There were only a few more steps to go in the process of hiring a freelance writer for my communications boutique. I was excited about her network of contacts, drive and supposed maturity. Like me, she was a Baby Boomer.
Then, she sent me a shocking email. It was obvious that she had not listened to what I had said in our 45-minute phone conversation. I called her on it. What most surprised me is that she had done quite a bit of journalism so had to be skilled in listening to those being interviewed, both the stated and latent content.
First I checked with my executive coach to review if maybe I was over-reacting. No, my coach said, the fact that she did not listen during a job interview strongly suggests she isn't going to listen to clients. There will be a disaster. Probably sooner than later.
Clients assume we are listening closely. About a week ago one called me to send the notes he had assumed that I had taken during a conference call. Of course, I had taken copious notes. I transcribed them from my kind of short-hand and sent them. This week one of his colleages called me to also forward "those notes."
The ability to listen trumps contacts, drive and even talent.