Communication is often touted as being the key to success, but never is that statement truer than when it’s your own business you’re commanding. Running a flight school requires us to share an exchange of ideas with a wide variety of individuals, often shifting gears from moment to moment, depending on whom it is we’re dealing with.
The art of communication offers a path to great success in life and in business, but surprisingly, as a learned skill it is rarely taught. Superior skills in this area are often the delineating factor between those who just survive in business and those who thrive. Look at public figures that have made successful careers out of their communication skills, such as politicians, infomercial gurus, and individuals like Donald Trump, Barbara Walters, and Oprah Winfrey.
We’ve all heard the old saying, “We were given two ears but only one mouth, because listening is twice as hard as talking,” yet when asked about the most effective way to communicate, most people respond with various ideas about what to say and how to say it. According to the International Listening Association, (yes, there is a listening association) more than 35 business studies indicate that listening beats out talking as a top skill needed for success in business, and their statistics support the science behind the fact.
Whether dealing with employees, bankers, clients, mechanics, suppliers or FAA inspectors, use these five tips to help you improve your listening skills and become a better leader in business:
Squarely face the person
Open your posture
Lean towards the sender
Eye contact maintained
Relax while attending
Good leaders are good listeners. Effective listening helps to resolve conflicts, build trust, inspire, and strengthen teams. It often requires you to bite your tongue, but the results are worth the effort.