contact form.