Fundamental Behavior 15 – Listen to Understand
I am a strong promoter of the YKK Core Value “Build trust, transparency and respect.” I think this is the most important value when working with other people including customers, co-workers and different stakeholders. This week’s Fundamental Behavior, “Listen to Understand,” is a key action which will contribute to a relationship based on trust and respect.
In our daily communication, we listen not only to obtain information but also to understand needs, concerns and problems of the person we are communicating with. If you go on-line, there are many sites describing the techniques of active listening: to avoid interruptions, to give feedback and to observe non-verbal communication. In my opinion, the most important aspect of listening is to maintain your interest in the message being communicated and be willing to fully understand before responding. When someone listens to me with undivided attention and shows interest in knowing more, I feel respected and in return feel respect for that person. Appreciation of different views and opinions is a very valuable behavior to succeed in our dynamic work environment.
When a customer informs us of a problem, we often rush to think, while half-listening, how to defend our actions. However, listening with full attention helps us to better understand the problem and makes our recovery actions much more effective. Presenting an effective solution builds more trust with the customer. We should try to turn the problem into an opportunity to create a better relationship and more business potential. All this can be done only if we understand the requirements correctly through listening.
Around the clock, we are expected to work efficiently and to accomplish as many tasks as possible. Although we don’t always feel we have enough time to listen, let’s not forget that the time we spend is not wasted, but rather a rewarding process leading to better performance in our daily lives.
Business Plan & Marketing Senior Manager
YKK CANADA INC.