There is an old German proverb that says “No man has learned to speak well until he has first learned to hold his tongue.” Unfortunately, in today’s environment, many of us are so used to interacting with others throughout the course of a day, and so eager to get our opinions heard, that we tend to forget that there is a fine art to active and informational listening.
Active and informational listening is a skill that is crucial for any transformation. Properly leveraged, it will reveal many of the secrets for a successful transformation. In our firm, we consider this fact seriously since over the years, it has been patently clear to us that active and information listening is a key tool that we have to leverage in order to transform our clients business.
Failing to listen carefully will significantly increase the chances of us acting on distorted or even false information which can result in a costly waste of energy, time, and money and potentially a disgruntled client. We know that we would not last long in business if our clients spotted one of us frequently glancing at our watches, or looking vaguely out of the window.
We have learned that when gathering information to begin a transformation, people in all parts of the back office like to be listened to. It’s only natural, and they feel complimented by your attention, with the result that they will feel valued and appreciated – they grow in stature, and in turn, reveal some key pieces of data or knowledge that can be leveraged to transform any organization.
If you want to transform a portion of your business, listening, but really listening, and letting the individual you are communicating with know that you are giving them your full attention is crucial. Why do we know this? Because it’s one portion of our service that has made organizations want us as a trusted advisor and why we have been able to help them transform their back offices.