The role of today’s marketing firm has significantly changed. Our business philosophy has always been to be an extension of our client’s organization — their internal marketing department so to speak. The landscape however has changed somewhat on ‘who does what’, ‘for whom’ and ‘is it what you need’.
The most effective communication results have hands-on clients working in tandem with a responsive agency that uses a client-centric structured business model focusing on goals. This ensures solutions are built collaboratively with benefit driven outcomes that the organization can measure against their business plan. Hiring a full-service agency means seamlessly expanding your organization’s HR to include an expansive list of skill sets that include disciplines of the four converging service lines: public relations, advertising, graphic design and web development. [learn more]
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
― Stephen R. Covey,
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
From this philosophy, my team has developed a very special talent: the art of listening. Because, truly, and it’s really this simple … our business is all about supporting you and your goals. It’s all about you, what you need, what you want — it’s never about us. Our job is to get inside the head of your business, and with a fresh perspective, find the solutions that will work for you. It’s a smart corporate move to hire an agency of record that becomes part of your team on an as-needed-basis. One agency of record who has on staff broad sets of skills can make a significant and strategic impact on your communication results. That agency however needs to be dexterous at assimilating into your culture.
The art of listening is key to achieving this result. You can build solid foundations if you know how to listen. So how do you listen well? How do you know if someone is listening well? And, listening to not only hear, but to understand? Then, listening to act upon?
Here are my top six:
- People who listen let you finish your thoughts, there is great value in silence.
- You don’t feel they are thinking of a response of their own to what you are saying but actually absorbing the meaning of what you are saying.
- They ask intelligent fact finding or clarifying questions.
- They take notes, not writing everything down, but you feel it’s at key points.
- Great listeners also align ‘like experiences’ and bounce ideas off you — also known as brainstorming — validating your input into the result.
- They get a feel for what you are saying, and align it with a desired outcome in a collaborative fashion.
So, how do you know if you were heard? It’s quite simple … the outcomes your agency delivers to you are next to perfect, the first time around. Your goals are met.
“The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent’.”
― Alfred Brendel