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6 Simple Listening Principles For Better Relationships and Business Growth

business growth client relationships healthy relationships listening principles listening well Mar 16, 2023
Heart wearing headphones next to the text: 6 Simple Listening Principles For Better Relationships and Business Growth
What is the heartbeat of a growing business? Good relationships.
And what is the foundation of good relationships? Healthy communication. 
Last question: What is a crucial element of healthy communication? Listening well.
But on the opposite end of the spectrum - when you don’t listen well it can affect everything in your life, from your personal relationships to the relationships you have with your clients and everything in between. 
Let’s face it. Listening is hard. It’s hard for you and it’s hard for me because we are all human. 
But as you get better at listening, your conversations become more human. You remind yourself, and those around you that you are people and your interactions are all interpersonal, and not just tasks to tick off in your day. 
So it is definitely something we all need to work on, especially if you want your business to grow. 
But listening takes active “efforting” as David White says. The good news is that the “efforting” is always worth it.
Here are 6 simple listening principles that will transform your conversations and lead to better relationships and business growth.

Being A Scanner Slows Your Business Growth

Sometimes we listen like we read - by scanning
You run your eyes over the page, take note of the headings, and try to remember the most important parts. The goal is to get through the document as quickly as possible so you can move on.
But you don’t really know everything that the chapter said. You might have missed some very important parts, especially the underlying details.
That’s what can happen when it comes to your listening too. You ignore the person and just try to catch the most important parts so that you can respond quickly and then move on. 
When you “scan” what someone is saying, it’s too easy to make assumptions and judgments instead of listening and asking questions to really understand what someone is saying. 
Don’t just listen to respond quickly so you can move on. Take your time to be present in the conversation, and with the person talking. 
Listening intentionally is a listening principle for any growing business. Understanding your clients, colleagues, and team members is a vital part of healthy business relationships. And that is how your business gains momentum and grows successfully and organically.

Don’t Be A One-Upper If You Want Business Growth

Have you ever been trying to tell an important story and the person listening responds with their own similar story, but one-up from yours?
You’re left wondering if the other person cares about your story at all because the conversation is now all about them. 
But it’s not just an other-people problem. We all have a tendency to fall short of this listening principle (although some more than others.)
And you can easily excuse your “one-upping” by thinking you are showing the person that you understand what they are saying. But it’s not really “listening well” if you switch the conversation to being all about yourself.
Resist the urge to switch the spotlight onto yourself and try to actively keep the conversation focused on them, even if you do need to say something or share a similar experience.
Your clients are the most important people in your business, so remember to keep your focus on them, their needs, and their ideas. Keep listening to them and watch how your business thrives!

Avoid Interrupting Your Clients And Team Members

It is so hard to have a healthy conversation when somebody keeps interrupting. This is a listening principle to take note of in all conversations, but especially in a growing business.
If you feel the urge to interrupt someone, first stop yourself and ask:
“Why am I sharing this point?
“Do I want people to be impressed by my story?”
“Do I want everyone to see how clever I am?”
Sometimes interrupting isn’t done with bad intentions. 
For example excitability (a tendency to become easily excited) can be an obstacle to good listening because it makes you interrupt unnecessarily.
Excitability has good intentions because you want the speaker to know you understand and you’re on the same page. The problem is that it causes interruptions that can sabotage the conversation.
Try to channel that excitement into expressing your understanding with affirmations, gestures, and facial expressions that keep the conversation flowing in the direction the speaker is wanting to go. 
How does being interrupted make you feel? Probably unimportant, and it often leads to irritability and frustration if you can’t ever get to your point. And that’s not at all how you want your clients to feel.
In a sexy growing business, clients feel valued and important.  Healthy conversations should never feel frustrating or irritating. Yes, some conversations are hard if there are challenges to work through, but they can always take place in a positive way if good listening is being practiced. 

Knowing Your Role In The Conversation Keeps Your Business Growth On Track

When someone comes to you with a problem, you need to figure out what they need. Do they need a shoulder or a solver? 
If they want a shoulder (someone to just listen to them) and you start solving their problem, they’re going to get annoyed with you. 
And if they need a solver (someone to help them solve a problem), but you don’t give any advice, they’re going to think you don’t really care.
If you just asked upfront, “What do you need from me?” that would provide the perfect foundation for the conversation. Imagine how smoothly a conversation can go if both the speaker and listener are on the same page.
And the same goes for when you start talking about something. Think about whether you need a shoulder or a solver. Tell them before you start talking so they know what role they need to play in the conversation. 
And this listening principle is a great way to help you to manage your bandwidth, which is a finite resource for all of us humans. 
When you manage your bandwidth well, your relationships flourish and your business can grow because it gets attention in the right places.

Solve The Right Problem For Your Clients

Sometimes you don’t listen well enough at the beginning, and you jump ahead too quickly. 
That can be dangerous because you end up answering the wrong question. If you pick up on the thing that resonates with you (rather than the thing they have a problem with) it’s easy to usurp the conversation into something you can easily solve and then show off how important you are.
So slow down. Be present. And listen intentionally. 
If you aren’t sure, it’s OK to ask them what they think their problem is. (It might be a good idea to ask even if you’re sure you have worked it out.) 
When your clients know you are on their team and can see your advice will help them succeed, it forms a very strong bond. When you follow this listening principle, they will keep coming to you for business over and over again. 
Those are the kinds of clients you want - the kind that trust you to help them and will stick around for years to come.

Limit Distractions And Watch Your Business Grow

Distractions, like noisy phones or driving, make it harder to listen well and pay attention to other people. 
Notifications and phone calls are interruptions that can derail your conversation and communicate to others that they are not your priority at that moment. 
Try to eliminate distractions as far as possible. 
If that’s impossible, clarify at the beginning of your conversation that there might be an interruption. Knowing that upfront changes the understanding of the other person, informs their expectation, and allows them to give you some leeway. 
Limiting distractions is a listening principle that sets a professional tone for the meeting and any conversations going forward. It shows that you value your client’s time and attention, which is a crucial characteristic of a healthy growing business.
Each one of these 6 listening principles is so practical and doesn’t require any preparation. There’s no cost involved and it doesn’t depend on any qualifications or degree. 
They just require “efforting.”
Start implementing them in your conversations today, and watch how your relationships get that healthy glow.
If you’d like some accountability along the way, then join our Groundwork Brigade Mastermind and get the sustainable momentum you need to grow your sexy business and create your sexy life.
If you missed the conversation between David White & Kim White (they aren't related, but relatable), you can listen to it here. 
To further connect with David White email him at [email protected]
To connect and find out more about Kim or how to create a sexy business for a sexy life, you can reach her and the My Sexy Business Team at