How To Boost Your Business Growth With 4 Simple Listening PracticesApr 05, 2023
If there’s one thing every entrepreneur knows it's this -you can’t do it all (even though you wish you could).
The truth is that if you are looking for healthy and sustainable business growth you have to accept this fact - you are human and you have a limit. We all do!
And that even includes how much time or capacity you can spend listening well each day.
Listening to your clients, colleagues and team members well is a crucial characteristic of a healthy growing business
But it requires “efforting” (a word I learned from David White) and nobody can do limitless amounts of “efforting.” If you try, you’ll just burn yourself out, frustrate your team and lose important clients left, right, and center.
You need to figure out how you can listen well in the times when it will affect your business the most. Your listening skills will have a huge effect on your business conversations and business relationships.
So are you ready to boost your business growth from the inside out?
Here are 4 simple listening practices you can start doing today.
Be Selective and Intentional To Boost Your Business Growth
Qualifying who it is that you are giving your “best” to is really important.
Think about who you are spending big chunks of your time and bandwidth on. Your business growth depends on this listening practice. Because you can’t listen well to everyone.
If you’re naturally a people-pleaser or a “yes person” it can have disastrous effects on your business. You will be worn out very quickly from giving your shoulder or being a solver to everyone.
Take some time to look over your schedule and give yourself a reset so that you can listen to the people who need you the most.
It might be your team that needs a lot more of your focus. Or perhaps your team runs smoothly without you and you need to intentionally spend time listening to your clients?
(And of course, there are even times when your business needs to take a back seat so you can listen more intentionally to your family). That is definitely part of creating a sexy business for a sexy life.
So be selective and intentional about who you are spending your time and bandwidth listening to. Your business goals should match up with your business conversations and who is getting your time.
Pick the Right Time For Business Boosting Conversations
Did you know you could sabotage a whole conversation (and the business growth that comes with it) by having it at the wrong time? One of the most important listening skills is knowing when you can actually listen well.
There will be times in the day (and week) when you know you can’t listen well. It’s crucial to not let important business conversations or team discussions happen in those times.
If someone needs you to listen but you don’t have the capacity at that moment then it’s really important to communicate that. If you don’t stop others from overloading you, then you’re telling them it’s OK to overload you.
But remember that this also applies to your clients, and team members. It’s a really good idea to take the time to check in with them when it will be a good time to talk - not just when they’re available on their calendar.
Think about these points before jumping into a conversation:
- When can you absorb a whole lot of new information?
- Is there enough time to talk in detail or do you need to compress the story into smaller chunks?
- Is it a standard conversation time, one where they will be expecting to have a discussion?
Having hard conversations is a really difficult thing to do. It’s so tempting to just go ahead quickly and get it over with. But carving out the right time for hard conversations is a listening practice you will reap rewards from over and over again in your business. And it will mean you can listen well to your clients and team members in easy conversations and difficult ones too.
On-Ramps And Off-Ramps In Your Business Conversations
Have you ever been in a conversation thinking to yourself: “I’m hearing what you’re saying but I can’t comprehend it.” That’s a sign that you probably need 5 minutes to collect yourself.
Think about On-ramps and Off-ramps on the highway. They are there to help you transition from one highway to the next. You don’t just turn right suddenly at 90 miles an hour onto the next highway. You give yourself the time and space for the transition.
It’s the same in business conversations. You can’t go straight from one meeting to the next without giving yourself some time and space to transition. Why not? Because you won’t be able to listen well.
You might even need off-ramps and on-ramps within one conversation where you’re moving from topic to topic.
Introducing this listening practice can be as simple as implementing breaks in between meetings on your calendar. Or it could just be a sentence of closure and introduction between topics.
When you put off-ramps and on-ramps in place, listening well becomes so much easier. You are setting the stage for having great conversations in your business, and taking your clients or team members on a journey toward business growth together.
Not Every Conversation is a Business Booster
The last listening practice for business growth but most certainly not the least is knowing when to excuse yourself from conversations that will harm your business relationships.
One of the worst culprits is listening to complaining. It’s bad for your brand. It’s bad for relationships, and it’s bad for your soul.
There are so many people who just want to complain. Make the best choice for you and your business and choose to not be a part of those conversations.
Have a boom gate that manages your conversations. A boom gate is a great picture because being a shoulder is a really important element (or the whole purpose) of some conversations. So you do need to be available for people like that sometimes.
But listening to complaining, trash dumping, gossiping and whining repetitively, does not have to fall into that category. So put the boom gate down decisively and quickly on those conversations.
Those kinds of conversations suck your time away from investing in good healthy business relationships. And it creates an unhealthy relationship full of negativity.
Learn to discern which conversations are good for your relationships and business growth, and which ones are poisonous, so you can spend your time with the right people.
Be prepared to excuse yourself from the unhelpful conversations so you can get back to listening well to your clients.
Once you know that your time and bandwidth are limited, it’s easy to prioritize and put healthy listening practices in place.
Start implementing them in your conversations today, and watch how it boosts your business conversations and growth.
If you’d like to see these tips in action and join other entrepreneurs doing the same thing, 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 mysexybusiness.com.