The Listening Network
Have I confessed my love of business and self-help books to you? If not, consider this my official declaration. The latest book in my reading queue is Get Noticed…Get Referrals by Jill Lublin.
In the book, Lublin asserts that building relationships–and helping others build relationships–is the key to building your business. She says that a person who is genuinely interested in getting to know other people–regardless of what he/she might get out of it–is more likely to get hired or get referrals from the people he/she has built relationships with than someone who is only looking to get to know others because they think the connection will benefit their business. One of the key relationship building techniques Lublin suggests? Listening to others and being present in conversations.
Now, all of this seems like common sense, right? Until you put it into practice.
At church this past Sunday, I gave the notion of being present in my conversations a test run. Sadly, I was surprised how often I had to remind myself to actually listen to what the person I was talking to was saying and not look around at who was walking by or entering the building. Even worse, I think the woman I was talking to wasn’t really listening to me either, as she herself kept pausing and looking past me while we were conversing!
What if one of us had been asking the other to enter into a multi-million dollar business deal? A bit of a stretch, I know; but chances are, we’d have missed the opportunity.
So, my challenge to myself–and all of you–this week, is to try to listen and be fully present in the conversations you are having. Maybe you’ll make a business connection, maybe you won’t; but at least you’ll walk away knowing you were there.