The lost art of listening is making a comeback

The lost art of listening is making a comeback

It’s excruciating to bang your head against the wall, scream to the rafters and not get a response. It’s not just the act of talking that helps though, otherwise Twitter would solve all our emotional problems. It’s the act of being listened to that empowers people. And in the workplace, this is doubly critical to feeling valued by your employer and engaged in your career.

In September FleishmanHillard Fishburn (FHF) launched an employer brand campaign to address just that. The initiative #LISTENINGFACE focuses on the business value of listening to others and is just as much a commitment from the agency to its employees and clients, as it is a statement to the industry.

We want to offer something different to the typical business-on-broadcast model and by doing so, we are becoming an employer of choice in a hugely competitive London PR agency market. Listening to each other means we build the best teams, the best work and most importantly the best environment – where one can find her or his own strengths and their own path – and probably a few friends along the way.

FHF recently surveyed office workers in the UK to find out how important listening is to them. The research unveiled that London workers are twice as likely to think they are missing out by not listening properly, versus the rest of the country.

Professor Sophie Scott, Neuroscientist at University College London, explained the impact of that FOMO on our career experiences: “Throughout our lives, talking to each other is crucially important both in making our needs known and understanding others, but also in cementing our social networks and in sharing personal, emotional information.”

Professor Scott adds “feeling that you are able to speak out, and also be heard, builds bonds that go beyond straight-up insight and knowledge sharing. A lot can depend on how excluded – and included – people can feel.”

The science behind listening also says we get a kick out of being heard. Professor Scott continues “there is evidence that humans use conversation as other monkeys use social grooming – to know who our friends are, to gain access to higher status individuals, to form new bonds. Monkeys find social grooming pleasurable – they get an endorphin hit from being groomed – and studies of humans have found that we get a similar pleasure from getting to talk to other people, to speak openly and informally.”

The #LISTENINGFACE campaign is our commitment to our colleagues and to our clients and to each other. A chance for all of us to listen to the ideas of other people and understand where their passions lie, and help to build a culture that is trusting, flexible and supportive.

FleishmanHillard Fishburn is on a mission to create PR career experiences that change lives. Get that endorphin kick from being truly heard – show us your #LISTENINGFACE and we’ll show you ours.

Brandy Fleming, MD, Creativity Strategy & Consumer, FleishmanHillard Fishburn

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