I like what Keith Ferrazzi had to say recently:
Failing to listen well is rude. I don’t care whether you’re talking to the Queen of England or your intern. It very loudly communicates, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” And as a master relationship builder, it’s your job to care.
As an Administrative Consultant, it’s your job to listen well.
This includes all forms of listening, not only with your ears.
Being attentive to written details and instructions is a form of listening that’s absolutely essential to what we do. It’s a critical demonstration of your competence and qualification.
This should not be confused with asking clarifying questions when you need more information to get an accurate picture and understanding.
That’s actually a sign of attentive listener who wants to do a great job.
It’s when a person can’t follow simple instructions and ask for all kinds of hand-holding, particularly when the answers to their questions are right there in the instructions… that’s a waste of everyone’s time. Which is both incompetent and inconsiderate.
I have to be ruthless about how my time is expended. I’ve got too much on my plate and take care of lots of people and moving parts. So do clients.
Out of self-care and preservation, I have to write people off who don’t respect my time and attention by abjectly refusing to pay attention and read/follow instructions.
No one is going to want to work with you or keep working with anyone who has a problem listening (in all its forms).