A couple of hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground.
He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are rolled back in his head.
The other hunter starts to panic, then whips out his cell phone and calls 911.
He frantically blurts out to the operator, “My friend is dead! What can I do?”
The operator, trying to calm him down says, “Take it easy. I can help. Just listen to me and follow my instructions. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”
There’s a short pause, and then the operator hears a loud gunshot!
The hunter comes back on the line and says, “OK, now what?”
While we wanted to add a little humor to the topic, there is also a lot of truth to the story’s message. Sometimes we only work to hear the words spoken without working to “listen” to the real message. To offer the very best home remodeling experience for our clients, Stebnitz Builders has done extensive training in our pursuit of “Perfecting the Art of Listening”. We are reminded regularly the impact those efforts have made for our clients with glowing reviews, 5-star ratings and our favorite, referrals to friends and family.
Like a trained conductor leading an orchestra filled with professionals who have played their part countless times, the conductor must still be keenly aware of subtle changes or variations during the performance that could destroy the emotional message the composer hoped the music would create.
The general contractor on a remodeling project plays the very same role as the conductor. It’s not only important to understand the moving parts in the project, but it’s critical to understand the emotional outcome the homeowner expects to feel after we leave every project. Having beautiful “things” in your home that don’t solve the original emotional issue the home’s condition was causing can feel like a waste of time and money.
Below is a great article I wanted to share with everyone about the power of listening written by Harvey Mackay from the Star Tribune:
Article by: HARVEY MACKAY | February 8, 2015
Two friends were walking down a busy street when one paused and said, “Listen to those crickets chirping.” “What crickets?” said the other person. “I don’t hear any crickets. Hey, you!” He waved down a woman passing by. “Do you hear crickets around here?”
“No,” the woman said.
The first man closed his eyes for a moment, then walked to a mailbox, reached down, and picked a cricket up from the grass. “That’s amazing!” said his friend. “How did you hear that?”
“Watch,” the first man said. He dug into his pocket for a handful of change and tossed some coins onto the sidewalk. Immediately, the door of a house opened, a car stopped and two passersby stopped to look for the coins.
The first man shrugged. “It all depends on what you’re listening for.”
We are born with two ears, but only one mouth. Some people say that’s because we should spend twice as much time listening. Others claim it’s because listening is twice as difficult as talking.
Whatever the reason, developing good listening skills is critical to success. There is a difference between hearing and listening. Pay attention! Your next job/account/paycheck may depend on it.
Listening is the cornerstone of our process of delivering a wonderful experience to our clients.
These statistics, gathered from sources including the International Listening Association website, really drive the point home of just how important listening is and how difficult it can be to actually do it well:
- 85 percent of our learning is derived from listening.
- Listeners are distracted, forgetful and preoccupied 75 percent of the time.
- Most listeners recall only 50 percent of what they have heard immediately after hearing someone say it.
- People spend 45 percent of their waking time listening.
- Most people remember only about 20 percent of what they hear over time.
- People listen up to 450 words per minute, but think at about 1,000 to 3,000 words per minute.
- There have been at least 35 business studies indicating listening as a top skill needed for success.
Listening is hard work, and some people are just more challenging to listen to than others.
Surveys have shown us that our clients want to know they’ve been listened to. When homeowners feel they are being listened to, they feel like they are being taken seriously and trust that we will follow through on everything important to them during the project.