The capacity to listen is probably the most important skill that relates to service excellence. Without this capacity staff will not know the expectations of their customers, each other, or the key stakeholders of their communities. Organisations that provide great service are fantastic listeners; to their customers, to their key stakeholders and to each other within the organisation.
William Isaacs (1999) notes that our culture is dominated by sight. Light moves at 186,000 miles per second, yet sound only travels at 1,100 feet per second. In summary, William Isaacs says that in order to listen we must slow down.
How do you and/or your organisation slow down to listen?
Our hearing puts us on the map. It balances us. Our sense of balance is intimately tied to our hearing; both come from the same source within our bodies...Hearing is auditory, of course, relating to sound. The word auditory...most ancient root means “to place perception.” When we listen, we place our perceptions. (William Isaacs, lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, consultant and author)