After reading the section Principles of Empathetic Communication in The 7 Habits of Highly effective people, I aimed to apply this knowledge to my micro business. The three most important sub topics I took away from my reading were Character and Communication, Empathetic Listening, and Understanding and Perception.
Character Communication refers to the four basic forms of communication; reading, writing, speaking and listening, and how we use them every day. In the reading, Stephen Covey states “communication is the most important skill in life.” As humans, in order to effectively influence others, we must first understand them, and this can only happen by listening to them.
If communication really is the most important skill in life, than applying it to my micro business with help me greatly increase the connection I have with my customers and help me build long lasting relationships based on trust and friendship.
Empathetic Listening comes only after you’ve learned to actively listen and make strides to understand people. “Seek first to understand” is the core of this value, and gives you a great jumping off point for fully embracing this skill. Empathetic Listening is listening for feeling and meaning and listening with your heart instead of just your ears.
Applying this skill to my interactions with people through my micro business will give them a sense of who I am as a person. This ability will allow for me to hear what they are saying in regards to me and my business, and make the necessary changes to make sure that everyone is happy. Creating a strong foundation for a long lasting relationship through Empathetic Listening will be one of the core values of my company.
Understanding and Perception acknowledges that we all have different opinions and ideas, but asks “how do we transcend the limits of our individual perceptions”? How can we work together even if we don’t have the same opinions on everything? How can we come together and understand one another so we can co-exist together and appreciate that each other has different opinions?
Being able to connect with all different kinds of people regardless of beliefs or perceptions in order to appeal to a broad group of customers is important for the success of any business, but especially important for my micro business as any customer purchase (or lack thereof) can directly affect the state of my business.