Knowing how to actively listen to colleagues is an important trait everyone in business should learn.
A consulting firm used to send graduates to a finishing school of sorts before they started their career. For a few days, young staff would learn how to talk to clients, conduct themselves at a work lunch, mingle at functions, network and dress appropriately for the job.
How many other businesses and educators still provide formal training on the so-called “soft skills” that are often the hardest to master? Not many, judging by employees who can barely sit still at a lunch without diving for their smartphone, think that a “conversation” is an email, and dress for work on Fridays like they are going to a nightclub.
Or who pretend to listen to conversations but are only waiting for their turn to talk, cannot be bothered to make small-talk at functions, and assume building a business reputation starts and ends with a Facebook or LinkedIn page.