Good listeners are almost always better at most things in business than bad listeners.
Over at the Ric Centre blog, where I occasionally guest blog, Ken Sweeney posted on why it’s important to Listen to your Constituents. He uses US President Barack Obama as an example and says that his insistence on crafting new health care legislation ran contrary to public concern for jobs. The State of the Union address acknowledged that once again he is at least listening to the American people. Action, of course, will speak louder than words.
Obama rode the wave of change, and somehow, once in power he dumped the lady that brung him to the dance.
Some cynics argue he wasn’t really listening at all and that change was really about turfing the Republican party after eight years of George W. Bush. Politics is tough sledding. We elect people we think will make a difference. They get sucked into the vortex and we give our head a shake and do it again.
In business, especially today, not listening and responding can be lethal.
The rise of social media speaks directly to the frustration level of our customers. They want to be heard. They realize their concerns can have an impact and that with these powerful communication tools, they can influence change.
Listening is the new frontier. Ignore at your peril.