Can you hear me now?

In my business the most important skill to be successful is listening. My staff has to be fully present when meeting with our clients What is she or he really asking for? Are they looking for an extra set of hands to manage their household activities in the best way I see fit? Do they need a fulltime nanny, or just a few hours each week away from the kids to regain their sanity? Is there a specific way they want things done or are they open to suggestions? Do they want the same personal assistant each time we do work for them, or are they open to new faces as long as the work gets finished? Is there a specific time schedule they want us to adhere to, or are they looking to us to plan the workflow in the most efficient way possible.

Now, mind you, I’m always ready to give my opinion. Maybe a little too ready, in fact. I’ve learned far more from my clients than they’ll ever learn from me. First on that list is that there are more than one–or even two–ways to do something. At Your Service is in the business of making our clients’ lives easier, not adding more stress, so we take cues from our customers about how they want things done.

How do you become a better listener? Simple! Talk less. Really. That’s all there is to it. On a related note, we can also stop interrupting each other. Let’s focus on what the other person has to say. Try to read his or her non-verbal language, too. Did that shrug indicate they don’t care, they don’t know, or they’re just chilly? Great communicators are always great listeners.

Here’s an old saying to meditate on: God made us with two ears and one mouth for a reason.

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