The importance of listening skills in business is enormous. The ability to speak well is a necessary component to successful communication. The ability to listen is equally as important. Good listening is an art.
- A good listener is generally interested in what the speaker has to convey.
- A good listener knows the art of getting much more than what the speaker is trying to convey.
- A good listener knows how to prompt, prod, persuade.
- A good listener puts a speaker at ease helps articulate and facilitates the speaker to get across the message in full and with clarity.
- A good listener should also not have any biases and should cultivate the right temperament. A positive attitude helps in making listening effective.
Listening skills are very essential for business success
Development of listening skills at various levels is very essential for business success. Every business has its stakeholders and there is communication taking place all the time between the organization and the stakeholders. If communication within the organization has to be purposeful, people need to listen to each other attentively. Hearing without listening is often a common refrain needing attention. Progressive organizations encourage the people within to learn and adopt active listening.·
Businesses thrive on listening
In information era, modern organizations are described as information processing units. There is so much that is happening that needs to be shared with the clients and other interested parties. Today’s worker is being described as the ‘Knowledge Worker’. People have to constantly upgrade their skills and knowledge, whatever be the business or profession. Reading is undoubtedly an important source for skill and knowledge upgradation but active listening too can make a significant contribution.
Listening contributes to knowledge upgradation
Listening skills are becoming particularly relevant for the service industry like banking and financial services. In these organizations, businesses involve person-to-person interactions. Products are sold and services provided over counters and through customer outlets. Quite often, the product is not standardized, but tailor-made to suit specific requirements. These organizations are making relentless efforts to know customer requirements and respond to them. Organizations which make a conscious effort in this regard are described as ‘Listening Organizations’. Behavioral skills and attitudes that focus on attending to the customer are-far more relevant today than in the past.
Listening organizations listen sincerely
Good listening skills are particularly relevant in dealing with customer complaints and employee grievances. Suggestions will be more forthcoming when people in authority lend a patient ear. The customers of today seek reassurance, that they are being heard. Whim they come up with a complaint, the minimum that an. organization has to ensure is that there is someone there who lends a patient ear to what the complainants have to say. In most organizations, there are meetings and other interactive forums where business related issues are discussed and issues resolved. All these can be effective only when people learn to listen..
In sum, we can say that listening skills are vital in business area and it is not passive activity but the opposite.