Are You A Good Listener

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Do you consider yourself a good listener?    If you are a good listener, what probably makes you good, is not simply the fact that you let the person with whom you are speaking actually finish their thought before responding (although this is a good start!).  You are a good listener because you carefully consider what the other person is saying before formulating your response.    In other words, you analyze or evaluate the incoming message, which, in turn, typically leads to a more valuable response, from the other person’s perspective.    Far too often our conversations break down because of our failure to really listen to what is being said, which leads to an inappropriate response… or worse yet, no response at all!

In many ways, conversations taking place via Social Media are no different than face-to-face communications.   The most valuable response from a brand or individual via Social Media is one that is evaluated and given careful consideration prior to delivery.    And the same holds true when initiating on-line conversations.   When we are communicating, especially when trying to foster collaboration or engagement , it stands to reason we have a much better chance of success if we consider the characteristics of our audience and their needs (what they actually WANT to hear), before delivering the message.

Consider Facebook for a moment…   when I’m scrolling through my News Feed, I’m much more inclined to comment on a post if I know that my response will be heard (or read), and that the responsible party will acknowledge me or respond in a meaningful way.   If I get the sense that nobody is home (i.e. silence or ‘canned’ response), then I probably won’t comment the next time around.   And over time, we condition ourselves to ‘tune out’ those who we know are not listening to us, thus snuffing out the conversation altogether.

And we’ve all experienced those that insist on mercilessly blasting out irrelevant content without any consideration at all as to whether or not ANYONE IS ACTUALLY LISTENING!!   There is a reason Facebook just beefed up its News Feed filtering capabilities…    Going back to our face-to-face conversation, most good speakers want to gather input from their listeners rather than simply force their listeners to sit through a lengthy monologue.  Why should communicating via Facebook or any other Social Media channel be any different?

So I’ll ask again… do you consider yourself a good listener?   And if so, are you good at  ‘listening’ in your on-line communications as well?   This is absolutely critical to an effective Social Media engagement strategy.   I encourage you to ask your customers if you are a good listener…  ask them if they feel ‘engaged’ in their on-line conversations with you.    This is one of the most important things you can do to effectively gauge whether or not your Social Media strategy is working.

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About the Author:

Scott Coburn is the founder & CEO of ProV3 Media.
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