Listening is Not the Same as Hearing

April 4, 2016

By Jessica Tarpley Stover, CPA
Blankenship CPA Group, PLLC

Tax season is a time when everyone is busy and many things can be pushed to the back burner. However, not taking the time to question and listen when dealing with clients and coworkers can create unnecessary obstacles for everyone. Knowing how to effectively communicate can go a long way in helping make busy time go smoother.

I think one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in life, is that its OK to ask someone to repeat themselves. Asking for clarification and really listening and not just hearing can go a long way. If you have a question about something and don’t understand the answer the first time, don’t walk back to your desk confused about how to proceed. Speak up about your lack of understanding and ask for clarification. You can ask the question a different way, or request that your supervisor/client explain things again. Another good tip is to repeat instructions you have received back to your supervisor in your own words to make sure you both are on the same page. It saves time for everybody if you make sure to get your question answered in a way that makes sense to you. The person you are working with will certainly appreciate your effort to understand, rather than feeling like you should have gotten it all the first time. Always remember that listening is not the same as hearing.