Over my career, I’ve encountered many people whose m.o. seems to be “talking and waiting to talk.” And sadly, that’s a behavior that’s often attached to people deemed “experts”.

Advertising and marketing are full of people whose success seems to point to how forcefully they express themselves and impose their opinions on others. I don’t think that applies to you (or you’d stop reading right now), and it certainly doesn’t apply to me.

Since I don’t want to be “that person,” I’ve done some studying about the disappearing art of listening. I’ve really worked on two aspects of the skill, and I hope they resonate for you, too—

People deeply want to be understood and supported. Really being listened to satisfies that very basic human need. It’s an empathic experience—the listener honors the speaker.

Secondly, listening is not just passive absorption of what the other is saying. A good listener engages with the speakers’ ideas and energy, and the speaker comes away with a feeling of support and clarified thinking.

These skills are valuable in any contact with a client or customer, and they’re equally valuable in your own organization. If you become known as a constructive, supportive listener, your teammates will turn to you more often and value what you give them.

One of the reasons I was happy to partner with Maggi Beckstoffer is because listening is right at the heart of the MBM Marketing business model. Maggi is not only a skillful listener herself, but with the Smart Branding™ Process, every voice in an organization is heard. MBM doesn’t offer strategic recommendations until we have a top-to-bottom view and understanding of the organization. So, here’s my recommendation—

One of the most thought-provoking articles I’ve ever read on listening skills is from the Harvard Business Review at this link— https://hbr.org/2016/07/what-great-listeners-actually-do.

I recommend you read it and bookmark it—listening skills can contribute to anyone’s success.

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