Listen to Understand: The Gift of Truly Listening Through Mindful Leadership
Grant Ian Gamble is a best-selling mindful leadership author and speaker. He has over 30 years of experience in leading teams to create innovative customer experiences, building engaged workforces, and developing leaders who prioritize mindfulness in their approach.
The Pivotal Morning Meeting
It was an early Monday morning, and the head office of a large fitness and wellness club group was bustling with energy. The senior managers were gathered around a massive oak conference table, coffee cups in hand. The COO stood up to speak, his words filled with jargon and buzzwords about “maximizing profits” and “leveraging customer data.”
But something was off. The room was physically full, but emotionally empty. No one was truly engaged; they were just nodding along without absorbing the substance of the message. It was at this moment that Sam, the newly appointed Director of Wellness, cleared her throat and offered a different perspective, “Have we ever considered listening to understand our team members and customers, instead of listening to respond?”
Silence followed. Sam had touched on a principle that is often overlooked in the corporate world but is at the heart of mindful leadership—listen to understand.
Listen to Understand: A Cornerstone of Mindful Leadership
In “The Affinity Principle,” I describe listening as a “gift we give to another human being.” It’s not just about hearing the words but understanding the emotion and intent behind them. Mindful leadership demands this quality of listening to effectively guide, motivate, and support team members.
When fitness and wellness club owners, operators, and managers incorporate this principle, they unlock a level of engagement and satisfaction that no amount of buzzwords can deliver. You not only improve your communication with your team but also with your members, who can feel the difference when they are genuinely understood.
Why It Matters in the Fitness and Wellness Sector
The fitness and wellness industry thrives on human interaction. Whether it’s the friendly receptionist at the front desk, the enthusiastic Pilates instructor, or the empathetic wellness coach, each touchpoint makes a difference in customer experience. Listening to understand—truly hearing your team members and your members—creates an environment of trust and inclusivity.
Practical Steps to Master the Art of Listening:
- Be Present: Engage fully in the conversation. This means no multitasking, no preconceived notions, and definitely no distractions.
- Open Body Language: Maintain eye contact, nod affirmatively, and lean in slightly to show you’re genuinely interested.
- Empathize: Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. This can provide invaluable insights that can be used to improve your services and address grievances effectively.
As stressed in “The Affinity Principle,” mindful leadership goes beyond strategic thinking and managerial competence. It’s about creating an emotional connection with your team and, by extension, your members. And this starts with the simple yet powerful act of listening to understand. In the fast-paced world of fitness and wellness, where member experience is paramount, this skill is not just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have.
Start today. Listen more, speak less, and watch how the fabric of your club changes for the better.
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AFFINITY OS is an AI-driven platform focusing on customer/member experience (NPS) and Team Member engagement (eNPS). It is designed to measure and enhance Team Member engagement within organizations. It provides insights into Team Member sentiments, feedback, and engagement levels, which are critical for fostering a positive work culture and improving overall productivity.
Unlock the Secret to Exceptional Customer Experience with ‘The Long-Term Benefits of Short-Term Acts’
In today’s fast-paced business environment, the term “customer experience” has gained considerable attention. However, this often-quoted phrase can lose its meaning if not rooted in a company culture that genuinely puts ‘People First, Always.’ In this article, I’ll delve into why creating a people-first culture is the linchpin of delivering a remarkable customer experience, underpinned by real-world examples and data.
While the Team Member Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is a powerful tool for gauging team member engagement, it shouldn’t be the only metric you rely on. Just like customer engagement, team member engagement is a multi-faceted concept that is best understood by looking at a variety of metrics. In this section, we’ll introduce two additional measures that complement eNPS: Team Member Satisfaction Score (TSS) and Team Member Effort Score (TES).
Interested in learning more about how to transform your organization’s approach to team member engagement and customer experience? Reach out to our team at AFFINITY OS, specialists in AI-driven customer and team member engagement optimization.
Put PEOPLE FIRST, ALWAYS and watch your business flourish.
Dive deep into the latest trends in customer experience and team engagement, mindful leadership and management. Discover practical tools and strategies that you can use to build a people-centric culture, the foundation for sustainable long-term business growth and success.
Led by mindful leadership expert, Grant Ian Gamble, a best-selling author and true visionary with over 30 years of experience in leading teams to create innovative customer experiences, building engaged, inspired and fulfilled workforces, and developing leaders who prioritize genuine connection in their approach.
The guiding principle behind all of Grant’s work is PEOPLE FIRST, ALWAYS.
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