Is conversation like a competitive sport to you? We have all been in those conversations, that battle to make the cleverest point and get everyone to come around to your way of thinking. Knowledge is power, a person talking is revealing information, the listener is receiving it. Who is getting the best deal?
Are you infamous for talking too much? No-one wants to be the person who as soon as they open their mouth, a collective sigh goes around the room in the knowledge you are settling in for the long-haul. If you listen, then speak selectively, you are far more likely to say something interesting and people are far more likely to listen.
To be clear, we are not at all advocating keeping your opinions to yourself. Leaders need to communicate and inspire; but spending time listening and absorbing can have massive business benefits. The Dalai Lama once said, “when you talk you are only repeating what you already know, but when you listen you may learn something new”. From a manufacturers perspective this could be hearing about a revolutionary product idea, a health & safety tweak that could save a lost time accident, or an efficiency measure that drives out cost.
Teams that are listened to feel valued and engaged. They are also far more likely to enthusiastically respond when a specific call to arms is required. Listening is a powerful relationship-building and selling tool, really understanding what the other party wants and offering you the opportunity to tailor your approach.
For more information, please contact David Thomas, Partner at Berwick Partners who focuses on leadership appointments within manufacturing, or Catherine Osman, Principal Researcher at Berwick Partners who leads on research activity in the manufacturing sector.
As an executive search firm, Berwick Partners also specialise in recruiting senior HR professionals.
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