We've all had that moment in our personal or professional lives when someone is talking non-stop and you've got absolutely no interest in what they have to say.
It might be that they're telling you about their children's sleeping habits or that they've ordered more paper for the photocopier - it's all information we're convinced we can live without.
However, as a small business owner, you might find that zoning out once in a while has more consequences than you may first have thought. Not listening could mean more than just ordering two lots of paper, so it really can pay to stay tuned in!
Colleagues are strange things - you're all bundled together in an office and expected to co-exist every day for as long as your shift lasts.
While you might not care which restaurants the person sitting next to you has visited over the weekend, there might just be some information that proves valuable.
For example, they might slip into conversation that they're going away in a fortnight's time. While this should be officially registered as annual leave, it's not unthinkable that someone along the line has forgotten about it.
Are there plans in place to provide cover? Will any of their clients need special attention? A bit of forward-planning can go a long way if you listen.
Ignoring - or failing to listen to - clients and customers is a big no-no in the world of business. Not only are they your source of income, they also have the power to make or break your company.
Take every comment on board and you can't go far wrong. Yes, some people are intrinsic whiners, but this doesn't mean their feedback shouldn't be taken seriously.
Ignore your customers at your peril - a company that listens will definitely stand out from the crowd.
Wishing you all the best for your week in business.