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As this [seemingly unending] moment of chaos and uncertainty continues to prevail, the true experts in the business – the ones we should all be heeding and following – are no one.

Business expertise – the smartest, absolute, most correct path forward in this moment – is fiction. Because the path forward is entirely unpaved.

And while there are more free webinars, white papers, and virtual conferences than most of us could consume in a lifetime presently available, all of us should be turning inward right now.

What should we be focusing on – which products and processes? How do we meet employee needs, answer their most pressing questions? How do we identify and leverage great ideas?

We ask the right questions – and we listen.

The wisdom we can be gleaning right now from our employees and our customers is the most valuable on the market.

So what’s a listening post? It can be as formal or informal as you’d like it to be – but it’s a form or channel through which you pose questions and solicit answers. It can be a virtual hangout, an email suggestion box, a Slack channel, a Google doc – doesn’t matter. What matters is your intention to listen.

So what to ask?

What can our employees tell us?

Employees are on the frontlines. They’re the life blood or your work. Their insights, experiences, anxieties, ideas and observations are the most valuable fuel you can put in your tank right now. Some great questions to ask:

  • What strategies are you using to prioritize and get work done?
  • What concerns are you experiencing?
  • What would make you feel more empowered?
  • Where do you need additional support or clarity?
  • Have you observed our competitors doing anything we can learn from?
  • What have you been hearing from customers in recent weeks?
  • How can we make our internal processes more efficient right now?
  • Are there tools or resources you’re needing right now?

What can our customers tell us?

The value you deliver is only as strong as the value perceived by your customers – whether they are external or internal (depending on the role you’re in).

So how do you maximize the value you’re delivering? You ask for their inputs.

Some great questions to ask right now:

  • What type of support is feeling really important in this moment?
  • How have your needs regarding our product or service changed or evolved in recent week?
  • Are there incremental improvements we could make to what or how we deliver that would bump up our impact?
  • Has our brand impacted you in a meaningful way that you can share?

If you’re able to create the time and space to pose some version of these questions to your two most important constituents, you’re guaranteed to discover something insightful.

If you need help getting started, we’re here to support you.

And if you do learn something of value, would you share it with us? We love a great story!