Latest "Listening" 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.”
At a recent business conference, I had the good fortune to meet many speakers whom I’d admired for a long time. There was one woman in particular that I was eager to chat with — I’d read two of her books, followed her blog and was fascinated by her career and accomplishments.
A mutual friend made an introduction in between workshops.
Within seconds, we were chatting about our respective client experiences in the healthcare and life sciences industries. Except, within moments I noticed something odd. I wasn’t chatting at all.
I couldn’t get a word in edgewise.
This woman took eye contact to new heights, with a laser focus that made me uncomfortable. I took an involuntary step back. She took a step forward, and leaned in even closer.
Know your audience and capture their attention.
This statement sounds so simple, but many of us forget what it means.
You can’t expect to convince or sell anyone anything if you don’t understand what he or she expects or wants from you. What do they want to receive from your message?
What’s in it for them?
Let me share an example of what happened when a presenter failed to remember this basic message…
One of BRODY’s clients is a major pharmaceutical firm that throws a party when an employee hits the 30-year anniversary mark. I was honored to be invited to Pete’s 30th anniversary celebration.
More than 60 coworkers, clients, and upper management execs gathered for Pete’s party, where we sipped and nibbled as we waited for Pete’s new supervisor to come in and make the celebratory toast.
I am a firm proponent of the merits of ongoing business coaching for your staff.
Why coaching, you ask? Shouldn’t you just be able to hire a team of superstars, highly qualified and motivated staff who will accomplish your goals? After all, isn’t that what you are paying them for?
Well, perhaps in an ideal world that would be true. Here in the real world, we all have our strengths and weaknesses — in the office and life — and none of us are perfect, nor will we ever be.
Putting together a team that meets management’s objectives or your sales goals will frequently require not just some coaching, but ongoing coaching.
If you tend to shy away from coaching your staff, offering all kinds of excuses as to why it shouldn’t be necessary, maybe you’re simply lacking the skills needed to be a great coach.
I strongly believe that although no one is perfect and never will be, continued personal and professional growth is a worthwhile and attainable goal.
Individuals or teams that continue growing professionally can continue offering greater and greater value to the organization, and find correspondingly more fulfillment at their jobs.
Our clients have asked us how they could continue their employees’ growth after our on-site training programs — at lunch-and-learn style meetings, or during their regular team meetings. In response to their desire to keep inspiring, honing, and expanding their teams’ abilities, BRODY is excited to launch its new Learning Burst Series. More details about this new offering, including a video explanation by Marjorie Brody and links to listen to demo webinars, can be found here.
Developed for groups of up to 20 people to learn together, the Learning Burst concept focuses on the increasingly important skills like: leadership, effective coaching, listening, influencing, business writing and presentation skills.