June 15, 2008
Liz published this at 8:08 pm
Getting to the Heart of the Data
In a beautiful post tonight, Chris Brogan highlighted the value of listening. He pointed out how it’s too easy to
rush right into the â€œspeakingâ€ side of the toolbox without giving much thought to the â€œlisteningâ€ part.
and he offered his favorite tools for a company who wants to be “listening to their audience, their customers, their partners, and their detractors.”
I’m so with him. You can find the five tools Chris uses most for listening here.
What to Listen for and How to Get the Most from Listening Tools
Just as when we write we have to know what we want to say. We have to know what we’re listening for . . . we’re listening for what people aren’t saying, but want to.
- Listen for quantity of response. Lots of folks saying the same thing is worth taking note of. Are they a crowd or a mob following each other? Are they a trend of individuals who have discovered something worth pointing out?
- Listen for the odd response that is way out of line. Someone on the edges of the responses could be offering am Einstein-like response.
- Listen for the spaces between the words. Ask some question about what’s not being said and listen again and again.
- Listen for the source of the speaker and the bias the speaker might have. Listen for who’s trying to get attention, who wants favor with the listeners.
- Listen for the things that you don’t want to hear. They’re the most important information you’ll gather on any listening trek.
- Listen to find the people who have more to offer than opinions, but innovative ideas and product plans. If you can, find a way to make a relationship with them.
- Listen to find the evangelists who love your company, who defend you when you’re attacked. Let them know they’re appreciated.
- Listen for ways that you might bring back what folks said to show the people who work hard on your products that people are paying attention to them..
Listening isn’t all data, all quantity and remarks. Listening is not a science, but an art that brings in human thought. Listening is the most important part of a conversation. Conversations are how communities begin.
Don’t let the tools draw lines around the way you hear.
I don’t. Brogan doesn’t either. Listen every way you know how.
What other ways do you use tools to listen to what people aren’t saying.