Becoming a Professional Listener
2. Know your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
Just as important to knowing your barriers is knowing your personal listening strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Strengths are your advantages, what you do better than anyone else. They are your unique resources and factors that help you listen well. Consider your strengths from both an internal perspective, and from the point of view of your friends, family, customers and co-workers.
Weaknesses are areas in need of improvement – this can include barriers, but it includes much more than those. What should you avoid? What are others (spouse, co-workers, managers) likely to see as weaknesses? What listening mistakes do you make that lose you sales or make others feel undervalued and unappreciated? Again, consider weaknesses from an internal and external basis: Do other people seem to perceive weaknesses that you don't see?
Opportunities are things that your strengths open up for you – things you can capitalize on to gain an advantage. Look at your strengths and ask yourself whether these open up any opportunities. Alternatively, look at your weaknesses and ask yourself whether you could open up opportunities by eliminating them.
Threats are the obstacles you face. Could any of your weaknesses seriously threaten your ability to make sales? Is there one specific thing standing in your way of being even more successful?
Today, you should fill out a SWOT form, focusing on your listening strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The form can be accessed through a link at the end of this bullet point. If you have already done this, pull up your old SWOT profile and compare notes. Keep updating and improving!
Copyright Bodie Consulting, LLC, 2016