You Said, We Did
Every week I will be sharing ideas, observations, and thoughts to empower, engage, and inspire people to be the best they can be in life and business. The purpose is to help develop healthy, successful, and sustainable businesses.
This edition of Unleash the Power considers how to become a better listener, the importance of hearing what teams, customers, and clients are saying about you, and why acting on it is the bedrock of successful business.
So, what makes a great listener?
One of the best answers I have seen is ‘that a great listener is not a sponge who absorbs but a trampoline to bounce ideas off’. Credit goes to Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, who summarised five key behaviours that allow you to pay better attention.
- Allow constructive two-way dialogue by asking questions that promote discovery and insight.
- Create a safe environment that promotes open discussion and interactions that build self-esteem.
- Hold a cooperative discussion, with feedback flowing in both directions, that allows challenge and disagreement without the other person becoming defensive.
- Make suggestions skilfully that open alternative views and paths to resolution.
- Be empathetic by understanding the emotion and feelings about the subject.
By applying these techniques, you can listen more intently, understand the situation, and act upon it where appropriate.
Why is listening important?
As the world continues to recover from a global pandemic it is becoming increasingly competitive to recruit and retain both customers and team members in many sectors. In both cases, people are not just looking for satisfaction, they are looking for an experience. They want to interact with a business, either as a consumer or employee, that shares a common purpose and similar values to their own. And they are not shy to share what they think, and across a plethora of feedback platforms too. Within seconds a customer review can be left on Google, TripAdvisor, or Facebook. Glassdoor, engagement surveys, and feedback forums provide the opportunity for employees to share their thoughts.
With spiralling fuel, energy, and food costs the UK is experiencing pressure on the cost of living that many have never seen before. And businesses are finding cost inflation equally challenging, putting further duress on supply chains, profitability, and long-term employment. It’s a bleak picture, with recent insight suggesting around 50% of adults are spending less on non-essentials and 30% scaling back on essential items. Shopping around will be more evident. But remember value doesn’t necessarily mean cheap. Consumers will gravitate toward brands and companies that provide an experience, not just treating them as a number. Businesses will look to partner with suppliers and customers willing to develop sustainable supply chain opportunities.
As Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Out of adversity comes opportunity’ and I believe this has never been more relevant. The businesses that listen to feedback, respond to it using Zenger and Folkman’s behaviours, and more importantly, act upon it will come to the fore. Those that create environments that empower colleagues to make decisions will provide guests, customers, and clients the enhanced experience they crave. Therefore it is so important to listen and adopt a ‘You Said, We Did’ attitude throughout your business. Creating influencers both internal and subsequently external to the organisation in the process. These are Raving Fans that will recommend you to family, friends, and business associates as a place to work and spend their money.
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Have a brilliant week!
Founder & CEO, Fuelled Fit and Fired Up Ltd
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At Fuelled Fit and Fired Up, our purpose is simple. We want to help you develop a healthy, successful, and sustainable business. If you are interested in finding out how we can unleash the power in your business, then contact us at [email protected].
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