We’re in the business of building messages—messages that tell compelling, authentic stories of the great work our clients do. However, telling stories is just the end product. To get there, any good communicator uses active listening. Telling or talking without listening first is not communicating. It is simply bull-horning.
For example, quantitative research can help you understand the age and interests of your audience, which can help you craft messages they’re more likely to embrace. Qualitative research helps you understand nuanced data, like how people perceive your organization.
Through one-on-one interviews, one of our clients learned people thought the organization lacked focus and direction. That, in turn, influenced messaging that reinforced their direction and stayed focused on what they do best.
Listening, whether in the form of quantitative research, like surveys, or qualitative research, like interviews, helps organizations communicate more effectively with their audiences.
Here are five benefits of active listening to your audience:
- Builds relationships: When you actively listen to someone, it shows that you value their opinions and respect them as a person, which, in turn, can help build trust and strengthen relationships. When are those ever not important?
- Fosters understanding: Listening to others can help you understand their perspective, needs, and feelings. More importantly, it can help you meet those needs better and craft authentic messages that speak to them.
- Promotes learning: When you listen to others, you can learn from their experiences and knowledge and broaden your understanding in the process.
- Demonstrates empathy: Listening to others can help you put yourself in their shoes and see things from their perspective. People want to care about the organizations they support, and developing empathy is the best way to do that.
- Avoids misunderstandings: When you listen to others, you can avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication—preventing conflicts and helping you resolve issues more effectively.
If it’s been a while since you’ve listened to your constituents, let us know. We can help you figure out how to go about it.
Fun fact: About one-third of this blog post was created with the help of ChatGPT. Any resemblance to previously published material is purely unintentional. Have you used AI for your writing? If so, how? Let us know via our website, or our LinkedIn page.