What does it mean to actually listen?

Listening is a process that involves much more than simply hearing words. It requires engagement, empathy, and a genuine interest in understanding someone else’s perspective.

Listening is an essential component of effective communication and a foundation for strong relationships. Yet, corporate communication frequently leans towards a one-sided approach, where information primarily travels from the top down.

I spent years establishing programs centered around Frontline listening and the results produced have permanently changed my approach to planning and execution. Frontline employees are the eyes and ears of the organization and offer a unique and extremely valuable perspective. They see things we do not see and have conversations we do not have. Their feedback is paramount to reducing costly errors and ensuring launches and experiences are positive and stay positive.

My preferred listening approach is quite simple:

  • Design and implement an online study to get important questions answered.
  • Perform a follow up focus group with a subset of respondents to go deeper on the issues and uncover additional learnings.
  • Capture the insights and leverage them in planning and execution
  • Maintain open and consistent communication.

Listening is the first step in driving adoption and improving performance.

By asking Frontline employees targeted questions and actively listening to their passionate responses, organizations can improve and accelerate adoption. Acknowledging what has been said and using the feedback provided to generate learnings and actionable insights.

Feedback from the Frontline is an integral component to achieving performance goals and success in today’s climate. They need to be engaged and valued, so they feel part of the plan and ultimately execute with excellence.

In my opinion, the path to success starts with the Frontline and the simple back to basics task of listening.

Explore InnerView Chronicles

We create and produce blogs, whitepapers, and other educational content, and talk to thought leaders to help others understand how to create brand consistency. Check out some of our latest thoughts and conversations.