Are You A Good Listener?

A great PR professional is also a good listener.  PR professionals need to listen to their clients, bosses and co-workers to achieve total success.

Active listening is a lost art form, taking notes and repeating what is being told to you has always been the forerunner of great communication.
As 21st century listeners, our attention span and ability for retention has drastically lessened with Twitter and other sources that exemplify brevity.
Take this new self-diagnostic 10 question quiz from to see if you’re a good listener.

1. Do you typically talk more than others during a meeting? Thinking back, can you quantify your typical share of a dialogue? Is it 15 percent? 30 percent? 50 percent?

2. When you prepare for a networking event, do you focus by researching your target’s goals? Or on developing your own messages?

3. Think about the last external meeting you led. Did you “drown out” the junior people you are supposed to be positioning for success? Or did you “spend” your words to help them become more successful in front of others?

4. When presenting a speech, do you obsess over every word? Or do you try to develop a flexible, “back and forth” format for audience participation?

5. Have you ever been invited to act as a facilitator to help opposing internal or external parties? Or does that opportunity naturally default to others in your company?

6. Consider your last big meeting. Can you quickly recall the biggest unsaid concerns in the room? Were you able to read between the lines to identify what mattered to the group?

7. When giving feedback to a colleague, do you lead with your thoughts or routinely allow your colleague to share their concerns first?

8. Have you ever been complimented for your ability to capture and illustrate another person’s point of view in “real time?”

9. When you have an important business objective, do you always share that at the beginning of the meeting? Have you ever tried leading up to the objective with a series of shrewd questions instead? Trust your audience to guide the discussion.

10. Have you ever forced yourself to stay silent, recognizing that it might actually be your best weapon? 

If you’re working on being a better listener take these rules into consideration at your next meeting. Remember PR is all about building and maintaining relationships so start with your bosses, coworkers and clients by listening.

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