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Journal

 

Listening to your audience as a growth strategy

If we want to survive in the business world today, we have to be good at listening. The amount of clutter everyone sifts through in a day, and the enormous amount of choices we have means our approach to business has had to shift. We not only have to do something remarkable, but we have to tell that story consistently and then listen to our audiences when they tell us what they think. 

Reading and responding to reviews, asking for feedback and building authentic conversations online are a part of doing business now. As important as I know this is, I have gone in and out of doing this well. There have been times when I just feel too busy; I thought our resources were too strapped to pause; or I thought I had the right answers and just need to be focused on execution. But almost every time I’ve shifted into this type of thinking, I’ve ended up with a losing-money product or a project that was thrown off its original timeline because the people on the front-line weren’t empowered to speak up.

With so much that we have to do to stay in business, remain creative and try to make a positive difference, sometimes listening feels too difficult. But, of course, what we actually don’t have time for is dealing with the PR crisis when we receive six bad reviews on a product we are selling. These are things that happen when a team says, “I’m too busy to listen.” I am constantly reminding myself, even when it’s hard to keep up with it, that I’m too busy not to listen.

Elizabeth Tucker