When I think of the branding and GTM work that we are so passionate and freakishly gleeful to come to work and do every day – one of the core ingredients that we share is the ability to listen to each other, our partners and most importantly our clients. While this may seem like “table stakes” criteria in a credible branding team, I caught a terrific podcast recently (“Become a Better Listener”) that points out that good listening really is in short supply.
One of the concepts the podcast was built upon was about how often people feel unheard –often by the very folks they’ve hired to help them. One client recently gave our team some serious kudos, noting how heard they felt by my colleagues and what they had produced. We’ve been working with another client that is undergoing a dynamic shift in their culture(s) while merging three companies. They have found that many of the consultants they hired to help orchestrate this organizational change are not succeeding as they had hoped because, “they just don’t hear us”. This was the quality that differentiated our team and perhaps why our work felt so aligned with their thinking.
And I have witnessed these great observers in action as I’ve had the pleasure of sitting side-by-side with my team, listening to the listening, which is a unique chair to be in when you don’t always know what the other end is saying. It starts in the sales process and then continues formally and informally throughout our engagements (and many times beyond). It’s the core and foundation of what we do because each day demands that we not only listen carefully and closely to our clients, but to each other and to our partners.
It also made me realize that the more I allow myself opportunities to listen to others with different perspectives and skillsets (my tendencies lean towards sharing or solving), the more I will be inspired and find new, creative approaches to my own work. As a leader and learner in “Creative Operations” (more about that in my next blog) – these shared skills amongst our team and the unfettered way in which we deploy them are what makes me get out of bed every morning.
I welcome your thoughts and I’d like to hear from you about this – I’ll be listening!