In these times of bombast and braggadocio, where everyone feels entitled to his/her fifteen minutes in the spotlight, it is now obvious that the art of listening has been leeched from the American character.
In the media, TV pundits, of the O'Reilly and Hannity type engage in the homicidal pastime of death-by-decibel. Any gaggle of politicians gathered together soon results in oxygen starvation for those unfortunate enough to be assembled in the same room. This drive to be heard, to foist one's opinion upon the other, is nothing more than the equivalent of barging in line, of breaking into the queue. The behavior is probably symptomatic of a need to be heard and acknowledged, perhaps even loved. Explanations are best left to the sociologists.
For the business practitioner, the failure to listen ultimately results in business loss or failure. It's one of the primary reasons why, in a nation where the practice of business generally provides the "best practices" for the rest of the world, the consumer is still exposed to inferior customer service, and brand fatality is not uncommon.
The "hows" of listening
The rules of good listening are based on a platform of courtesy, good manners and common sense. It doesn't require the experience and training of a business ethicist or management guru to appreciate the need and value of the "do unto others" philosophy that drives good listening behavior. Read More