Picking up where we left off last week about communication, my son Charlie reminds Linda and I that listening is the other side of talking. I know that listening is one area that we excel in… when it comes to our customers.
Way back in the beginning of our first business, we determined that this would be the key to success. This was because our customers were designing their remodels in their heads or on scratch paper. They came to us to begin with because they didn’t know the language of construction, or how to make these things come to life. By listening closely, we were able to get the essence of what they wanted. We asked them if we were still on track – every step of the way, listening closely to their answers, correcting up as necessary.
And even though the customer is ultimately the most important person in the company, if the rest of us can’t listen to each other, nothing will get done. “Can’t” is probably too harsh, I don’t think any of us set out to intentionally ignore the others. Linda talked last week about how family members or people who work closely together over time, develop a “shorthand” style of communication. Like when you finish another’s sentence, or they answer a question before you have asked it. I swear Linda and I can carry on a full conversation without even speaking a word.
But, what if the other person was going to say something different at the end of that sentence? Or what if a job situation required a different question to be asked? This shorthand style of communicating could waste lots of time or even be dangerous. Especially if in the hustle and bustle of a day, you accidentally used this form of shorthand with someone who didn’t know it yet.
I guess from the frown on Charlie’s face when he shared this with us, that maybe I need to brush up on my listening skills. I suspect that after all is said and done, not listening, or having the appearance of not listening looks like a sign of disrespect to the other person. And I don’t think this is something any of us in this company want to do intentionally!
Off to a busy day of door installations! It’s a brand new day, listen well and make it a great one!