Have you ever wanted to learn how to remove obstacles—both internal and external—that are limiting the growth of your business? TaskRay’s latest eBook “The Art of Communication for Customer Success,” co-written by Jamie Cole, Chief of Staff at TaskRay, and Carolyn Keyes, a Partner at Velocity Plus, offers a step-by-step guide to mastering the conversations that lead to customer success.

Conversation is an art that has to be honed and practiced over time. This week, we’re taking a deeper dive into the art of listening. Part of developing great conversational skills is mastering active listening. Listening to understand instead of listening to reply is important in every conversation, but it’s especially important in difficult conversations. And let’s be honest, many work conversations can be challenging at best and minefields at their worst.

In our “Art of Conversation” eBook, you will gain great insights into the process of communicating effectively to gain trust and create strong, lasting relationships. 

Here are some helpful tips for learning to listen to understand:

  • Most importantly, eliminate distractions so you can give the person your full attention.
  • Listen with your body by facing the person you’re speaking with and leaning in. When you do this, they will feel listened to and more receptive to what you have to say.
  • As tempting as it may be to keep your conversation short, don’t interrupt.
  • To make sure you are really understanding what the person is saying, ask open-ended questions. 
  • Paraphrase for clarity by repeating and responding to what they said. In a difficult conversation, this not only ensures you got the facts straight, it also acknowledges their feelings.

Listening to understand also involves being on the lookout for the ‘soft’ yes. If the person says “yes” but their voice softens, shoulders contract or they look away, this might indicate that they think they can complete the request you’re making but are not sure how. If you see this, make sure you ask the question, “Is this really a yes or is there other information you need before fully committing?”

These tips apply to your conversations with customers as much as they do internally. Because, every great customer experience is based on a strong relationship. And the cornerstone of a strong relationship? You guessed it, the ability to carry on a productive conversation. Interested in learning more about how the Art of Conversation is critical to customer success? Read the full eBook here.

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