Bev White

My name is Bev White and I am the CEO of Harvey Nash Group, a $1bn global technology recruitment, IT solutions and leadership services group with 36 offices across the USA, Europe and Asia

Listening

Last week I shared my passion for lifelong learning and how being constantly inquisitive has had such a positive impact on my own life journey. I also talked about NLP and coaching – tools I have used for many years in my quest to learn more about myself and to help support others.

Well, in this blog I would like to talk about a skill that is fundamental to it all - listening.

It is an incredible gift we offer somebody when we really listen to another person. We are telling them ‘you have been heard’. This is as important to children as it is to anyone at any age and in any walk of life.

As a CEO the role of listening is really important. Whilst charts and management reports can tell you how the company is financially performing right now, you can only get a true picture when you talk with people.

It was with ‘listening’ in my mind that I met with 87 members of the Strategic Leadership Team over the summer, and their views had a fundamental impact on the Group Strategy the ExCo and I presented two weeks ago.

But the listening has not stopped there, and I continue to listen - to everyone in the Group. Remember I am one just email away: bev.white@harveynash.com.

Of course, as recruiters, consultants, sales people, delivery experts, listening and asking insightful questions is an essential element of our work. To get really curious about the needs being talked through with us means that our questions will yield more valuable information about how we can be successful with the assignments and delight the clients.

To demonstrate to them that categorically we heard what they needed and we can and will deliver on that reinforces their trust and belief in us. Let’s face it we have been doing this incredibly well for years.

I am challenging myself and invite you to consider doing similarly, to really listen when somebody speaks to us. To give the person speaking the time and the attention to really hear what they are saying. Whether that is a loved one, a colleague or a client. It’s amazing what you hear when you give somebody your full time. Questions become more targeted and the outcomes from the conversation is clearer. You build understanding, trust and common ground.

I am sure you have seen or been on the receiving end of somebody who can’t wait for the other person to finish speaking, they may even jump in and speak over the person who is talking at the time. So keen are they to tell their thoughts that they don't really listen, but if they did it most likely would shape their response for a more satisfactory outcome. If we have ever been in conversations like these you will recall how frustrating this can be. Quite often it leads to misunderstandings and heated debate.

So, my continued learning is the importance of this essential skill. I know how good it feels to be heard and so respectfully being there for others is a life skill I want to excel at.

As weekend draws closer I wish you rest and relaxation with your loved ones. Keep safe and well.

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