How do your sales and business gardens grow?

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Water, Sunshine, Fertilizer 


and Good Hard Listening!



     The most common report from thousands of employees (in hundreds of surveys done over the past 20 years) is that those who indicated they liked their supervisor all said something like:

“I like my boss. She listens to me.”


“I like my boss. I can talk to him.”


      So maybe you don’t care about being liked? Then click off to some vampire/zombie site and be done with you. A little harsh? No, and do you know why? Because you should care.

     Because, even though management isn’t a popularity contest — and there’s surely some truth to the old saying that you don’t have to like someone to do business with him — reality dictates nonetheless that people who do like their bosses prove over and over that they are more responsive, more productive, and more loyal.

     Being liked comes from one place: mutual respect.


     Respect for others comes about most often from listening, not just hearing. Consider the following:

     During a hectic business day, it’s normal for your mind to wander when you’re listening to someone talk. Most people talk at a rate of 100-150 words per minute (double this if you’re a chimpanzee, a disk jockey, or a teenager). But we listen at the rate of 600-800 words per minute. In other words, our minds (those of us who still have them) are going at a rate about four times faster than someone is speaking.

     When you’re speaking, this speed difference works in your favor because it lets you think ahead. But when you’re listening, the speed difference breeds daydreaming and impatience.

     The ability to listen and observe aggressively — to really hear and see what someone is communicating has far greater business implications than simply gaining insight.

     In selling, there is no greater asset!

     Your employees and customers are constantly revealing themselves in ways that will go unnoticed unless you are aggressively involved in listening to them and observing them … instead of thinking about what you want to say and trying to figure out how to squeeze in your ideas.

     The statements people make about themselves— the signals they give off — are both conscious and unconscious (“body language” if you will), but understanding these signals enough to make some positive use of them depends entirely on your ability to pick up on them … to listen aggressively and to observe aggressively.

     Active listening requires practice, but it will help you get more from what people actually mean, which might be quite different from what they are saying. Oh, and you won’t daydream … there won’t be time for that when you’re busy listening and observing.


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“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!”   [Thomas Jefferson]

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