Okay, I’ll say it.
But very quietly.
So Cindy and our daughters won’t hear.
But I’m convinced attentive listening is over-rated.
Yeah, I know every leadership and communications guru out there advises “listen to your stakeholders”… “listen to your parents”… and “listen to your heart.”
And while all of this is well and good, it sets a real-world trap for us that is today’s Sad Fact #3.
It’s something accurately tagged as the over-pursuit and over-reliance on listening.
Because here is what premier marketers, persuaders, and consumer influencers believe and routinely wrestle with: the huge gap between what we’ll say and what we’ll do.
Sad Fact#3 reminds us that is it our actions that give us away.
Listening alone rarely provides the complete picture how someone (or a target segment) will behave.
You’ve simply got to keep your eyes open and watch ’em.
There’s your real-world proof, no interpretive guesswork required.
Now it may be debatable if observing people IN ACTION actually gives you better strategic insights than listening to them, but you’ve got to admit that we’re all advised to “listen” a zillion more times than we’re ever advised to “be observant.”
Listening is over-rated, don’tcha think?
Cindy’s not sure which side of the argument she falls on.
With me as her way-too-convenient-and-under-the-same-roof guinea pig, she’s says she’s well versed about the giant gap between what people say and what people do.
The problem for her (in her view, mind you) is that I’m never IN ACTION often enough to test if “better insights” come from observation.
She maintains “my talk” is the only field research available to her.
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