Is it bad communication or are people just not listening to me…

Clients expect us, as their financial advisers, to understand their needs, goals and help them find solutions. How do we know what a client needs? We ask them—and then we listen to the answers. We all follow the first part of this process, but are not so good at the second.

Clients expect us, as their financial advisers, to understand their needs, goals and help them find solutions. How do we know what a client needs? We ask them—and then we listen to the answers. We all follow the first part of this process, but are not so good at the second.

That’s because listening is a vastly underrated skill, and one we all need to practice if we are to be effective communicators.

Listening is not the same as hearing, which involves only the mechanism inside our ears. It happens all the time, even with sounds we don’t consciously notice such as traffic or background music. But do we actually listen to the music in the elevator? Usually we don’t.

Listening is not waiting for your turn to speak. When someone else is speaking, if you are thinking about your reply and waiting for a pause so that you can break in, how can you truly listen for the other person’s message?

Listening is a conscious act. Each time we begin a conversation with someone, whether in business or in your personal life, we need to specifically remind ourselves to listen. This sets us up in the right mental attitude to receive and process the other person’s message. Perhaps if we all do this consciously for next few weeks it will become a habit, and then we can break down the barriers bring about better communication!!

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