Listening is among the most crucial skills that you can learn to improve family business relationships. If you are able to really stop and listen to your family members, you will be able to pave the path to ongoing family business success. This will also stop conflicts in your family business before they become an issue because you see them before they raise they’re ugly head.
Listening calls for paying attention and reacting to the needs and wants of the speaker. If you want to be a successful family business leader, you have to practice the art of active listening. This means being involved with your family members. It includes really spending time with them, exploring things that are significant to them, and being an authority in the things that matter to their role in the family business. Listening may (and ought to) occur everyplace.
Here are some active listening skills. Check yourself to see if you are really listening to family members.
* Do you pay complete attention to others when they are speaking? (A wandering focus discourages open communication.)
* Do you manage your thoughts during a conversation, focusing them on understanding what the other person is saying? (Effective listening requires more concentration than any other form of communication. If you’re thinking about anything other than what the person is saying, you’re defeating your ability to understand.)
* Do you postpone preparing your reply until after you have heard everything the other person has to say? (Thinking about what you plan to say while the other person is speaking prevents you from understanding what that person is saying.)
* Do you ignore distractions, such as other people, ambient noise, and the surroundings? (Attending to distractions makes you appear uninterested, unfocused, and rude.)
* Do you make eye contact during a conversation? (Watching a person’s face shows that you’re paying attention. You also gather nonverbal messages, which can convey most of the important information being conveyed to you.)
You should be conducting family meetings where you can receive feedback and respond constructively to issues and concerns. But you must also just get out and talk to employees in the business whether they are family members or not.
Active listening will help you to better comprehend and connect with your family members who have a role in the family business. It will make managing the business easier as you’ll be able to learn and foster better business communication and relationships.
Becoming a great listener will likewise endear you to all family members you wish to reach. Everybody loves being listened to. So close that trap, put away that profit and loss sheet for a minute, and begin exploring the world of your family members.
If you need help developing active listening skills or other family business management capabilities, please contact Coach Pete.