For many in the innovation field, the hardest task is listening – real listening, deep listening. To listen without building a mental model or rushing to a conclusion is a cultivated skill.
To listen to a person’s summary of your product or service and honor their experience as the only experience that matters is not only a great courtesy, but it can be a competitive advantage; that is, if you are willing to collect feedback from a lot of customers and apply adaptive intelligence.
The hardest part is just listening.
In the Design Thinking methodology of innovation, the first major phase is Empathy.