Listening is an ability to be open, to accept someone else’s opinion, need, authority. Listening also is the best way to manage a company. The more managers listen, the more successful the company will be. Here are three main tips in how to listen:
Listening does NOT oblige you to do anything
If you listen, you are not obliged to do everything that you hear, nor you have to do it exactly as you hear it. Listen between the lines, understand the motivation behind what the customer says, and react in your own creative way. Listening is not a binary. It is a creative process which has no obligatory outcomes. Feedback that you hear today can give you a completely unexpected idea months later. Think of listening as goal in itself – by listening you are already providing value.
You will NOT lose the control of the project
Some managers feel that when they listen, they are losing control, that they are not doing their jobs, that the project will go in the wrong direction. Actually listening to feedback does not oblige you to change your project. Listening actually empowers your control over the project by building trust and giving you more information.
You will NOT lose the control of the relationship
Customer relationships can become narrow and rigid over time. Managers do not like to shake them up with changes. But changes will happen no matter what and it is better to take initiative than to be passive. The best way to manage the relationship changes is by listening. Listening reduces the risk in constantly changing relationships, relaxing the tensions caused by changes.
By being a better listener, you will be a better manager, and your company will perform better.