ceo image

Ivan Popov

i was once an athlete. then a journalist. now i am a ceo of an iT company. still running marathons though.

“I’m All Ears” or Why Acquiring Listening Skills Can Help You Scale Your Business

As I was browsing through my Forbes Business Council membership, I stumbled upon an expert panel article published several months ago that tackled the subject of how important listening skills are in the context of proper management. I’ve covered the topic before – so I decided to widen the perspective and discuss how active listening can also help entrepreneurs scale their businesses as well.

If you are a business owner and have always thought that owning a company is a one-person show, I strongly encourage you to think twice: Sure, you might have come up with the original business idea, but in order for things to work out, you need a team of trusted experts and professionals. Here’s the thing, however – you need to take care of both your team and your company in order for them to succeed and scale. And since you’re already aware of today’s article topic, then you certainly know one way to achieve this is through acquiring meticulous listening skills. 

Join me as we’re about to discuss why proper communication is fundamental in any business setting – without it, your efforts would soon meet their dead end.

Communication Is Crucial – But It Doesn’t End with Talking

listening skills

Let’s take a moment and try to evaluate what we think of each time we hear about communication. I bet what first comes to mind is verbal communication – the art of participating in a conversation, sharing what’s on our mind and being there for our conversational partner. In business, conversations are even more frequent and whether they are fruitful and efficient is fundamental for the company’s success altogether.

Let’s Have a Talk – Both with Customers and Employees

We communicate both with our business clients as well as with our employees. Of course, the end goal is different in both types of dialogues but what truly stays the same is the importance of the professional relationship that forms during the convo. For instance, during a business meeting with a client, you, as the business owner, would like to present and portray the company’s advantages, experience and expertise – together with the dazzling portfolio of case studies and happy customers, it’s your presentation that is likely to convince your clients-to-be that your enterprise seems to be the right option.

Then we have communication with our employees – we need to verbalize what’s expected from them upon taking on a certain job role; what expertise is needed, what the expected deadlines are, etc. We also need to be able, as managers or team leaders, to provide productive feedback that would serve as a focal point of whether the employee in question manages to get the job done in the right way. If not, it’s also our responsibility to talk to them about possible resolutions and ways out – all that is done through the power of talking so it’s clear why communication virtually lays the ground when it comes to successful entrepreneurship.

But It’s Not Just About Talking – As a Matter of Fact, We Need to Listen Too

Do you want to know how to spot an ineffective manager? Search for someone who doesn’t understand the importance of active listening.

Listening in business is equally as important as the proper verbalization of processes and work approaches. As a matter of fact, it’s the essence of every communication – simply because it gives you an entirely different perspective on things, you get others’ points of view and have the chance to come up with a resolution together. In a way, it’s active listening that’s able to strengthen the professional relationship.

People share that they feel the most trusted and respected when they’re listened to – and mutual trust and respect is pivotal when we refer to successful business management.

Here’s How to Elevate Your Listening Skills

Once we’ve established the importance of listening, it’s probably a good idea to cover some thoughtful and using strategies that might help managers and entrepreneurs.

  1. Engage in frequent one on one communication. As a matter of fact, people tend to open up and share more when they are in private conversations. So outside mutual meetings and seminars, make sure you always reach out and seek communication with your employees or clients. Once the conversation gets ongoing, pay attention to what the other person has to say – more often than not, it’s during those listening sessions that you’d be able to learn a lot more about what’s truly important.
  2. Ask questions. A conversation is not supposed to be a monologue that goes on forever. Asking questions is a great way to get to your conversational partner and learn more about their demands, needs, wishes and goals. As a matter of fact, any successful business communication revolves around the right questions. 
  3. Reach out and get your team’s opinion. Don’t make the mistake to assume that just because you’re a manager, you know it all and there’s anything you can learn from your employees. The fact you’ve hired them means you highly value and treasure their expertise and professional experience – so it’s only natural to seek their opinion. On the one hand, you’ll be able to gather some rather important perspectives; on the other, you’ll strengthen the bond in the team and gain your employees’ trust and respect.
  4. Ask both employees and customers to provide honest feedback. You requesting their opinion is perhaps the highest form of professionalism – listen carefully to what they have to say as later on you can implement this feedback and improve both your work and the company’s overall success. 
  5. Frequently ask your team and customers what they love about working with the company. Listing all the great things showcase you’re on the right path as well as giving you ideas of what you can further develop in the future.

Listening is a skill that many people should work on mastering – especially if they are business owners and entrepreneurs. While talking can help you spread your company’s message, listening is the skill that will help you get in your staff’s and customers’ hearts and stay there for good.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *