What could be simpler than listening? Well, plenty of things it seems.
- Are you paying complete attention to the speaker? Or, are you glancing (frequently, as is very common these days ) at your ‘device’, out the window or at the floor?
- Are you hearing every word coming out of the speaker’s mouth?
- Are you thinking about what is being said, or when you can ‘jump in’?
- Are you keeping eye contact with the speaker?
- Are you giving appropriate feedback to the speaker – gestures, acknowledgement, etc.?
If you’re doing all these things, chances are you are practicing active listening, one of the most demanding interpersonal skills there is. To do this well is hard, hard work, but when you do, the dividends in client satisfaction are tangible; your bond with the client increases exponentially.
If, on the other hand, you are just (mostly) hearing the words spoken, you’re not doing the job. Your client will notice. She will not feel good about you.