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The Strategy Room

Listen and Learn: A Lesson in Communication and Perspective

By: Sonia Abdulbaki

blog post

Like the rest of the working world, the Stanton team is diving deep into 2018 and drifting away from post-holiday blues. Two important things we are keeping in mind this year are communication and perspective. These two key elements are needed for any PR professional to succeed.

This industry is all about one-on-one relationships with your clients, your team and the media. First, you sell your skills. Then, you develop your network. You need a network to pitch stories to, invite to events, deliver results to your clients and support your team. To develop these relationships, you need good communication skills.

But what is good communication?

One vital and challenging part of effective communication is learning to be an active listener.

To improve your listening skills:

Allow the other person to speak without interruptions

Listen to the content of the conversation

Pay attention to the emotions reflected through the message

We don’t always have above average listening skills and a good memory. That’s why we should ask questions to understand the bigger picture more closely. More importantly, we must ask powerful questions.

Once you’ve listened and asked questions to expand your understanding, you are ready to assess how to best service your clients.

Perspective

As public relations professionals, we see our role with a client as a partner and expert storyteller. Our clients count on us to serve them by offering our perspective on what will be effective and results.

But how do we decide the best way to achieve client goals? It all comes back to asking the big questions, and actively listening to the answers.

Here are some questions that can help put things into perspective:

What are your clients’ values?

What are their goals?

Who are they delivering results to?

What kind of approach are they comfortable with?

What kind of results are they looking for?

Listen, Learn, Grow

With these tools, you can develop your communication skills as well as your network, and gain some perspective. Once you’ve listened, learned and understood different points of views, you can apply those skills to better understand how to deliver top results for your clients.


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