PD Strategies Blog

PD Strategies Blog

Performance and Development Strategies Blog is the informational place to get timely and purposeful articles on the issues that concern you most.

IS YOUR MESSAGE BEING UNDERSTOOD?

IS YOUR MESSAGE BEING UNDERSTOOD?
Your words, no matter how eloquent, will probably not by themselves convey your message. Communication is a two-way process and it is more than just words. Effective communication involves feelings, connections, and other nonverbal signals. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best. “What you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you are saying.” Therefore, it is important to understand the meaning others might put on your words. Your gestures, expressions, intonations, and beliefs will communicate much more meaning than the words alone. Communication is a two-way process to exchange ideas. We communicate in order to elicit some type of response. Some examples of a response could be more knowledge, a specific action, or some type of emotion. A good communicator, to be sure of the desired response, is also a good listener. He or she listens for feedback to see that the message is being understand. This also including watching...
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YOU CAN’T PERSUADE WITHOUT MAKING A CONNECTION

YOU CAN’T PERSUADE WITHOUT MAKING A CONNECTION
Without connection there is an absence of trust and without trust the message may not have its intended response. That response might be increased knowledge or an action taken.  You can watch two people give a presentation on the same material and have a totally different reaction. The difference is not the content; it is the connection. You build connection with empathy. You actively listen and you ask questions that show you are interested. I think it’s a fair statement to say that how well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others. For some reason people place a high priority on speaking and presentation skills but do not place the same emphasis on listening skills. Most people are thinking about what they will say next rather than seeking to understand by actively listening to what others are saying. If...
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HOW ARE YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS?

HOW ARE YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS?
How are you communicating? Are you getting the expected response? Your communication may seem clear to you but if you do not get the response you expect then your communication has failed. That is because the two way process of communication mandates that a message be clearly sent and that it is also received and understood. If your message did not result in increased knowledge or prompt a specific action then your message was not received. You will not be successful in your communications unless you listen and you ask questions. The point is that we need to listen twice as much as we talk. That is why we have two ears and one mouth. I think it’s a fair statement to say that how well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others. For some reason people place a...
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WHY ARE THEY SHOOTING THE MESSENGER?

WHY ARE THEY SHOOTING THE MESSENGER?
Sometimes people can become overly defensive when their message is misinterpreted. I recently met with the leaders of one of my Westchester County New York organizations to present results of an employee survey. The employees felt that there were a lot of changes but the staff felt that management was not keeping them informed. Productivity almost always suffers in times of great change because employee stress dramatically increases due to the universal fear of the unknown. Often senior executives genuinely believe they are communicating with employees when it comes to matters that affect them. Unfortunately, they often underestimate the number of matters that includes. Can you say with certainty that you know what is important to employees and what to tell them? The only way to know is to put yourself in their shoes and see thing from their position and mindset. Think to yourself, “If I were hearing this information...
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WE HAVE A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE

WE HAVE A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE
The title line is from the movie Cool Hand Luke and it has become a catchphrase because it really speaks to a real dilemma. We communicate to get an expected response from someone else. But sometimes, in fact often, we do not get the response we expect.   One powerful reason for this failure is that we talk more than we listen. We are so concerned with making our own points and having someone understand us that we do not take the time to understand them. How often do we try to insert our own opinions to try to persuade others? Communication requires a sender of the message and a receiver—that is to say that communication is a two way process. That means we must listen to the other person. We need to listen twice as much as we talk. That is why we have two ears and one mouth. In order...
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BE CAREFUL HOW YOU COMMUNICATE

BE CAREFUL HOW YOU COMMUNICATE
In order to achieve results from others we must communicate what we want. However, how we communicate and what we say can have a profound effect on the reaction we receive. When organizations have problems with communication rarely is it because there is no communication. No, most of the time it poor communication is caused by the message or how the message is delivered. Successful communication starts with a clear message. An effective leader communicates clearly. However, an outstanding or great leader does more. The outstanding leader does that plus inspires others to want to do the things that are necessary to achieve great outcomes. That leader has a compelling vision and transfers that inspiration to others. Jim Collins in his book “Good to Great,” highlights what he terms Level Five Leadership. He says that a great leader is able to get the right people on the bus. Is your vision...
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YOUR WORKPLACE COMMUNICATION MATTERS

YOUR WORKPLACE COMMUNICATION MATTERS
Most business leaders still say that the biggest problem in the workplace is communication.   But communication starts with the leader. If you wish to improve your leadership skills you will need to take responsibility for the communication within your organization. By setting the example you can dramatically affect the communication process. There are three things that you must evaluate in order to improve your communications skills. They are: 1. What you say 2. How you say it both verbally and non-verbally 3. Your position and who you are What you say accounts for less than 10% of the communication process. You should be aware that the words you use can mean different things to different people. For example, “As soon as possible” could mean right now, or as soon as you have time. The words will be interpreted based on the frame of reference of the person listening. How you say...
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POSITIVE COMMUNICATION YIELDS POSITIVE RESULTS

POSITIVE COMMUNICATION YIELDS POSITIVE RESULTS
Organizations with a high level of staff engagement communicate well with their employees. Have you noticed that organization with internal problems can trace the cause to poor communication? Many of the terminations in an organization, both voluntary and involuntary have their root cause in the improper communication. Sometimes it is not what you say but how you say it. How can you change this? The first step is to create positive results by being positive in your communication. Here are six suggestions on positive effective communication. •          You can accept others ideas and respect them although you do not have to agree. Acknowledge amazing requests and outrageous statements with responses such as: "That's an interesting idea." "That's a novel request." "What an intriguing question." Then listen to what the other person is saying and use those questions as an opportunity for the other person to be heard. You can move to...
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YOUR COMMUNICATION DETERMINES YOUR LEVEL OF COLLABORATION

YOUR COMMUNICATION DETERMINES YOUR LEVEL OF COLLABORATION
Today, the most successful inventions, products, or innovations are a collaborative effort. Gone are the days when one person or one company has all of the answers. We live in a competitive society and collaboration is critical to innovation and separating our organization from others. Since there are no individual performers in a collaborative effort the ability to communicate is one of the most important components of collaboration. You probably know someone in your organization that can create a negative impact simply by saying good morning. This is because our communication is not simply words. It is not what we say but how we say it. Our communication includes our writing, tone and volume of voice, eye contact, and body language. Confrontation will kill collaboration but many confrontations are the result of poor communication. Although we meant it one way it was taken another way. Here is an example to illustrate...
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POSITIVE COMMUNICAN WILL YIELD POSITIVE RESULTS

POSITIVE COMMUNICAN WILL YIELD POSITIVE RESULTS
You can’t put negative in and expect to get positive out. If you want positive results from others you will have to communicate positive things. The following question came up recently with my Westchester County NY business owners’ forum. “How can I get them (my employees) to care and take personal ownership?” There could be any number of causes for this disconnect between management and staff. However, poor communication is the major cause of disconnects between people in most cases. Clear communication and keeping the staff in the loop is really not difficult to achieve. The first step is to create positive results by being positive in their communication. Here are six suggestions on positive effective communication. You can accept others ideas and respect them although you do not have to agree. Acknowledge amazing requests and outrageous statements with responses such as: "That's an interesting idea." "That's a novel request." "What...
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TWO WAY COMMUNICATION BEGINS WITH ACTIVE LISTENING

TWO WAY COMMUNICATION BEGINS WITH ACTIVE LISTENING
How do you feel when you when you ask a question and you receive an answer unrelated to your question? You know it. The other person was not listening to you and was only interested in making his own points. I recently had the opportunity to talk with a telecommunications expert. I was questioning the comparable features offered by two different iPhone telecommunications carriers. During the conversation I pointed out that one carrier had an additional benefit. “With that carrier”, I said, “you are able to use the Internet while on the phone.” The expert quickly shot back something to the effect, “you’re not going to surf the internet while you are driving.” I don’t use the phone while driving and I did not even ask about driving. I had another reason for favoring the carrier with this service. When I am at a remote office I can email something to...
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COMMUNICATION IS A TWO WAY PROCESS

COMMUNICATION IS A TWO WAY PROCESS
The best communicators know that communication is a two way process. Remember the line, “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”   This line is from the movie Cool Hand Luke and it has become a catchphrase. That is because it highlights one of our greatest frustrations--miscommunication. On the other hand, great communication has almost always been a trait of some of our greatest leaders. They had great accomplishments but they were almost always great communicators. Communication is a two-way process to exchange ideas. We communicate in order to elicit some type of response. Some examples of a response could be more knowledge, a specific action, or some type of emotion. Depending on our communications media, the words we use might not have as powerful an impact as other factors. For example, in face to face conversations we communicate more information non verbally through our body language and our tone...
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TEN KEYS TO SELLING YOURSELF AND INFLUENCING OTHERS

TEN KEYS TO SELLING YOURSELF AND INFLUENCING OTHERS
Next time you watch a debate on TV take note of the points and counterpoints made. It is usually a battle of ideas with one party trying to step on and knock out the other. In many companies the same thing happens when one executive is trying to make his case a little stronger than the other. Unfortunately, too many people use the same technique in trying to persuade someone or to make a sale. Here is a recent encounter I had with a sales consultant. I was questioning the comparable features offered by two different iPhone telecommunications carriers.  During the conversation I pointed out that one carrier had an additional benefit.  The additional benefit enabled the user to check an email or check on the Internet while using the phone. The consultant shot back, “you’re not going to surf the internet while you are driving.”  What? How did he make...
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WHY YOU MUST COMMUNICATE YOUR VISION TO YOUR TEAM

WHY YOU MUST COMMUNICATE YOUR VISION TO YOUR TEAM
“What we have here is a failure to communicate!” That line from Cool Hand Luke sums up a common problem. In order to have progress of any kind we must communicate. Since we do not live in a vacuum we cannot run our business or our lives that way. Often, in our experience, when we find an organization that is struggling we almost always discover that poor or non-existent communication is one of the major causes. An effective leader communicates clearly. However, an outstanding or great leader does more. The outstanding leader does that plus inspires others to want to do the things that are necessary to achieve great outcomes. That leader has a compelling vision and transfers that inspiration to others. Jim Collins in his book “Good to Great”, highlights what he terms Level Five Leadership. He says that a great leader is able to get the right people on...
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ACHIEVE POSITVE RESULTS BY BEING POSITIVE IN YOUR COMMUNICATION

ACHIEVE POSITVE RESULTS BY BEING POSITIVE IN YOUR COMMUNICATION
We have been working with two leaders of an organization.  They have related several problems but they all had one source.  We can’t get the right people to work for us.  We spent some time interviewing them as well as a sample of people in their organization.  Wow, what a disconnect.  They are desperately looking for success.  The employees also want the organization to be successful.  That is where the similarity stopped.  The two partners could not convey the goals of the organization and they were not even communicating completely the upcoming projects.  The staff was frustrated.  One partner is totally exhausted because he feels he must do everything himself and he is afraid to hold people accountable.  The other partner has no tolerance for things and thinks lots of people should just leave.  The good news is that they can fix this if they change. The first step is to create...
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IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION BY CONNECTING TO OTHERS

IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION BY CONNECTING TO OTHERS
Great communication is a two way process. That means that a message is sent and received. Your words, no matter how well chosen, may fail to get your message out. If your message did not result in increased knowledge or prompt a specific action then your message was not received. You will not be successful in your communications unless you listen and you ask questions. The point is that we need to listen twice as much as we talk. That is why we have two ears and one mouth. I think it’s a fair statement to say that how well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others. For some reason people place a high priority on speaking and presentation skills but do not place the same emphasis on listening skills. Without downgrading the importance of good speech, it would...
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