With instant everything it’s easy to think this is the age of communication. Perhaps, though, some might call this the age of telling. (And that, as most know, isn’t very effective communication.) Everyone is telling others what they’re doing and thinking.


Savvy leaders, in the unending quest to deliver excellence to customers, know that if they’re not careful this “telling mode” can creep into how business is done. “We need to tell the customer why we’re great.” Or, “Tell them what we are doing and then tell them again.” This one-sided communication not only disengages the end-user, but internal customers as well. (In fact, it turns everyone off.)


A team we recently launched in the Pathways to Leadership® Process applied this wisdom in an important way. “We talk a lot about communicating to our customer with one voice,” a manager said. “But communicating often means telling. So we decided to change things. We’re going to listen to the customer with one voice.”


What’s that look like?

– Customer feedback is shared quickly and effectively to all relevant parts of the organization. This way, when the customer calls back or to another part of the organization, they don’t have to tirelessly repeat and waste time.

– Rather than giving excuses, questions are used to gain a deeper understanding (a stark contrast to providing information that sounds a lot like excuses).

– Personal ownership and responsibility is communicated (regardless of roles), rather than making promises that put peers in other departments in a bind.


This week ask your team: When one of us receives feedback from our customer, how do we listen in a way so the customer has the confidence their feedback will be heard by all of us?


We’ve created a space for conversation. Please share your thoughts below.

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