Ears to success!

Tom Peters, the American Management guru states that he believes that it should be mandated for every single person in every organisation to undergo a course in strategic listening! (No-one has ever heard of such a course, but it would be great to know about one.)

 Peters was also the one to coin the phrase “management by walking around” or MBWA; this involves taking time every day to chat to your staff. Just chat. Take an interest. Take an interest in them as people. Not just an interest in what they’re doing at that point in time and how they’re doing it.

With regard to this concept of “strategic listening” - I would contend that it’s going to be difficult to get an outcome (you’re not going to hear) if you’re not asking the right questions. Many business owners don’t get this at first (some never do) but it’s a matter of thinking about the types of questions that you will ask. It’s the next stage that will determine the level of your real interest – and that is the second and third question.

How often have you been in a situation where someone has asked you something, you’ve answered only to see a cursory, nod-of-the-head response and the person has moved on? Why bother asking in the first place? And the real danger is that the next time you ask a question, the staff member thinks “Why are you asking – you’re not really interested?” You may well have lost them forever.

On the other hand, a real interest in individuals and a strategy of carefully posed questions will provide real dividends for positive management outcomes. 

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What John Matthew believes about small business

That the owner has risked many things that others take for granted;

That there is no guaranteed income or reward for the considerable effort that is required;

That often, the family home is on the line to support the business and its constituents;

That there is a dignity and self-respect that is earned;

That entire communities would be better places if there was an increased appreciation and respect for small business.

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