“Restoring Success” Listening: 5 Steps for Smoother Interactions and Fewer Hiccups

Restoring Success: Listening: 5 Steps for Smoother Interactions

By Lisa Lavender M.T.R., M.F.S.R., M.W.R.

December 15, 2023

In our fast-paced industry, the importance of good communication skills cannot be overstated. Taking a moment to reflect on our day-to-day experiences, we recognize how often our challenges and triumphs are intertwined with the quality of our communication.

While salespeople are typically trained in the art of listening for relationship building and sales success, it’s crucial to extend this focus to all members of our organizations. Even in the age of digital workflows, verbal communication remains a cornerstone of our internal and external relationships. However, when it goes wrong, the consequences can be significant.

What’s at Stake?
What can we do to improve listening, reduce the hiccups, and have better outcomes?  
Finally, I offer some simple steps to help us, and our teams listen better:
  1. Choose to Listen: Recognize the objective of each communication and deliberately focus on the interaction. Examples of objectives in our operations may be:
    1. A customer’s instructions, expectations, and questions that need follow-up.
    2. A supervisor reviewing a protocol or scope of work.
    3. A direct report communicating a difficult situation, goals for the day/week, or ideas to help the company. 
  2. Maintain Eye Contact: This helps the listener focus and the speaker feel engaged and respected in the communication. 
  3. Body Language: Pay attention and listen to signals in body language.
  4. Minimize Distractions: no multi-tasking, put down your phone, turn and face the speaker.
  5. Write It Down: Actively engage with information by taking notes during customer interactions, team discussions, and meetings.
  6. Clarify: If anything is unclear, ask simple and clear follow-up questions at the appropriate time in the conversation.  
  7. Read Back and Confirm: Repeat key information to the speaker to ensure accuracy and alignment. This not only helps us capture everything as a listener, it contributes to a positive relationship with the other member(s) of the interaction.

We can enhance our listening skills, strengthen team communication, improve customer service and ultimately contribute to the success of our organizations by developing the skill of listening.  It is not just for the sales team. May better listening bring you and your teams much Restoring Success.

Read more from Lisa's Restoring Success column featured in Restoration & Remediation Magazine: Here

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