Lend an Ear

BKBG Business Blog,

Do you wonder if your team members hear the important messages that are necessary for their and your success?  There are simple techniques to help improve listening skills and your ability to enhance messaging.  Similar to the written word, your oral instructions and messages should be clear, brief and unambiguous.  Even though team members are familiar with industry jargon, avoid using it because sometimes jargon can be confusing. 

Help to ensure that a message has been understood by asking team members to repeat what they heard.  Ask team members to describe how they will accomplish the request that was communicated and assistance or tools that they need to be successful are other techniques to avoid misunderstandings. 

If a team member asks for additional information or to repeat what you have stated, wait a few seconds before responding.  The pause time will help team members to focus on listening to the additional information or the repeated message.  This same technique works with customers.  

Active listening is a two-way street.  Sometimes messages get garbled because team members don’t believe that they are being heard.  Kitchen and bath showroom design and sales professionals’ success depend on their ability to connect with complete strangers.  If they don’t believe they are connecting with you, how can they connect with prospects?  Make sure that your team recognizes that you hear them and are willing to act on their concerns and ideas.  If the messages team members are communicating remain unclear, ask them to explain what the ideal goal or solution would be of a specific point they are trying to make.  Asking for clarification instead of repeating the message that you heard can be more effective and demonstrates that you want to make sure you understand what the team member wants.

Actively listening is a skill that can be honed.  Asking employees to summarize instructions or paraphrase what a customer wanted before responding, can enhance listening skill sets.