I work in the financial industry, specifically an area that focuses mainly on sales or business development. As such, there is a lot of talk about needs analysis and getting to know clients. In my spare time, I’ve decided to pursue a financial certification that also places a lot of emphasis on establishing a relationship, learning about clients to best understand their goals, etc. It could be what I’m exposing myself to at the moment but it seems to me that there is a focus on understanding needs and intent while being able to communicate to these needs. It seems pretty simplistic, so why does it also seem so hard?
I listen to call after call and read scenario after scenario. I watch those around me and it seems to happen all the time…people don’t understand each other or they simply get it wrong. At times, I think this is unavoidable. My near 2 year old talks to me all the time and I definitely get it wrong. But there are a lot of times we get it wrong simply because we aren’t actively listening and we really don’t know what the other person needs. These days, life moves at an incredibly fast pace. We are always busy and only growing busier. We multi-task, talking to one person while texting another. We half listen because most of the time, we don’t need to apply our full attention. And yet, I also see so much that falls through the cracks, so many folks who walk around lost, looking for someone to talk to, someone who will really listen.
A few questions to leave you with and food for thought… are you getting what you need? Are you actively listening to those around you? We humans can be each other’s greatest asset if only we stop, listen and understand—not to mention understanding the depth behind surface words and emotions will only strength our ability to empathize and create more life-like characters.
Good luck and happy writing this week.