Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Post No. 87: On the Importance of Listening to Others



© 2009, the Institute of Applied Common Sense

In relationships, business being at least one form of relationship, there is nothing more important than listening.

One of The Logistician’s favorite commercials, a United Airlines piece that ran years ago, highlights the concept.

The owner/founder of a company calls a meeting of his employees. He informs them that despite the fact that business with their first client has grown over the years, the client had fired them.

The client informed the company that they had lost touch with it.

The owner/founder of the recently fired company proceeds to hand out a handful of airline tickets to various client locations around the country and across the globe.

He instructs his employees to make sure that they do several things during their visits:

(a) Listen to what the client has to say;

(b) Make sure that the client understands its value to the company; and

(c) Take immediate steps to ensure that the client’s needs and expectations are met.

Asked what he’s going to do, he responds, “Go visit that client that fired us today.”

A number of events occurred over the past 36-hour period, all of which made us relate to the owner of that fictional company.

Watching our federal elected officials wrangle with one another, without truly listening to the positions of those across the aisle, reminded us that asserting a position is only part of the equation if one wants to solve a gnarly problem.

Our new President? He was out in the field chatting it up with citizens.

Since the inception of this blog, a number of our loyal readers have made constructive, positive suggestions regarding its form and content.

Here’s how we plan to meet their thoughtful input. After all, if they didn’t care about our success, they would not have taken the time to make suggestions and express their opinions.

So this is our promise to you going forward:

1. We’ll share with you the point of each one of our pieces in the very first paragraph.

2. We’ll limit our posts to 750 words max, so you can read them quickly and move on. We want you back the next day.

3. We’ll ensure that we avoid “ifs, ands or buts.” Equivocating “on the other hands.” Commentary in which “the headline giveth but the asterisk taketh away.”

4. We’ll make sure that by the end of each and every piece you read, you’ll have a clear, thorough understanding of what we set out to communicate.

5. Above all, we’ll lace the words we write with Common Sense.

These days, given economic reality, we don’t travel as often as we should. Neither do we attend conferences where we can exchange ideas with our peers.

Instead, we exchange e-mails. We talk on the phone. We have teleconferences.

We blog, too.

With any luck, there’s a good bit of listening on both sides of a blog, this one in particular.

Like we said, listening is how relationships are nurtured and success is assured.

© 2009, the Institute of Applied Common Sense

16 comments:

  1. Bravo. If you should occasionally miss the mark at least you have established a noble target.

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  2. Thank you June. We should always respect folks for trying.

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  3. Great Blog and well done. I loved the analogy and it made a lot of 'common sense' to me.
    Vikki

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  4. Thanks much Vikki, that piece was dedicated to a friend who has invested a lot of energy, and other things, during the development of this concept.

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  5. This is a great improvement to an already well-done blog! Short, where possible and complete, is better, but I find I want to read your complete articles. I also like the lighter format, more inviting and easy to read.

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  6. Thanks much Dan. The longer articles served a purpose and a function at a particular point in time. We got them out of our system. In them, we bridged many seemingly divergent themes in our effort to determine the internal consistency of "Everything," and its component parts.

    Now we've moved on to another phase in our evolution. It all occurred for a reason. Maturity comes in all sorts of ways. Sometimes you have to run for a long time before things simply "shake out."

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  7. Much respect. I appreciate the kind words you left me and after taking a quick mental snap shot of your page I was very impressed with the view. I'll make sure to visit again. Peace, respect, blessings....

    "Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves."
    -James Matthew Barrie

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  8. Articles interesting and useful, You may want to take the time to read my article about Find the Cheapest Airline Tickets or Really Cheap Airline Tickets

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  9. bobbyd1536: Thanks for checking us out. Your quote sums up our attitude. Do drop in again.

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  10. Thanks wharzutility for visiting us. We also paid a visit to your blog, and the tips are right on point. We fly rather extensively, and we have actually used some of your suggestions.

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  11. By the way, if you haven't figured it out by now, reducing the length of the articles is actually harder work, and more time consuming. We'll be back with you shortly.

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  12. Lofty goals, all. Sometimes we listen and think we learn. Sometimes not.

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  13. Thanks wharzutility for visiting us. We also paid a visit to your blog, and the tips are right on point. We fly rather extensively, and we have actually used some of your suggestions.

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  14. bobbyd1536: Thanks for checking us out. Your quote sums up our attitude. Do drop in again.

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  15. Thanks much Vikki, that piece was dedicated to a friend who has invested a lot of energy, and other things, during the development of this concept.

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  16. Bravo. If you should occasionally miss the mark at least you have established a noble target.

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