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Posted by on in Communication
rawpixel.com It’s human nature to want to know that when you’re telling someone something, they’re listening to you and taking your points on board. This is particularly true when it involves your job. As a manager, you have significant influence over whether your team members will enjoy their work and the environment in which they work in. Central to this is an ability to show that you are a good listener, picking up on strengths, interests and problems and responding to feedback. With research indicating that we remember 25-50% of what we hear, it seems fair to suggest that most of us could probably do more to improve. Managers are no exception! How can I become a better listener? The best way in which to improve your listening skills is to practice ‘active listening’. This means fully taking on board what another person is saying and trying to understand properly...

Posted by on in Communication
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...

Posted by on in Communication
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...

Posted by on in 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...

Posted by on in Communication
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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  • Matt Lagle
    Matt Lagle says
    Great blog Grant! I'll try to use these techniques with clients, co-workers and family too.

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