People crave the company of a good listener because most people instead of spending more time evaluating what the speaker is saying, spend more time composing their responses. Sometimes they choke poorly, I’ve been actively involved in many start-up events conducted locally in Dubai and I see these things happen more often than people would care to admit.
What is entrepreneurial listening?
It is the technique of listening mastered by the entrepreneur / early stage entrepreneur who has considerable amount of listening to do more.
These are the 6 simple steps that we can take in order to add meaning and value into who we are, what we do and how we do it.
Step 1: Listen, Listen, Listen
The more you listen, the more you win, there’s more for you as an entrepreneur to listen to than for you to speak about because although you are a distinct individual, the rest of the world is speaking and you have to listen if you want to manage and essentially add value to the statements you address. Also, as the well-mannered listener, one should not impede and interrupt the speaker.
Step 2: Accumulate Information
The Greek Author Plutarch says “Know how to listen, and you will profit from even those who talk badly”. I cannot emphasize more on the importance of this statement in the life of an entrepreneur. He presents silent and attentive listening as an exercise in curbing one’s emotions and desires. From this perspective, proper listening in itself is a philosophical practice. Silent and attentive listening enables you to acquire a lot of information, it gives you information on the characteristics of the speaker, it gives you information on the validity of the content addressed by the speaker and many other benefits, but primarily information, information that may or may not be relevant to you, however information is still information, I say collect this information.
Step 3: Assess information
So now you have all the information, use this information to decide whether or not the speaker is legit and assess to see if you want to maintain a relationship with the speaker, assess to see how he can add value to what you do because at the early stage you can’t afford to waste time with people from whom you are not going to profit from or from people who although might be phenomenal speakers, they just might not be the right people to listen to. Furthermore, assess to see whether the information acknowledged is information that can actually be acquired and implemented.
Step 4: Accept and engage counseling
Most people think that they are being floored when they are being counseled by someone, be it the peers or the family or sometimes, rarely though, even random strangers, while on the plus side of it, they are simply unknowingly giving you free advice, advice which is healthy as long as you develop the capability to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy advice. At this stage, you are confident enough to assess information ergo assess the counseling and see which makes sense to you and which doesn’t.
Step 5: Articulate the intelligence
All the information collected needs to be articulated to make it work for you, how are you going to do it? Well, people have many ways of collecting information, some like to record conversations on tape or on their phones, some take down notes, some take pictures and so on. I personally like collecting notes, because that way I listen more, I am more focused on the things I write down and everything that the speaker addresses is automatically articulated when it falls onto my notepad.
Step 6: Engage, enlighten and repeat
Now, can you now imagine the depth and the intensity your speech and your addresses are going to give? Can you imagine the impact of your articles and other works on the lives of people, because essentially your information is crowd-sourced if you didn’t realize it? The magic lies in you progressing through the magic in others.
If at any point, you want to correct me, please feel free to do so, leave a comment, I’d appreciate it.
Finney Thomas, an accountant by profession, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, currently associated with a start-up named Engage – E powered by the successful seed accelerator Innovation 360. His entrepreneurial venture started with his father at the age of 16. His company of closely associated high profile individuals as mentors and his passion for entrepreneurship is what drives his motivation to make a difference as a thought leader. Connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Image Credit: Finney Thomas