Lets face it. Aircraft parts suppliers can be the WORST listeners. Yes, I said it! It's not that they don't care, they're just disengaged from reality. Or maybe they don't care. Could be both. You try to communicate with them, but every time it seems like nothing progresses, or it's the same old behaviors. The below picture is probably what they're doing on the other side of the phone right now.
This happens all the time, but there's no need for me to tell you this, I'm sure you experience this much more than I do.
But, you continue to try to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Here's how you can fix that...
Recognizing poor listening skills
Most of us have trouble actively listening. We have so many distractions and noises that pull us from our tasks.
My colleagues will come in my office and say something, I'll say uh-huh, or yea and completely miss the entire conversation. Does this sound familiar?
I've recognized this, as I'm sure you have, and try to focus on listening better.
The problem arises when your aircraft parts' supplier stops listening to what you have to say and gets distracted. This is the WORST time to not listen.
The reason this occurs is simple. They just don't care, or maybe they do, you just can't tell.
7 tips you can teach your aircraft parts supplier to actively listen
1. They must decide they want to listen - Listening can't start without them deciding they want to be present in the conversation. There's an age-old saying that we have two ears and one month, so we can listen twice as much. They must first commit to unselfishly wanting to listen to you.
2. Give 100% - If they're truly interested in your discussion they will be present for the entire time. They should push all other tasks aside and avoid multitasking. If they don't, they're not listening.
3. Listen 75%, Speak 25% - Once your aircraft parts' supplier begins talking more than you, it's a sales pitch. They should be able to listen to your concerns and instructions and only speak 25% of the time. Why must we talk more than this?
4. Respond with interest - During the conversation they need to show verbal and non verbal cues. It can be nodding, smiling, or commenting but they must show interest. When they respond, if they speak at the same energy level as you, they're definitely interested.
5. Let the speaker finish - I know what you're thinking. This one is the most frustrating of them all. There is nothing like you presenting your concern or instructions and being interrupted every sentence. Our brains speed along four times faster than we speak, so your vendor needs to make a conscious effort to not finish your sentences or interrupt. Waiting for pauses could be a good opportunity for them to comment, but not while you're speaking.
6. Show understanding - Just because they say, "I understand," doesn't mean they actually do. Crazy, right? They need to prove to you they do. This can happen a number of ways. They can restate your idea or they can ask a probing question to get deeper into the topic. Simply repeating what you said doesn't count. They must show comprehension.
7. Be respectful - They need to show you that they take your views seriously. Changing their tone of voice, rate of speech and choice of words are all great signs that they're being empathetic.
Thats it! Thats all they have to do. By listening, your aircraft parts' supplier will be able to better understand your needs and requirements. They will also be able to communicate with you better.
There's nothing worse than talking to someone who acts like they slept through your conversation.