Monday, October 1, 2012

Spy Skills and Economic Development

I read this Forbes blog post with great interest. Essentially the writer claims that females are better spies than men.  He even cites the director of Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency as evidence. 

As you read the post, note the skills listed.  You will see people skills, street smarts vs physical strength, the nurturing instinct and listening.  All his points are valid. 

For economic developers, please pay particular attention to people skills, nurturing and listening sections.  How are you at these when you meet with a client?  Can you immediately establish a connection?  Can you help your client feel like they will be welcome into the community?  Do you really listen or are you immediately thinking about what your response should be?

Of all skills, I think listening is the most critical.  One key for me is I take notes, handwriting, not typing on a tablet. It helps me concentrate on what is being said and I am not thinking of an immediate response.  As an old debater, that habit is a tough one to rein in.  But it is important, we are not in this business to score debate points, we are in the business to listen to our client and help them succeed. By doing so we want to identify wants and needs. Then respond accordingly. 

Give this a read. You might enjoy it.

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