Oddly March 13th is National Ear Muff Day. Seems a bit odd that March would be the month where ear muffs are celebrated. Those bitterly cold January days seem like a better choice. That is until I looked out my window. Mid-March and snowing here in Minnesota. It seems like every year I fall for that fake spring where all the snow melts off, and the sun is shining and the curse of snow returns. Some say it’s the Minnesota boys basketball tournament as the source of the curse. I blame the ides of March and the killing of Caesar on the senate floor. It’s just more dramatic after all.
This is the perfect day to reflect upon listening with ear muffs and muffled sounds of snow crunching under your feet would naturally lead you to listen more actively right?
As Business Analysts, it is important to actively listen and ask open-ended questions to understand our processes and system more fully. By fully listening we are better able to engage our stakeholders and sponsors for a more meaningful dialog on business changes and requirements. With more engagement, we can gain greater trust with our sponsors and stakeholders. Greater trust leads to more productive and meaningful work for the entire team. Listen carefully to understand and speak gently to be understood.
If you are looking for a good pair of ear muffs for dreaded winter, here’s a good link: 10 best earmuffs. Just take those ear muffs off before your next stakeholder and sponsor meeting.