The lost art of Listening

The lost art of Listening

Sure, I get it. There’s email and text and messenger and headphones now.

Why would anyone under the age of thirty need to learn how to listen?

I also understand that by lamenting the “old days”, I am starting to sound like an old fart.

But I truly believe that losing the ability (nay should I say willingness) to listen is going to be a very deep and troubling issue for tomorrow’s society.

And by listening – I don’t mean nodding your head waiting for the other person to finish so you can speak (a trend I find more common nowadays).

I mean true “active” listening – hearing what the other person has to say, understanding what is behind their statement, and then responding to what they said – not just starting a new train of thought.

This type of skill is important in our industry. Clients have needs, they have concerns, and they have their own ideas about their business.

As marketers, we need to listen to what they have to say, and what they want, to properly develop a solution for them. If we don’t listen, and simply try to foist upon them a solution that we think is appropriate, we will not be serving our client’s better interest.

But nowadays it is getting harder to find people that have that skill – that can truly hear what others are saying.

Can we add a box on the resume that asks if they know how to listen? Or maybe we should just drone on in our interviews – to see how long it takes before they interrupt us with their own story?!