Seeing, hearing, and knowing are vital to business and marketing— it's how we learn to understand our customers, what they need, and how to deliver it to them. This framework creates meaningful connection between businesses and their audiences.
Over time, however, I've realized that seeing, knowing, and hearing is not just a framework for business, but for life. Our society is becoming increasingly divided and isolated. Existing in the virtual world allows us to trade true connection in favor of digital communication with people who are already inclined to share our point of view. Creating authentic, meaningful connections requires effort— a commitment to seeing, hearing, and knowing people in our lives. But what does that mean?
Seeing someone is the first step toward connecting with them. Seeing—not just making eye contact—with a person (although that's important), means seeing them as a complete human with a history, feelings, and beliefs. Seeing someone also means putting aside any preconceived notions we might have about them and giving them an opportunity to show us who they are. When someone feels seen, they also feel hopeful; being seen is a step toward feeling like someone is open and willing to connect.
Hearing requires active listening. Listening requires intentional effort. Think of the times when you turned on music, a podcast, or TV, but weren’t necessarily paying full attention. You can hear those sounds, but you aren't paying attention to their meaning— our hearing is scanning for anything we want to “pick out” from the background noise. When we’re in a mode of active listening, it’s a full attention job in which you’re processing the information, and taking the time to produce a response that shows you have heard what is being said. These responses typically involve echoing information, asking or answering questions, or contributing to the development of an idea.
Knowing is translating what is heard and seen to communicate understanding. When you take time to see and hear people, they feel known. When they feel known, they feel appreciated and loved. And when they feel loved, they engage. If we haven’t stopped to know and be known with those around us, we’re cheating ourselves out of fulfillment, because we were made for connection. We’re also not allowing space for new discoveries that are realized through vulnerability and reflection.
What's coming to mind for you as you read this? How can you apply this to your life and business today? No one is excluded from this journey - let's do it together.