Latest "communication" Posts
Listening … it is the most used communication skill but is the least taught. We often assume that we are good at listening. But, are we?
Have you ever been on a conference call and realized that everyone was waiting for your response to a question you didn’t hear? Have you tried to tell someone the key outcomes of a meeting that you attended, and realized you missed out on important information (maybe, while you were handling an emergency via e-mail)?
We actually cannot listen well unless we remove the barriers to listening:
1. Multi-tasking – Also referred to as “switch-tasking” because the brain was not designed to perform two tasks simultaneously, this barrier to listening is the easiest to address. If you need to focus on something other than the conversation, make an intentional decision — you may need to reschedule a meeting, or if it is an informal exchange, you may say, “Excuse me for one moment, so I can take care of this and then give you my full attention.”
In social media, one wrong click of a button can have potentially career-damaging consequences.
Let me share a story that Bill, a colleague of mine, told me. He was very excited to be venturing into LinkedIn for the first time. Sure, he had a profile, but that was it. Now, he wanted to start reading posts, commenting on feeds and increasing his network. Bill was checking his network feed, and reading articles that his associates and clients had posted. One post was about how to cope with really horrible bosses. Without giving his action much thought, Bill “liked” the post.
Harmless, right? After all, that’s how you engage on social media, by liking commentary and following others, right?
Imagine Bill’s shock when a few days later his boss called him into his office.
I read with great interest a Forbes.com article titled “6 Hidden Assumptions That Destroy Your Chances For Career Happiness.”
While I agreed with all of author Kathy Caprino’s points, it was Assumption 5 that really stuck in my mind:
Assumption 5: “Other people are more creative, talented, and innovative – I don’t have much to offer.”
It brought to mind a friend of mine – smart, attractive, quick, a hard worker, good at just about everything she tries, and yet, a person who insists she is not talented in any way. Do you know anyone like that? Perhaps, this may even describe you.
Here’s more of what Ms. Caprino said in her Forbes.com article:
“…I led a Find Your Passion and Impact the World With It workshop in New York City for a truly amazing group of teen girls ages 13- 18 for ThinkPeaceWorkshop, and we did an exercise where the girls were asked to address the question, What are your special talents?
How do you handle conflict in the workplace?
Some people are combative, some are over-reactive, some are immediately on the offensive, some are evasive, some are defensive, and some have a private little meltdown in the supply closet or bathroom — then emerge pretending there is no such thing as conflict.
Will you let conflict in the workplace make your “9-to-5” a misery, or can you rise above it — or perhaps even channel the conflict into something positive?
After all, conflict in itself is not inherently negative, it merely signifies differences in opinions, beliefs, philosophies, and methodologies.
If you think of conflict as a catalyst for improvement, you’ll be well on your way to mastering it and reducing the level of stress that it can cause.
I recently read yet another article about U.S. employers complaining that they have jobs available but can’t seem to find skilled workers to fill them.
Accenture posted a news release last month about a study it conducted with The Manufacturing Institute: “Skills Shortage Threatens Future Earnings and Growth Prospects of U.S. Manufacturers.”
Here’s the gist of Accenture’s report: U.S. manufacturers may be losing up to 11 percent of their annual earnings due to increased production costs as a result of the shortage of workers that have the necessary skills to get the job done right.
The study goes on for quite a while explaining the issues, but as I read it, to me the solution was entirely clear:
Instead of bemoaning the lack of skilled workers, allowing downtime increases of at least 5% because there’s no qualified staff to run/maintain equipment, and suffering with significant increases in overtime pay as skilled workers struggle to make up these shortcoming — why not simply offer training programs?