Ruining Your Business Through This Simple Communication Mistake
By Melaida Corpuz

We’ve seen many stories of communication failures from large corporations with devastating consequences. One recent example is the Grenfell Tower Fire in 2017, where 72 people died. Grenfell Tower was a social housing complex in London’s West End that was completed in 1974. Recently renovated in 2016, numerous safety complaints about the building were ignored. After the investigation, most of the leaders involved in the building resigned, including the chief executive.

Another example of a corporation’s failure to listen is Nike’s gender discrimination lawsuit by former female employees who worked at corporate headquarters. There were numerous complaints to human resources about a work culture dominated by males that encouraged harassment and discrimination, some coming from males that included leaders at the very top. These complaints were initially ignored until female employees anonymously created a survey and presented it to Nike’s executives.

We’ve heard many more of these stories time and time again. Employees in the workplace or customers not feeling heard, resulting in major failures that were not addressed. The Workforce Institute researched companies across the globe to examine their listening practices when it came to employees, and 86% felt they were equally heard, with 75% feeling they didn’t see any impact on operations when they were heard. If people do not feel heard, they won’t feel comfortable sharing information.

So how can we change this? How can effective listening play a key role in the success of company operations? Firstly, buy-in needs to come from the leaders who should strive to create safe workspaces for employees. Secondly, a successful company must encourage shared communication. Great ideas come from all levels of an organization. Leaders should model what Business and Life Strategist & Coach Eddie Lindenbaum says, “You’re not listening. And the person that listens is the one in control.”

Listening is the foundation of successful communication for personal and professional relationships. It is also a foundational element for success in business operations. It enables companies to stay attuned to their stakeholders’ needs, respond to market changes, foster innovation, and build strong relationships – all critical factors for sustained success.

Here are some key aspects where listening can significantly impact a business:

Understanding Customer Needs
Listening to customers allows a company to understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. This information is invaluable for product development, marketing strategies, and overall customer satisfaction.

Innovation and Problem-Solving
Listening to employees, customers, and stakeholders fosters an environment where innovative ideas can emerge. It also helps identify and address problems quickly, leading to more efficient and effective operations.

Employee Engagement and Morale
Companies that listen to their employees create a positive work environment. Engaged employees feel valued, leading to increased morale, productivity, and a lower turnover rate.

Adaptability to Market Changes
A business that listens to the market can adapt more quickly to changes in consumer behavior, industry trends, and emerging technologies. This adaptability is crucial for staying competitive in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

Building Stronger Relationships
Listening is a fundamental aspect of effective communication. Building strong relationships with customers, partners, and stakeholders relies on understanding and responding to their concerns and feedback.

Enhancing Decision-Making
Informed decision-making is based on a thorough understanding of the situation. Listening to diverse perspectives and gathering relevant information allows leaders to make better-informed decisions, reducing the risk of errors.

Conflict Resolution
Listening skills are essential in resolving conflicts within a company. Leaders who listen can understand the root causes of conflicts and work towards solutions that benefit all parties involved.

Market Differentiation
Companies that listen to their customers can tailor their products or services to meet specific needs, creating a unique selling proposition that differentiates them from competitors.

Brand Reputation
Public perception of a company is influenced by how well it listens and responds to its customers. A positive reputation can be valuable, attracting more customers and improving overall brand trust.

Continuous Improvement
Listening is a key component of a culture of continuous improvement. Companies that encourage feedback and actively seek areas for improvement can enhance their processes, products, and services over time.

Effective listening is not just a skill; it’s a leadership philosophy that transforms how leaders mentor, teach, and lead. The benefits extend beyond individual relationships to impact organizational culture, innovation, and the retention of top talent. Leaders who embrace and champion effective listening contribute significantly to the growth and success of their organizations.

If you want to speak with someone who knows how to listen, call Melaida at 780-860-5997.