Why is Listening So Important? Here are Some Reasons Why

We often walk into places so full of noise. A coffee shop, a mall, our workplaces and even our own homes. Noises and sounds surround us. One thing that we can gain from listening to these noises and sounds is information. This is called learning through listening.

Listening has been one of the key methods in learning for a very long time. Going beyond education, it helps people understand others better, it builds trust and also makes others feel important. It is one of the key skills that can make or break a situation.

One general aspect of listening includes voice pitch, tones of voices and speed of the speaker (also known as paralinguistic). You can tell if a person in happy, sad or frustrated by just paying attention to paralinguistic.

Listening helps you become more aware of your surroundings. You hear your pet dog bark aggressively, that would probably mean there is danger nearby. You hear someone scream, that person probably needs help (or saw a flying cockroach).

One key category of listening that has truly played a role to me as a marketing student is active listening. Active listening, in short, is basically a process of properly listening then responding. These responses are usually follow up questions to try and gain a perfect understanding of what the speaker is saying.

The process of active listening plays a huge role in understanding a person’s wants and needs. It also helps us understand how we can make people feel more satisfied. You can even tell if a person likes or dislikes something by how they speak over a phone call.

Wisdom is Knowledge

Wise words from the Dalai Lama (Picture Credit: Quotlr)

My (intern) colleague and I recently got the opportunity to sit in a meeting with a potential client for the Techy Hub. Watching the whole process was very interesting. We were very intrigued with how well a short 40 minutes or so meeting went. The clients who walked in looking fairly nervous walked out with smiles on their faces with a sense of confidence.

Some really great take away points that we’d like to share are these:

1) The 60:40 Rule

Listening to everyone

Listen to everything (Picture Credit: The Perfect Small Office

This rule is really simple. Based on what we observed, listen 60% of the time and talk 40% of the time. Now it gets a little trickier, whatever is spoken should be of relevance. You do not want to bombard them with so much overwhelming information and/or jargon.

You should share with them the relevant information based on what they have said. Along the whole process, it is also important that you ask them follow-up questions. For example, “Based on what you said, this is how I understand it”, make sure you understand them completely before doing anything else! (Remember the Dalai Lama quote?)

2) Patience

Time (Picture Credit: FluentU)

Most of us also probably have dealt with people who talk too much and/or demand the world when they ask for something. That can honestly just make us want to close our ears and walk away. But we should not. However, we should feel that it is important to be very patient with your clients.

Sometimes they will spout the most demanding and unreasonable requests in the world. Or they could even be suggesting the most impossible and unrealistic requests or take hours to get to the point. However, don’t lose your cool.

Breathe, listen, digest then explain to them in a patient and calm manner as to why something will not work. If you explain it in a calm manner, you get to build the amount of confidence that they have in you. It also shows that you respect their requests (especially when they approach you for your service).

3) Listening Shows You Care

Listening to your customers (Picture Credit: Sales Manager LLC)

Everyone knows the key to gaining a loyal client is to have them trust you and you gain their trust by building a relationship with them (a professional one, mind you). So instead of just talking about your company and it’s services, listen to what your client has to say. Listen to their problems and their needs so you can better serve them. By listening, it shows them that you really do care about them and it’ll have them trust you.

If they take time to meet you personally and to lay out their ideas, it means that they are really serious. When you show you care, it adds a sense of a personal touch to the situation. Remember! It is important to make sure they leave looking happy or satisfied with the discussion!

Establishing a good relationship with your client may lead to you gaining a loyal customer so talk less and listen more!

Concluding Thoughts

In the end, I think all of us know that listening is essential in many situations. From studying to delivering a service and many others. However, despite how easy it is to list out the facts or say we will commit to listening. It is a skill that takes time to be developed. Trying to become a better listener is a tough thing to do.

One of the first things I had to make myself do to become a better listener is to be aware. Be aware of whether you are talking more if you’re interrupting them or if you are constantly spacing out. Once you’ve become more self aware in this area, you can slowly improve. So I do hope this has encouraged you or provided you with some insights.

That said, we here at The Techy Hub commit to always listening to your needs and wants. You can check out our services here.

Bad Genius: Knowledge for Success

(Warning: This post contains some spoilers for the movie).

Knowledge is defined as the skills and information that is gained through experience or education. There are endless things in the world that we can fill our minds with. We can explore the world and use what we have learned to make daily tasks more interesting or easier. It is essentially one of the greatest tools for success when used right.

We see much of this show by Lynn in the movie, Bad Genius.

Just in case you haven’t watched the movie. Here is a very short summary of the movie:

Lynn is a genius in her studies. She initially gave answers to her friend, Grace, during a test. She then gets roped into a whole scheme of charging students to help them cheat in their exams. It eventually reaches the level of an internationally standardized entry exams called the STIC exams (something like the SATs) where she makes millions.

In other words, Lynn uses her brains to earn money.

Now, while most of us want to become millionaires, we do not encourage or condone the act of cheating to do so. However, we have plucked out some nuggets from the movie which we want to share with you.

1) Knowledge Trumps All

Home of knowledge, the library

The British Library: Second largest library in the world (Picture Credit: The Malaysian Times)

Remember those days of trying to squeeze a semester or a years’ worth of information in a day before exams? I’m sure that most of us have. At some point you probably said “why do I need to learn how to calculate x(2x – 5) = 2x – 1”, and then you realized you needed it to become an engineer, a researcher or a pilot.

But enough of conventional reasoning (at least to me). We know that to become a doctor you need to know biology and to become a lawyer, you need to study law.

But let us look at something different, cooking. Contestants on MasterChef are often presented with very common ingredients like potatoes. Each contestant somehow comes up with unique dishes while we sit at home thinking of frying them into French fries. Not forgetting that none of them are professional chefs.

Expanding your knowledge allows you to create many opportunities and advantages. Just like Lynn, she started with knowledge based on academics and learned how to run a business (sort off). You and I may not become the best at one thing but there is a quote which I find really powerful. That is:

“Jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”

2) The Smarter You Are, The More Shots You Call

Leaders of Star Wars

Princess Leia: One of the top rebel leaders in Star Wars. (Picture Credit: The Daily Mail UK)

Remember how you thought “nerds” were always at the mercy of “bullies” in high school? Well, that is the total opposite in the working world. As commonly quoted, knowledge is definitely power. It is even recognized and thought as one of the main sources of power in management studies (Expert Power).

However, do not fully assume that all smart people are guaranteed success and power in life. Having knowledge is one thing, applying it is a whole different topic.

Anyway, as someone new or a fresh grad in a company, you often start at the more basic ranks in a company. From there you work your way up and you learn things. As you learn things (and work hard), you slowly find yourself becoming a leader. So long as you have people working for you, you are a “leader”.

At this point, you are looked up to as a leader because you know what to do, when to do something and some best practices. You can share all you’ve learned with your juniors and know how to do it because you were once in their shoes.

In the case of Lynn, she knew what the people wanted and she knew how to use that to her advantage. She knew students needed answers and she knew Bank needed the money. So she leveraged on that to earn money.

Knowledge is a powerful tool. In a business, knowing and keeping up with societal trends, expectations, and wants can help a company grow. You give the people what they want, you build up your reputation and you grow.

3. Keep Calm and Think

Breath and then think (Picture Credits: HundredMelanie on Deviant Art)

You feel an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, breathlessness, and franticness. Then suddenly you see your life flash before your eyes! (Too much drama). These are all common symptoms of stress.

When you are stressed out, everything seems like it is out of control. You will not be able to focus and that is when you struggle.

Imagine having to complete a task for your colleagues in 30 minutes but have to do it discreetly while your boss walks around. That is what Lynn did. With what time she had left, she did her best to stay calm. She finished up the second exam paper set and got the answers to her “friends” just in time.

Imagine if she had lost her cool and went berserk. She would not have finished the task. Life is often full of stressful situations. How you and I choose to react to it makes a world of difference. If you can collect your thoughts, you can overcome those situations.

Some tips to help you would be to get enough rest (whether at night or in between tasks) and to remember to breathe properly.

Here are some really helpful tips to help you cope with stressful situations.

4) Knowledge is a Game of Business

Evolution of Phones as a result of increased knowledge and evolving technology

The Evolution of Phones (Picture Credit: Easy Technology Now)

I want you to take a few seconds to focus your attention on the device you are looking at right now (your phone or pc). Now think about how you can access the internet and do so many other things. Finally, think about how many different companies have basically earned money from you.

Most people would always think of ways to earn money. In Bad Genius, Lynn saw an opportunity to make money off helping others cheat.  She knew what they wanted, and she found a way to deliver it (from flying to Australia, texting in toilets and making fake puke).

The world we live in revolves around knowledge. We read, we learn, we experience and then we develop (well some people do). On your phone, you are already unconsciously supporting a whole bunch of companies. From your telco provider, internet service provider, companies advertising through games or YouTube videos and so on.

All these companies were started by someone (or a few of them) who had an idea. They had a lightbulb moment and then they researched and developed something. And now they are making money off you or the products and services you use.

How many of us really thought it’d be possible to make face-scanning a feature to unlock a phone? Or even simpler, designing a mechanical pencil with weights in it (a “shaker”) would make a world of a difference when people used it.

A little bit of interest and knowledge somewhere could lead to something new. I personally love going back to food the industry. At how something small like adding coloring to food inspired interesting creations like the rainbow grilled cheese sandwich (which was a thing at some point).

New ideas can be born from even the most basic of knowledge in something.

Concluding Thoughts

Once again, knowledge is important. It can be hard to find inspiration now but do not be discouraged. Life is an eternal journey of learning. You might find something that inspires you along the way. You might even become the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg.

Never stop learning, and never feel disheartened if someone claims to know more than you. We each have different interests, but should not limit our learning to that one area. Go explore the world (or the internet) and discover new things. Knowledge is not limited to anyone.

I conclude with this one key message to everyone out there:

You should keep learning new things and expand your knowledge. Find something that you are truly passionate about or are inspired by and work more on that. Leverage your personal interests and knowledge and grow!

All the best in your future, dear reader.

An Appetite for Knowledge in Technology

When doing a thousand piece puzzle, you match one piece to another perfectly and now you only have another 998 pieces to go, great! Our knowledge of technology is almost exactly the same. The only difference is that there are more than 998 different things to learn. In fact, technology evolves so fast that it can seem like an impossible task to keep up with it all. You finally buy yourself an iPhone 6 and in the blink of an eye, the iPhone X is released and your phone and its features seem obsolete.

The reality is that technology surrounds us and we surround ourselves with technology. So many babies are already born with phones in their faces, the sea of knowledge is readily available online and other things like cameras, cars, watches and endless other things are evolving. “But I don’t think it’s important to keep up with technology because I’m happy with what I have,” you tell yourself. Denying it would be like denying the fact that we grow older each year.

As a company which embraces technology, we also acknowledge that there is so much more to learn. One key reason that grows our appetites to learn more is that we look forward to growing as a company so we can meet the needs of our potential and current clients. We also want to help everyone in our company to grow.

But worry not, I shall share some reasons on why you should develop that appetite for knowledge in technology.

1. To Keep Up with the Age of Technology

Grandma discovering technology

The Struggle is Real (Picture Credit: ImgFlip)

As mentioned earlier, there are already too many things to learn about technology and it will still continue to evolve and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. For most of us, trying to keep up with every single thing may be too overwhelming and thus some of us may have thrown in the towel. Pick that towel up because it is now the age of technology and we should not give up!

However, one should not give up that easily as falling behind in this world of technology could lead to a whole series of problems we would not want to deal with. For example, most jobs today require people to know the basics of using a computer and Microsoft office tools which some people do not even know how to use. So the better your knowledge in using these tools, the high chance you have of getting employed. Read more about it here.

Here at the Techy Hub, something that we do is that we are trying to keep up with the demands and the times. We have spent the past couple of months going back to the books and embracing as much knowledge as we can in moving from web to app development.

We have relooked at the way each hybrid, native and web apps work. Now we want to focus on growing by using our knowledge on app development to grow as a company. You can read more about the different apps here.

You could start by just knowing more about the things you own such as your phone and laptops. Over time they can really provide other benefits such as conversation topics with others, potential subject of interest to pursue in future, free knowledge, being more updated on times and a better understanding of the things you own (which could help you save money) and many other things. 

2. Technology Helps us Stay Ahead of Others

Internet Sensation

Youtube Star Logan Paul (Photo Credit: Daily Beast)

Logan Paul is one of the fastest rising stars of the internet. Despite the recent backlash he received over what he did in Japan, he is still a good example of getting ahead of the game. Logan (his personality aside) managed to utilize Vine (a popular video-sharing app by Twitter which has since been discontinued as of January 2017) and garnered so much fame and popularity which he brought over to YouTube and it has translated into his career and has become one of the most successful YouTubers in the world.

Here at The Techy Hub, we have monitored a trend and demand for one the most sought-after skills, App Development. By adapting to meet the demand for app development, we hope to improve our skill sets to become a developer for other companies.

We look to help other companies meet these trends. For example, most users use their phones to surf the internet. We seek to help companies transform their websites into mobile-friendly websites which could lead to a conversion.

One of the benefits of technology are the endless opportunities you can find if you try hard enough. Not all of us can be like Logan Paul and become a millionaire within years. But who knows, if you choose to learn more about technology, you could one day spot an opportunity and turn in to a millionaire within years as well!

3. Convenience and Communication

Communication evolution through technology

Links that Modern Communication (Picture Credit: Your Story)

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are some examples of applications we use every day. One of the few things they have in common is that they make communication much easier. They give us the ability to connect and communicate with people all around the world.

Technology has also provided us with a means of added conveniences in not only communication but other aspects of our lives. For example, we can now do so many things online ranging from shopping to banking and even to get a bachelor’s degree as opposed to the traditional methods of having to taking a number at the bank or going through the sea of shops called a shopping mall.

Now, have you ever visited websites where it was almost impossible to navigate through? Or maybe the website was just so dull and not mobile friendly? Well, that is because some companies do not opt for responsive websites.

Responsive websites are sites that are optimized to fit your needs to view a website conveniently through your phones. That is one of the things we do here, we help companies develop modern, intriguing and mobile friend sites for people. Have a look at our portfolio for yourselves.

It does not take very much time learning all the simpler and ready-to-use aspects of technology such as phone applications or the internet in general. As humans, we always look for ways to make things easier and open up more time for ourselves. On that note, it is important to understand how to use these things and even how they work. There will definitely be a time in future where everything is digitalized and we will eventually need to learn and adapt to the change.

4. You Can’t Escape Technology

Grandparents and cameras

Give me one too! (Picture Credit: Mutually)

“What the heck?!” you say to yourself as you look at the picture above. Isn’t it funny that our grandparents (or even parents) who are already in their golden years are trying their best to grip certain aspects of technology? We all know this to be true, the world around us is evolving, even the older ones are forced to learn about it. Even more so for those who are still working. Once again, we cannot escape technology. And if you can’t beat it, join it!

The main point here is that, whether or not we like it, we will always be surrounded by technology. Be it computers, phone applications, televisions and even the fans in our houses, these are all parts of technology. For our own good, we should start now. Better late than never right?

Concluding Thoughts

There are perhaps more thought-provoking and deeper reasoning for why you should learn about technology but these are the simplest reasons I can give. There are so many other things we could all learn about technology. That is why I encourage you to at the very least, learn more about the technology that surrounds you.

Start small with understanding how to use your computer and phones better. Then slowly move on and read more about other tech related things. If you are interested in reading more about various aspects of technology, Google is just a few clicks away!