Agile Thinking

Product People, Improve Your Listening Skills with These 11 Approaches

Product people update stakeholders, negotiate with vendors, and pitch ideas to sponsors. Steve Covey remarks in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that people listen to reply more and understand less. In this his blog article, Roman Pichler suggests 11 approaches to help product people be better listeners.

Product People and Listening Skills

Be it building a cross-departmental rapport, new idea generation, or collaborative decisionmaking, product people must be better listeners. Following are the 11 approaches which would help improve the listening skills of product people:

Understand First, Reply Later: You miss important information and make wrong decisions because you have an entire speech mapped out in your mind already. Product people must really listen to communicate better.

Focus on the Person in Front of You: Product people get emails, notifications, and alerts throughout the day. When in a meeting, ensure you switch off your devices to pay attention to the individual.

Identify Data, Emotions, and Requirements: People hide emotions, but their body languages give away what they are feeling inside. Identify the reason for their sharing that piece of information.

Be Silent: Product people need to remain silent to give space to stakeholders to gather their thoughts. If you feel restless, take deep breaths or count up to ten before speaking again.

Open Up to All Possibilities: Though you might have a mind full of ideas, do not dismiss others. Gauge all possibilities.

Ask to Be Clear: Instead of assuming things, product people must clarify on the spot to avoid conflicts later. Also, questions mean that you are involved in the case.

Control Your Emotions: It is important to take charge of your emotions in front of key stakeholders. A negative vibe can cost the withdrawal of stakeholder support and resultant project failure.

Look in the Eye: Always talk by looking in the eye to show respect and acknowledgment.

Do Not Intervene: Patience is key for building stronger business relationships. Stakeholders might not respond on time because you intervened whenever they wanted to make a point.

Display a Positive Attitude: Irrespective of how the person is, always show a positive attitude. Shift your mind away from the negative traits.

Steer Away from Bad Endings: If you do not like the conversation, move away from the current topic or drop the conversation entirely. Never end a meeting on a bad note.

To view the original article in full, visit the following link:

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