The other day, we were discussing one of our core values ‘Pleasurable’ and I realized that listening is an important aspect in communication.
As we try to create a pleasing working environment between us and our clients, it is crucial to always consider listening to them. In this way, we are able to be in tune with their objectives and satisfy their needs. Listening plays a central role in establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships.
Public Relations (PR) practitioners tend to focus more on improving their public speaking, writing and media relations abilities and forget to listen!
True, these are important to anyone involved in PR, however, it is also essential to work on your listening skills which should not only encompass your clients but other people associated with them.
Listening is the art of paying attention, tracking, analyzing, interpreting and responding to the needs and expectations of a client/customer/workmate. Communications personnel ought to challenge themselves on knowing the right time to speak and which words to use to remain relevant to the client.
I have witnessed a back log in execution of work simply because the graphics designer did not listen and understand his client’s needs. Each time he submitted the art work, his client kept asking him to do re-do it insisting that what was delivered was not in line with his interests.
Therefore, effective listening helps us gather important information related to what the client feedback and it is the best way to understand how they feel about the products/services delivered to them.
Remember to pay keen attention to each detail whenever a client is briefing you on what they want done for them. Listening lays a foundation of any effective customer service interaction.
As a communications practitioner, endeavor to be ‘present’ in other wards listen actively. Pay attention. Maintain eye contact, nod your head if you have to and do not interrupt the speaker but ask relevant questions to clarify your doubts.
As a Public Relations (PR) / communications practitioner, listening will help you monitor, analyze and interpret the trends and emerging issues in the PR industry.
In cases where there is a disagreement on ideas, it is crucial that you create a dialogue form of communication, where each party is given a chance to present their opinions, discuss and together agree on which one is better. Never out shadow a client’s or workmates opinions.
Listening reduces instances of miscommunication. It helps us prevent the resulting issues that come from not understanding the customer’s interests and needs. Listening promotes effective communication.