Truly Listening – Business Concepts Learned From Having Kids
Sometimes it’s good to get “back to the basics” of identifying what makes a successful business, or even what makes a specific person successful. I began thinking about what makes our team at ExactHire work so well together, and I thought I would have a little fun with a series of blogs …. The same lessons I try to teach my kids, are also important in the business world. Week one’s lesson: LISTENING! This is a big one and we are all guilty of not doing it (or not doing it well) at some point in our lives. Listening is so very important in all aspects of our life, work or otherwise. Whether we are trying to solve a problem with a client or working on new strategies with our teammates, listening is essential in growth and success. I want to focus on the three things that can make us all better listeners:
I tell my kids (two rowdy boys) all the time to “sit still,” sometimes it’s not rational to expect that from little ones. However, in the business world, there is no reason that we adults can’t do this. To actively listen, we need to focus on the person that is talking, and this means not doing anything else with our hands, bodies, etc. This is hard for many, but that means putting down the phone or tablet, and not checking emails or writing notes for your daily to-do list. Staying still while someone is talking relays the message that you are paying attention and interested in what is being said.
This goes hand in hand with being still while someone is talking. Maintain eye contact with the person speaking…it will make it easier to focus on what he/she is saying and to not fidget. Good eye contact also shows that you are actively listening to what is being said. To the speaker, this nonverbal way of communicating goes a long way in assuring him/her that what he/she is saying is viewed as important by the listener. It is a sign of respect!
Be quiet and actually listen!
This may be the most important of all – be quiet and listen. Don’t act like you are listening but internally thinking of the way you want to respond to the speaker. I know I am guilty of this. We are all busy in the workplace and at home, constantly multitasking in all aspects of our lives. Being quiet and not focusing on anything but what is being said will allow you to get the most of your conversations at work and in other arenas of your life. After the speaker is finished, you can take a moment to respond if necessary, or move attention to the next item on your schedule. Listening is definitely one area in which we can all improve, and this is a good reminder that it’s an integral part of our work lives. If we teach these three things to our kids, we should also do our best to put them to use ourselves, as well. Until next week’s lesson… have a great day and listen actively! ExactHire works with companies to help them automate and improve their hiring processes. For more information on our software solutions, visit our resources page or contact us. We’re ready to listen to your comments to help determine whether a partnership between our organizations may make sense.
Image credit: EAR by Travis Isaacs (contact)