Transparency may seem like a corporate buzzword, but it actually has real-world benefits. According to a recent poll, two thirds of consumers would spend more if it meant buying from a transparent company, and 94 percent of consumers rank transparency as the biggest factor in brand loyalty.
Effective business communication is crucial for the success of any company. Poor communication is not only frustrating on a personal level, but has the potential of causing huge financial loss. Misinterpreted messages, lost emails, or poor understanding can cause delays, failed projects, or loss of clients. Therefore, it is important for everyone in your company to improve their communication skills, especially when in a position of power.
Our modern American culture glorifies busyness. In fact, the Journal of Consumer Research has found that “Those devoting more time to work and less time to leisure are often viewed as having more status.” But even the most packed schedule is not an automatic sign of productivity. A long to-do list might look impressive at first. However, the number of tasks, deadlines and appointments on your calendar does not always mean those obligations are done with excellence.
Company culture and communication go hand-in-hand. Without communication, it’s hard to build a culture where employees thrive and engage with their work because they’re likely to feel less involved, while also being less trusting and less connected with the company as a whole. An organization built on communication brings employees in, and encourages them to share their ideas, connect with their co-workers, and build relationships with the leaders who guide them. Communication is an enabler for employee engagement.
The ability to listen is one of the most important skills you can leverage as a leader and manager. Not only does this ensure that your employees are heard, but it broadens your perspective too. There are four types of listening that you should master.
We’ve explored the importance of listening in this series, and now it’s time to talk about some simple and practical strategies for honing your listening skills. It’s especially important for leaders, who have employees to manage and guide. Because simply standing in the room while someone talks is not enough.
Listening is critical to your workday and poor listening skills can ruin it. Top executives for a Chicago manufacturing plant were asked to survey the role of listening in their plant. After hearing a seminar on listening, Ralph G. Nichols and Leonard A. Stevens explain in their Harvard Business Review article, that one of the most common responses was:
“Frankly, I had never thought of listening as an important subject by itself. But now that I am aware of it, I think that perhaps 80 percent of my work depends on my listening to someone, or on someone else listening to me.”
This is true for nearly anyone who works with other people. Having good listening skills is critical to avoiding miscommunication and staying connected with other team members and managers.
Although we spend approximately 60% of our communication time listening, we only retain 35% of what we hear. Actually, two months after a conversation, we only remember around 25% of what was said. That’s no surprise considering our average eight-second attention span, which makes listening concentration so hard to achieve.