5 Active Listening Benefits that help people do better in business and in life
Now we all know whether in business or personal relationships the question may get asked, “Are You Listening to me?” No matter if it is a significant other, a coworker, a friend, or a manager people want to know you hear what they are saying and you understand them. I also am sure we all know the problems that arise when we are not listening, and the question of “Repeat What I just said” gets thrown into the discussion. The bottom line is listening more importantly, active listening is instrumental in building healthy relationships both in business and personal.
Okay that is one benefit you might be saying but what about the other 4. Well I am glad you asked. I listed these in no particular relevance but number 2 is:
- SALES, SALES, and SALES! If you are involved in any type of business where customers open their mouths and talk, then you are going to want to work on your listening/active listening skills, it will benefit your business I promise. Especially if you are selling a product, being able to hear what the customer is saying will help you understand where they are in their buying process.
- Number #3 is conflict resolution – a situation where two or more parties come together and find a peaceful solution to a disagreement among them. The disagreement may be personal, financial, political, or emotional however the parties will come to a comprise within negotiations to come to a mutual agreement. When a manger or person in customer service comes into a disagreement with someone being able to properly deescalate the situation is of top priority. Having seasoned active listening skills a person can gain information about how to properly negotiate the comprise.
- Not to confuse Number #4 crisis management with conflict resolution, crisis management is when an organization or business faces extreme circumstances that jeopardize operations. How does active listening benefit in this scenario is as follows. A while back I was working with a consulting group and we came across a situation where the policy of the organization we were working for did not allow for male staff to be in the presence of female guests without a female staff present. This particular night we had three men in an environment with a young woman that had an addiction issue. To make a long story short I was actively listening throughout all the meetings, and networking that was going on, and I remembered a couple of female staff members saying if some more hours ever come up to let them know. When others began to panic and become fearful of lawsuits I suggested we call some of the female staff members up and see if the could assist and the problem was solved. This solution was available because at that time I was learning how to become a better active listener while working with my mentor.
- Number #5: Builds trust. The more you actively listen to someone the more they will go into personal detail about themselves. The more personal detail they go into, the more trust they are allowing you to have. Once a good foundation of trust has been established a person is more likely to listen to what you have to say, because you sat there and listened to them. Just make sure when its your time to speak its based off a genuine response and not just you waiting for your time to talk.
At the end of the day active listening benefits your people skills, which in many platforms of business benefits the organization. If you know how to talk to people, even better how to listen to someone then the odds of achieving desired results increase. I encourage all people weather business or personal to actively listen to their most immediate people. These are the people that will be effected the most if you were to ever stop listening to them. Increase your listening skills with these people and you may hear something that benefits your agendas. In the great words of my significant other “Just listen sometimes.”
For more information about active listening please visit our section in business development.