“All EARS on me please.” – Know more about the career-boosting benefits of this holistic communication skill! [Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy]
Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
Return Driven Strategy (RDS) is one of the most effective frameworks I’ve encountered in my years of working with and guiding independent professionals.
Created by Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo, this pyramid-shaped framework has 11 tenets and 3 foundations, which, if implemented properly, are helpful in conducting business and achieving wealth and value creation for your firm.
Another thing I like about RDS is it’s applicable to the microlevel. Just apply its tenets and foundations to an individual’s career and you have Career Driven Strategy (CDS).
Today, we’ll focus on one of the Supporting Tenets of RDS and CDS—Communicate Holistically.
Keep reading to know some of the benefits of active listening and why this is an important communication element that will help boost your career. Enjoy reading!
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute
Return Driven Strategy
Communication is a two-way street. To be an effective communicator, you have to know how to take turns talking AND listening.
Sometimes, people think it’s only by being a good speaker that they can boost their career… but that’s not the case all the time.
Being an active listener also has benefits!
Allow us to elaborate further…
Listening is a soft skill that allows people to understand the information others convey to them. This is part of the communication skill set that includes speaking skills and interpersonal skills.
Photo from SEEK
Before we proceed with the benefits of listening, let’s first define active listening.
Active listening is the ability to focus on a speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond thoughtfully. This skill ensures you’re able to engage and recall important or specific details without asking a speaker to repeat what he or she said.
Why is active listening important in one’s career?
Whether you’re seeking a new job opportunity, striving to earn a promotion, or working to improve in your current role, enhancing your active listening skills will help you succeed.
Much like critical thinking and conflict resolution, this soft skill will increase your value as a professional.
In fact, excellent communication skills are at the foundation of all good relationships, including business and workplace relationships. Listening and understanding what your colleagues are saying helps you build rapport with them.
Clients and customers also benefit from your listening skills! How?
By paying attention to them, you understand their needs and wants and use those details to address their demands, solve their concerns, etc.
So… how can you master the art of active listening?
There are various verbal and non-verbal listening exercises you can do to improve in this aspect. Verbal exercises include:
- Paraphrasing – Summarizing the main points of a speaker using your own words to show you understand the message. This gives a speaker an opportunity to clarify vague information or elaborate a point.
- Asking open-ended questions – Asking questions that guide a speaker into sharing additional information about a particular topic.
- Using short verbal affirmations – Saying short, positive statements that help a speaker feel more comfortable and show you’re engaged in the conversation.
- Recalling previously shared information – Remembering key concepts or ideas a speaker has shared in the past. This shows you’re not only listening to what he or she is saying currently but also keeping previous information in mind.
Non-verbal exercises include:
- Nodding – Making a few simple nods shows you understand what a speaker is saying.
- Smiling – Showing a smile encourages a speaker to continue with his or her discussion. This non-verbal action communicates you agree with or are happy about the message.
- Avoiding distracted movements – Being still communicates focus. This helps a speaker feel more at ease.
- Maintaining eye contact – Keeping your eyes on the speaker while he or she is talking forms a connection between the two of you. Just make sure you keep your gaze natural or the speaker may feel uncomfortable.
By applying the verbal and non-verbal techniques above in your future conversations, you’ll work towards developing stronger relationships and retaining more information from your business and workplace interactions.
Take note as well that active listening takes practice to improve and maintain. The more you use the techniques listed above, the more natural they’ll feel!
Active Listening and Career Driven Strategy
Tenet 11 of Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo’s Career Driven Strategy (CDS) talks about holistic communication.
In this supporting tenet, they explain that achieving high performance in one’s career entails understanding the integral role communication plays in a particular business or field of expertise.
Remember: Communication skills are beneficial in and out of the workplace. Clearly communicating instructions, ideas, and concepts can help you achieve success.
However, communication won’t be holistic if it’s pure talking. To be a career-driven individual, you also have to master the art of active listening.
Sure, speaking is what gets your message across… but in listening, you build trust and connections with others, identify and solve problems, increase your knowledge of various topics, and prevent missing any important information.
Besides, almost every career requires excellent listening skills! Why?
It’s because listening enables you to understand what your clients, customers, employees, or colleagues are saying and create offerings that meet their needs and address their concerns.
… and when needs and concerns are met accordingly, that means holistic communications are made. This will then make a positive impact on the people you’re interacting with and through an effective communication system, you’ll eventually fulfill the other tenets of CDS.
We hope you learned valuable communication insights from today’s career-driven tips!
By mastering the skill of active listening, you’ll not only experience personal, career-boosting benefits but also impact people’s hearts, minds, and lives.
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy”
In the book, “Driven,” authors Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo said that the goal of every long-term successful business strategy should incorporate the combined necessity of “making the world a better place” and “getting wealthy.”
That is why they created Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy―frameworks that were built to help leaders and professionals plan and evaluate businesses so they can also help others achieve their organizational goals and career goals.
The frameworks describe the plans and actions that drive returns for anyone in an organization such as independent contractors, marketers, brand managers, communicators, and other people in any field. These actions lead to the creation of wealth and value for customers, employees, shareholders, and the society.
Every Tuesday, we’ll highlight case studies, business strategies, tips, and insights related to Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy.
In planning, building, or managing brands and businesses, these strategies, case studies, and guidelines will help you choose what specific actions to take and when to take them.
Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Return Driven Strategy!”
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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