How to REALLY Listen

Mime Listening

My friend Jake said, “When someone tells me about a problem, I used to try to help them solve it. But I’ve learned that simply listening can be more helpful than the best advice I might give.”

Jake is not alone. Many of us equate listening with problem-solving, and we don’t even realize it. We believe that when someone shares a problem, the best response is to help them find a solution.

Do you know how to REALLY listen? … to listen without feeling responsible to help the person find a solution?

The REAL listening skills.

Some years ago during a YPO Forum moderators training program, one of the participants had this explanation of the power of real listening faxed from his office. I’ve . . . → Read More: How to REALLY Listen

Simple Tips for Cross-Cultural Communication via the Internet

Cross-Cultural Communication

The Internet has opened the door for cross-cultural communication. Where the United States was once isolated because of its size and location, you can now easily communicate with people in other countries, for work or networking, without having to leave home.

If you work for a global company, your team might be located in the United States, Germany and India, but you can easily communicate via email and can have face-to-face team meetings through video-conference.

Social media offers wonderful opportunities for networking around common interests, and opens the door to direct conversation.

As the opportunities to use the Internet to communicate with people in other countries increases, we must think differently about how we communicate.

When you are physically in another country, you can see . . . → Read More: Simple Tips for Cross-Cultural Communication via the Internet

9 Tips to Increase the Likelihood You'll Be Heard

You don't need a megaphone to be heard


Did you ever have an important point to make that wasn’t heard or understood? What did you do? If you eventually gave up in frustration, you’re not unusual.

When you have something important to say, a little preparation ahead of time can increase the likelihood you’ll be heard.

Here are 9 tips to increase the likelihood you’ll be heard the first time:

Use “I statements.” Take personal ownership for the ideas and feelings you express. When you use terms like “some people” or “our group,” it is difficult to tell what you really think and feel or whether you are just repeating the thoughts and feelings of others. Provide the context. Explain your intention in communicating, what you hope will happen as . . . → Read More: 9 Tips to Increase the Likelihood You’ll Be Heard

No More Boring Meetings, Please!

I spent my 50th birthday at the most boring meeting of my life. At one point I had to pinch myself under the table to keep from falling asleep. I’ve attended a lot of meetings that are a waste of time – it’s part of my job. (I help teams improve their performance and often observe to understand their issues before I intervene). However, I must say this was the most boring meeting of my career.

I was observing a four-hour team meeting of the company’s president and his eight direct reports. Sitting around a table, one at a time each person reported what was happening in his or her area. The president asked questions. The others listened until it was their turn. There was . . . → Read More: No More Boring Meetings, Please!

What If You Changed and No One Noticed?

Kurt Lewin Force Field

Have you ever tried changing a behavior and no one noticed you were different? It’s not uncommon.

Jim was a “hands-on boss.” He had high standards and his team performed well. However, they depended on him for almost all decisions, and as a result he worked long hours and on weekends. The eye-opener came when he missed an important baseball game where his son scored the winning run. His kids were growing up fast, and he was missing out. He knew his people were capable of more, so he began delegating and stopped checking up on them. As the weeks passed, he was surprised that his team kept knocking on his door and his phone kept ringing.

Colleen was constantly complaining about a man in . . . → Read More: What If You Changed and No One Noticed?

Simple Communication Tips to Set Up Respectful Global Relationships

If you haven’t communicated with a client or colleague in another country recently, chances are you will do so soon. Technology and our global economy have shrunk our geographical boundaries.

Developing a global customer-centered approach to communication is essential for establishing respectful and productive working relationships.

This can be particularly challenging for those in the United States, where we are so used to seeing ourselves as the center of the world that we don’t even realize we have that attitude.

If you are from the United States (or any country), here are eight simple things you can do in your initial communications with clients and colleagues in other countries to demonstrate you have a customer-centered viewpoint.

Spell words the way your client does. You . . . → Read More: Simple Communication Tips to Set Up Respectful Global Relationships

How the Power of Vision Can Help Your Family & 4 Tips to Create One

Today’s children live in a world where stress and pressure comes at them from countless sources – from peers, teachers, and coaches to the media that paints a picture of unattainable perfection, parents who want the best but sometimes push too hard, and a world that that can seem painfully harsh.

In their own homes, children can watch a war in another country in real-time. And it is difficult to tell the difference between what is real and the simulated violence in movies and electronic games.

Statistics in the United States are alarming. According to SADD, nearly three quarters of students (72%) have consumed alcohol (more than just a few sips) by the end of high school, and more than a third (37%) have done . . . → Read More: How the Power of Vision Can Help Your Family & 4 Tips to Create One

When The Best Techniques Don’t Work

Fresh out of college, with a degree in special education, I was quite excited when I landed my first job as a teacher in an experimental program – a joint venture between New Mexico State University and the public schools.

The program was housed on the university campus. It was the only classroom and I was the only teacher of 13 children ages six to ten. We were observed by university students through a one-way mirror.

This was a “demonstration classroom” of how to use behavior modification and a “token economy.” The children received poker chips as rewards for completing assignments, participation, and good behavior. At the end of the day the chips were exchanged for prizes.

Misbehavior was “timed-out” in an isolated area of . . . → Read More: When The Best Techniques Don’t Work