Usually, we ignore it, or invalidate the facts or the person providing the input. Even when it is our board of directors, mentor or coach!
While it is much easier to hear wanted advice, there are times we need to listen to unsolicited or undesirable advice. While business leaders gladly share their opinions, thoughts and feelings on any subject, they rarely take (or make) the time to probe into what the core issues are. So, it is up to you to adjust your mindset and ability to listen — it will determine the value of the advice and how to use it. (Especially if it is our customer!)
By listening, we can resolve issues, take advantage of opportunities, and build team morale. Failure to do so may limit our ability to grow our company.
It’s Important that you Hear what is being Said!
Set Aside your Ego. Your ability to listen to unwelcomed advice displays your emotional intelligence (EQ). EQ is responding appropriately and understanding what the person is saying … whether or not you believe it is valid information. Learn how to respond without being defensive and ask the right questions.
Don’t Allow your Biases to Dictate your Ability to Listen. Too often we allow our biases about the person giving advice to interfere with our ability to hear what they are saying. The advice or information being provided may be very important but not well communicated. If you simply can’t understand what they are saying, schedule another meeting with the intention of learning from them. In the meantime, do your homework and come prepared with questions.
Pay Attention. Multi-tasking or playing with your computer or phone while the other person is speaking will ensure you miss value-added points. Usually if someone is taking the time to give you feedback or input, it’s important that you listen! Remember, it often takes courageous to share unwanted information. Paying attention usually has a big payoff whether or not you find the news immediately useful.
Stay Out of the ‘Ain’t It Awful Trap’. It’s easy to buy into negativity. Although you may have a bias that this person is always negative, listen empathetically and place a time limit on it. While there are times venting may foster opportunities, it depends upon your ability to manage it. Turn the information into growing the project, resolving the client issue effectively, or helping someone learn from it. These are great opportunities to develop your skills.
Listening to and managing wanted and unwanted advice is critical to growing your business.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2016
Jeannette Seibly has been an international business advisor, executive coach and management consultant for over 23 years. Along the way, she guided the creation of three millionaires. Her trademark is her uncanny ability to help business professionals identify roadblocks and help them blast through those barriers to produce unprecedented results. Contact her for a free, confidential conversation on how to get the results you need: www.SeibCo.com/contact