Among other skills, the company concentrates on teaching client firms the fine art of listening, a “soft” skill too often overlooked in the business environment. Yet experts note that mastering it is key to success. Savvy business leaders understand that, by listening actively to partners, employees, and customers, they gain valuable insights and benefit from points of view that could change their own operations for the better.
Active, engaged listening is particularly important during meetings. Although CEOs are used to talking, it’s often vital that they pause to listen more than they talk, and concentrate on what others are saying without allowing issues of personal ego - or the demands of electronic devices - to intrude.
Businesspeople have learned that time is money. Yet CEOs who aspire to become exemplary leaders would also do well to remember that forming judgements too soon in a conversation can miss out on details that can enhance their understanding in practical ways.
The speed of our thoughts typically outstrips a speaker’s delivery. So experts advise using that time to advantage: Conduct a mental review of main points and use that information to help clarify later.