We believe that listening is a key to better serving our clients.
Improve your listening skills and improve your business valuations. Yes, it is as simple as listening.
Listening is a lost skill. It is through listening that we can truly understand others. People long to be listened to therefor effective listening will improve all your relationships and increase your value to your clients by allowing us to better serve them.
Until we listen we don’t really know what our prospects and clients want. We don’t know what they value or what success looks like to them. We “think” we know. That is an assumption and assumptions cause nothing but problems.
What we think we “know” often gets in the way of true understanding. This happens in our practices and in all parts of our lives. For instance, every now and then my assistant comes to me with a great idea, yet I “know” she is going to have a complaint, usually about technology. Do situations like this happen to you?
A few steps to listen better:
- Recognize that you have a “view.” Sort of like if you put pink glasses on. After a while everything seems pink. Then you get used to it and do not see it but it is there. That is one version of a view. We all have views of everyone we “know.”
2. Consciously let your view go. While doing this take 3 deep breaths and exhale slowly.
3. Ask your question or just let the other person speak.
4. When they speak just listen to them very intently. Do not think about your next question or your response. Just listen.
5. While listening note the tone of their voice, their body language, and facial expressions. Pay attention to what is being said and sometimes what is not being said.
6. One more time – Listen to the answer carefully. Do not be thinking about your next question. Your next question will be better if it comes directly out of the answer just given. You can take a moment or two and think between questions. It will be interpreted as you are really listening and absorbing. Everyone likes being listened to.
7. Seek the answer behind the answer. What is really driving the results you see? What could change those results positively and negatively?
Listening attentively means that besides noting the response, summarize, paraphrase, and ask open ended questions to draw out answers. If an issue is emotional in nature, empathize. Work with the person. Develop a relationship that will foster greater openness with you.
This takes an incredible amount of effort if it is not your habit. But, if you practice and train and become good at listening you will improve all your relationships raising your value to others.
This is paraphrased from, “The Art of Business Valuation, Accurately Valuing A Small Business”, Gregory R. Caruso, © 2020 John Wiley & Sons. https://amzn.to/3ENFqeg