The Art of Listening
In the past three days I’ve had two clients tell me horror stories of agencies not listening to them. This really got me thinking about the art of listening. We here at mundayMorning tout that we listen, we approach every client and project with a blank sheet and that our Discovery & Analysis process sets us apart. That is great and I take great pride in touting that part of our personality but it is not the process so much as the art. The art of listening is where so many people go wrong.
Now do not get me wrong, some people just flat out suck at listening period. Three years ago, I was tasked by my wife to buy the family a mini-van. After fighting this idea and the last move to try and domesticate me forever, I finally gave in to the “request.” She knew exactly what she wanted and had done every bit of investigation and research one human can do on this topic. She was the Albert Einstein of mini-van knowledge. This was a no brainer for me. Even I could not screw this up. I walked in, sat with a New Car Sales Representative and said to the man, “Sir, this is going to be the easiest sale you will make today. I need a Honda Odyssey Touring Edition with Black exterior, Tan interior, a DVD system and Navigation.” The man listened and then said back to me, “Jeff, lets go over the features of the Odyssey and figure out what you really want.” Dude! Did you not just hear the specific list of exactly what my wife told me to come here and buy? I just handed it you on a silver platter. I simply got out of my chair and walked out.
The art of listening is more than regurgitation. It is more than trying to say, “I hear you.” It is hearing what lies beneath. Why is this client telling me this? What is the real pain point they are asking me to solve? What is their real vision they are trying to convey to me? What are they absolutely stating to me in black and white and does not need my spin on it? Deciphering all of those things sets the listeners you want to do business with apart from the ones you just want to get out of your chair and walk out.
This is such a great article! Remember this, we will use this definition of listening in in our Series on How to Align with Powerful Partners.
The Happiness Chick