listening http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12438/all en-US 7 Ways to Get People to Listen When You Talk http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-get-people-to-listen-when-you-talk <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-get-people-to-listen-when-you-talk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman-speaking-meeting-83066260-small.jpg" alt="Businesswoman speaking" title="Businesswoman speaking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you are leading a business meeting, attempting to persuade an opposing view point, or questioning the actions of your city council, grabbing the attention (and keeping it) of those in your audience is essential to accomplishing your goal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today?ref=seealso">25 Ways to Communicate Better Today</a>)</p> <p>In this day and age of Internet communication, many of us do not feel comfortable speaking in front of a group of people. The tips in this article will help persuade an audience to sit up, pay attention, and hear what you have to say.</p> <h2>1. Consider Your Audience</h2> <p>Before you speak to any group of people, it is important to consider who your audience is going to be. If it for a formal event listed on a public ticketing site, like Eventbrite, check the attendee list to get a feel for who is attending. Scheduling apps and even Facebook event pages have similar RSVP features that can help you get a guest list ahead of time to research and analyze. Once you have an idea of the types of people you are going to be speaking to, think about what it is they want to hear. Spend time trying to find the best possible way to give them what they want while saying what you need to.</p> <p>What happens if you can't preview who will be there ahead of time? A quick survey at the beginning of the talk can be helpful. A simple show of hands for finding out who has used a particular smartphone app, for example, can be a game changer in making the talk pertinent for a majority of the audience. For small talks (like a one-on-one conversation), prefacing the discussing with a few questions can go a long way.</p> <h2>2. Use Your Big Kid Voice</h2> <p>Parents are constantly telling their children to use their &quot;big girl&quot; or &quot;big boy&quot; voice. That simply means speaking without baby talk or a lot of whine. The same can be said for the adult who is trying to command a room. Slow down, take breaths as you speak, control your pitch and pace while enunciating clearly. If you find your voice cracking from nervousness or dryness, stop to drink some water (which you should keep on hand at all times!)</p> <h2>3. Be Confident</h2> <p>When you are looking to get the attention of others, it is important to show your confidence in what you have to say. A timid, shy person who is stumbling over her words will not garner the attention she needs. Stand tall, hold your head high, speak clearly and with a strong voice. Remember that taking deeper breaths oxygenates your blood and relaxes you, thus helping you think more clearly.</p> <h2>4. Stand (or Sit) Tall and With Purpose</h2> <p>Whether you are standing or sitting, there is an optimal position that you should take to attract the attention of your audience. When standing, keep a tall back, your head held high and your hands clasped near your belly button. Use small gestures with your hands to add emphasis to your words &mdash; watch how regulars in the media use their hands. This also can make you appear taller, which is proven to help your authority with an audience. Many experts have claimed that <a href="http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2007-07-17-ceo-dominant-behavior_N.htm">raising their stature</a> by even a few inches has helped them succeed.</p> <p>When standing, your legs should be slightly apart. This shows confidence. When sitting, however, leaving your forearms on the table in front of you shows a confident, approachable stance that will sustain the attention of your listeners. (This is likely based on the theory that leaning into the table shows dominance of the table, which can help convey to the room that you own all the room &mdash; and therefore, the conversation, as well.)</p> <p>It is also helpful to identify all of your fears ahead of time and think them through to keep them at bay. It's natural to be nervous or even frightened, but using strategic tips such as <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200512/fighting-stage-fright">exaggeration of your symptoms</a> and imagining the best outcome can be effective if done every time you speak.</p> <h2>5. Remain Sure of Yourself &mdash; Even If You Lose Your Place</h2> <p>If you are speaking to an audience and lose your place, fumble, or can't seem to get back on track, it may be the appropriate time <a href="http://magazines.toastmasters.org/display_article.php?id=1177121">for a well-planned joke</a>. Those that can laugh at themselves can recapture an audience quickly and get back on track in no time.</p> <p>No matter what, avoid apologizing when things get rough. Remain sure of yourself and the message you are sending, or the audience will quickly lose interest in you or perceive you as no longer being an authority on your subject.</p> <p>If someone in a group argues that what you are saying is wrong, invite them to table the discussion to a more appropriate time, rather than saying &quot;I'm sorry you feel that way.&quot;</p> <p>If you are having a one-on-one conversation, choose your words to show you are empathetic but not dissuadable. Go with phrases such as &quot;I hear your words &mdash; here are the reasons why I am saying what I am.&quot;</p> <p>Keep track of your goal with any talk, and attempt to get back on topic during moments of conflict. Simply letting the audience know that you understand their frustrations, but that you need to get back to the topic at hand is a must-have skill for anyone speaking publicly.</p> <h2>6. Make Frequent Eye Contact</h2> <p>Making eye contact keeps the audience engaged as no one wants to be caught drifting off or ignoring a speaker. If you catch someone not looking at you while you are speaking, make eye contact with them and repeat it every few moments to maintain their attention. If catching their eye initially is difficult, take a few steps in their direction. Sometimes all a person needs is a reminder that there are other things going on in a room and their attention should be reverted.</p> <h2>7. Keep Them Interested</h2> <p>A person is naturally equipped to change focus every few minutes. To keep your audience from losing their focus on you, change your method of delivery every few minutes. Add in a story that relates to the listener and your topic, apply humor (if you feel comfortable with it), or present the material in a new way.</p> <p>Teachers use this method daily in a classroom. Those teachers who are considering today's lower attention spans change activities for students every 10-12 minutes and rotate the type of activities from passive to active regularly. Take a cue from teachers and interchange your method of delivery to keep and sustain the attention and focus of your audience.</p> <p>Whether you are presenting your ideas to a potential client, attempting to motivate your staff, or providing crucial instruction to a group of 15 year olds, these tips will help you ensure that your audience is engaged, focused, and ready to hear what it is you have to say.</p> <p><em>How do you keep listeners listening? Please tell us about it in comments &mdash; we're all ears!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-get-people-to-listen-when-you-talk">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today">25 Ways to Communicate Better Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-simple-networking-tricks">15 Simple Networking Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-and-give-honest-feedback">How to Get and Give Honest Feedback</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-are-what-you-do-16-ways-to-improve-your-body-language">You Are What You Do: 16 Ways to Improve Your Body Language</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/leadership-by-listening">Leadership by Listening</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development communication listening speaking speech skills Fri, 05 Dec 2014 12:00:05 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1264072 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Simple Networking Tricks http://www.wisebread.com/15-simple-networking-tricks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-simple-networking-tricks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/networking.jpg" alt="Guys networking" title="Guys networking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Networking is an absolutely necessary skill &mdash; it can make all the difference in landing a job, launching a new company, or bringing in a new client. But while networking is something that comes naturally to some people, most of us have to work at it to get good. These simple tricks can make the process easier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/networking-basics-for-regular-people">Networking Basics for Regular People</a>)</p> <h3>1. Set Goals for Your Networking Efforts</h3> <p>Networking can be a relatively time-consuming process. It may sound cynical to say that you need to focus your efforts on the people most likely to help you, but the truth is that you need to know what you&rsquo;re getting out of networking and find the opportunities that really help you the most.</p> <h3>2. Make Networking a Habit</h3> <p>In order to really get the most out of your network, you need to be doing more than just going to the occasional networking event. You need to make a regular habit of reaching out to new people and connecting with them, even if you can&rsquo;t find that many events to attend in your area. There&rsquo;s always email, phone calls, and one-on-one meetings.</p> <h3>3. Think About How You&rsquo;re Different From Everyone Else</h3> <p>You don&rsquo;t need to have a full-on existential crisis, but you do need to understand why someone would (or wouldn&rsquo;t) want to network with you at this point. Consider how you can help your connections and how you stand out from your industry. If you need to, write out a few points so that you can get some ideas for conversation topics.</p> <h3>4. Get a Better Address Book, Preferably Software-Based</h3> <p>There are dozens of different address book tools out there these days that can do all sorts of tricks. Some can even fill in websites and other public information about a new contact based on just a few details you can add. If you&rsquo;re trying to build deep connections, you shouldn&rsquo;t be spending time alphabetizing your Rolodex.</p> <h3>5. Always Set a Way to Follow Up</h3> <p>No matter who you&rsquo;re networking with or what your goal is, you should make sure that you have already arranged to follow up before the conversation ends. It can be something as simple as promising to email a copy of an interesting article &mdash; you just want to skip that awkward phase of wanting to contact someone but not have a reason to do it.</p> <h3>6. Carry Business Cards With You Constantly</h3> <p>With today&rsquo;s technology, the information on a business card isn&rsquo;t particularly important. But it does provide a physical reminder to your new contact that he or she did meet you, making it easier for you to build on the connection.</p> <h3>7. Look for People You Want to Network With Ahead of Time</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s common to be able to look at the expected attendees for many events these days, and social networking can provide you added insight on who will be attending a given event with a little searching. Identify the best people to network with and make a point of introducing yourself at the event.</p> <h3>8. Make Your Connections Deeper</h3> <p>Just meeting someone in passing at an event (or even online) is just a shallow connection. It&rsquo;s a great starting point, but if you can take the time to make that connection deeper &mdash; say with meeting up for lunch or passing a few lengthy emails back and forth &mdash; you can make build a much deeper relationship. It can be as simple as telling yourself that you want to make one connection deeper every week and make a point of acting on that commitment.</p> <h3>9. Listen More Than You Talk, at Least at First</h3> <p>We all like to talk about ourselves, but a good networker spends a conversation learning as much about her new connection as possible. Ask questions, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today">listen</a>, and generally pay attention. Then, when you talk, you can talk about the reason for your networking within your contact&rsquo;s frame of reference, like what you can do to help her. This approach is much more effective than going in and trying to sell at a networking event.</p> <h3>10. Develop a Thick Skin</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s easy enough for a new connection to ease himself out of a conversation or turn you down during the follow up. It&rsquo;s important to be able to let such situations go. There are just some people who you will never click with, and that&rsquo;s fine.</p> <h3>11. Don&rsquo;t Shy Away From People Who Don&rsquo;t Seem Useful</h3> <p>You never know what the future may bring: You could change industries, strike out on your own, or generally need to know very different people down the line than you do today. Don&rsquo;t brush off anyone who doesn&rsquo;t fit in with your current networking needs just for that reason.</p> <h3>12. Go Outside of Your Industry or Niche</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s very tempting to build most of your connections within your own industry &mdash; especially if your goals focus on sales or business. But by going further afield, you can build a more useful network. It&rsquo;s rare that any of us only need sales connections, after all. Vendors, media, and other potential contacts are crucial to a healthy network, even if they don&rsquo;t directly work in your industry.</p> <h3>13. Connect Your Connections</h3> <p>Take the time to make helpful introductions within your own network. The more interconnected your network is, the easier it is to get your contacts to take action. It doesn&rsquo;t hurt if you can build the reputation as the person always able to make a useful introduction.</p> <h3>14. Follow-Up Is Always Your Responsibility</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s easy enough to go to an event and hand out a stack of business cards &mdash; but the odds are that only 10-20% of the people that you connect with will follow up with you, even if you give them a great reason to do so. If you want to create connections that will actually be useful to you in the long run, you have to take responsibility for following up.</p> <h3>15. Don&rsquo;t Forget Your Existing Network in Your Hurry to Add to It</h3> <p>Going back and regularly strengthening your ties to your existing network &mdash; friends, family, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-being-nice-at-work-can-payoff">coworkers</a> and so on &mdash; is just as important as building new connections. That&rsquo;s because your deepest connections are the ones most likely to help you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-simple-networking-tricks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-great-ways-to-network-that-dont-feel-sleazy">5 Great Ways to Network That Don&#039;t Feel Sleazy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-networking-tips-for-people-under-40">The 10 Best Networking Tips for People Under 40</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-a-second-language-can-boost-your-career">11 Ways a Second Language Can Boost Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defining-success-if-you-dont-know-what-you-want-you-wont-know-when-youve-gotten-it">Defining Success: If You Don&#039;t Know What You Want, You Won&#039;t Know When You&#039;ve Gotten It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Personal Development communication skills listening networking Tue, 29 Nov 2011 11:00:31 +0000 Thursday Bram 802532 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Ways to Communicate Better Today http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/conversation.jpg" alt="Men talking in a coffee shop" title="Men talking in a coffee shop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="156" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Communicating effectively is not always easy. You have to make sure that your message is received as you intended and work to understand the messages that others are sending you. As a literal thinker and introvert, I have often missed social cues or simply failed to speak up in order to correct misperceptions, leading to misunderstandings. But I have learned from my mistakes and gotten better at adjusting my style to various scenarios. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-learn-from-your-mistakes">How to Learn From Your Mistakes</a>)</p> <p>Have you ever struggled to express your thoughts or grasp what others are trying to tell you? Use these techniques to communicate better today.</p> <h3>Interacting with People Who Don't Know You Well</h3> <p>Misunderstandings can happen easily when you are talking with someone who doesn't know you well. There are many possible causes of confusion. For example, the listener may work in a field in which specific words carry meanings different from common usage or may be hypersensitive to certain topics. Or you may forget to give background information that is pertinent to your conversation. Pay attention to what is happening and clear up any potential misunderstandings.</p> <h4>1. Speak Up</h4> <p>Even when you use the right words, tones, and inflections, someone else may not receive the message you intended. If you see an inappropriate reaction, identify the source of the misunderstanding and restate your message in a way that makes sense to the other person.</p> <h4>2. Clarify</h4> <p>Be attentive to clues that you need to clarify your statements. Questions often stimulate thoughts that allow you to see the discrepancy between your intentions and the listener's perceptions. Elaborate to address any apparent inconsistencies.</p> <h4>3. Issue a Correction When You Know You've Misspoken</h4> <p>Occasionally, you may make a statement that you immediately realize has mischaracterized your thoughts. Rather than ignore your mistake, acknowledge and correct the error as soon as possible.</p> <h3>Navigating New Territory</h3> <p>When you find yourself in foreign situations, you may need to adjust your communication tactics to make sure you are understood. Decision makers are more apt to listen intently and respond favorably when you act like you know what you are talking about.</p> <h4>4. Learn the Lingo</h4> <p>Discover keywords that are meaningful in new contexts. For example, when my oldest son, a high school senior, broke his right arm just days before the SAT, I quickly learned about testing &quot;accommodations,&quot; which helped me communicate with College Board officials and guidance counselors at his school about his need for a computer at the testing site.</p> <h4>5. Write Down What You Want to Say</h4> <p>Before making an important phone call, outline key points on paper. Adjust your message to fit the flow of conversation. Keep your notes nearby so that you can verify that you have covered pertinent details.</p> <h4>6. Stick With the Facts</h4> <p>New situations warrant presenting facts and asking reasonable questions rather than talking excessively about your emotional concerns. So resist being dramatic, especially around those who you don't know well. If your listeners are reasonable people, they will understand and respond appropriately.</p> <h4>7. Research Before Complaining</h4> <p>Learn more about an organization's policies and procedures before <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-complain-and-get-a-good-result">lodging a complaint</a>. When explaining why you are dissatisfied, get attention by explaining how the company failed to comply with its own standards rather than how employees' actions fell short of your expectations.</p> <h4>8. Be Poised</h4> <p>Uncertainty and fear can cause you to share too much irrelevant information. Act as relaxed as possible in new situations, even if you have concerns that make you anxious; as a result, listeners will more readily grasp your message and focus on offering guidance rather than calming fears.</p> <h3>While Working</h3> <p>Workplace communications can be tricky as acceptable styles vary depending on the company culture. However, techniques that involve modifying your message and its delivery to the unique needs of your audience are useful in nearly any situation.</p> <h4>9. Adjust the Volume of Your Voice as Necessary</h4> <p>Speaking softly is fine in face-to-face conversations with close friends in quiet homes, but it doesn&rsquo;t work well when making a presentation in noisy workplaces. Likewise, those who speak to large crowds on a regular basis may need to turn down the volume when chatting with a small group.</p> <h4>10. Speak Slowly</h4> <p>If you are new to public speaking or have limited experience in this area, slow down. Conversational pace does not translate well to speeches to large groups, who may not be familiar with your manner of speaking. Pause at the end of key points so that listeners can process your content easily.</p> <h4>11. Get the Full Attention of Your Audience</h4> <p>If your listener is involved in a high-priority assignment, battling a deadline, or getting ready for a business trip, pick a better time to talk.</p> <h4>12. Research Before Asking Questions</h4> <p>To elicit useful responses from an expert (whether a thought leader in the industry you are pursuing or the technical services rep of a vendor you are evaluating), do some research. Find out what is considered common knowledge and determine the various schools of thought on certain issues. As a result, your conversation moves beyond the basics to more substantial and significant issues.</p> <h4>13. Be Clear About Deadlines</h4> <p>When you make a request or extend an offer of assistance, talk about timelines. Whether you are asking for a report from a colleague or preparing content for a presentation for your boss, confirm the deadline to make sure you stay on schedule.</p> <h3>Communicating in Writing, Online or Offline</h3> <p>Whether you use a casual style for emails, posts, etc. or a formal style for printed letters, research papers, and so on, understand that readers will see your words only and may miss subtle meaning that could otherwise be conveyed easily in a face-to-face conversation. So be as precise as possible.</p> <h4>14. Re-Read Your Message</h4> <p>Re-reading an email (or any written communication, such as a personal note, professional bio, or research paper) brings typos to light. Revise and read again.</p> <h4>15. Use Correct Grammar</h4> <p>Many people are genuinely confused by <a href="http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/why-commas-matter.aspx">misplaced commas</a> and <a href="http://www.usu.edu/markdamen/WritingGuide/10dangpt.htm">dangling participles</a>. Rework awkwardly worded sentences.</p> <h4>16. Use the Right Word or Phrase</h4> <p>If you have even the slightest doubt about the meaning of a word, look up its definition. Discover a word's original meaning as well as its present-day connotation.</p> <h4>17. Use Formatting Tools in Emails</h4> <p>To highlight key points and deadlines, bold and underline text to emphasize important content. Place certain items, like names of program participants or event schedules, in bulleted form for easy scanning.</p> <h4>18. Avoid Using Humor</h4> <p>Your family and close friends, or those who are familiar with your style, may appreciate your humor. But those outside of your inner circle may misconstrue your words. Sarcasm especially does not translate well in writing.</p> <h3>Listening</h3> <p>Listening is often overlooked as a tool in effective communication. One of the easiest ways to improve communication is to pay more attention to those who are speaking and sending messages to you.</p> <h4>19. Slow Down</h4> <p>Comprehend what the speaker is saying, rather than trying to move quickly through a conversation. Avoid predicting what the other person will say and focus instead on what is being said. And, rather than interrupting with your thoughts, wait for a pause before responding.</p> <h4>20. Confirm Your Understanding</h4> <p>If you are interacting with someone for the first time, there is a strong possibility of a failed communication. If you are unsure about what happens next (what action you should take or what the other person will do), ask questions. Even if you think you are sure, rephrase statements to confirm mutual understanding.</p> <h4>21. Remember</h4> <p>The more you can recall about the content of previous conversations, the better you can communicate in subsequent conversations.</p> <h4>22. Archive Your Emails</h4> <p>Store emails so that you can re-read them if necessary. Verify key points as well as details such as meeting dates and assignments.</p> <h3>Adapting Your Message to Your Audience</h3> <p>Another commonly overlooked but simple way to improve communication is to adapt your message to the needs, preferences, backgrounds, values, etc. of those who are listening to you speak or reading your written messages. Avoid hot buttons and try to convey ideas in ways that resonate with members of your audience.</p> <h4>23. Assess the Knowledge of Your Listeners</h4> <p>Rather than underestimating or overestimating someone else&rsquo;s background in a certain subject, ask what they know about your topic. (Keep in mind that audience members' lack of knowledge in your field does not mean that they are ill-informed or poorly educated in general.) Check for understanding during your conversation and make adjustments as appropriate.</p> <h4>24. Show Respect for the Values of Your Audience</h4> <p>Do some basic research by reviewing individual or company websites, statements of purpose, operating principles, etc. to gain an understanding of others' perspective of the world. Make sure that your business proposals, idea pitches, etc. are compatible with their values.</p> <h4>25. Use Familiar References</h4> <p>Learn about the professional backgrounds, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">hobbies</a>, lifestyles, families, etc. of audience members. Tell stories and use metaphors that relate concepts to their life experiences.</p> <p><em>What techniques have you used to improve communication?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-get-people-to-listen-when-you-talk">7 Ways to Get People to Listen When You Talk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-simple-networking-tricks">15 Simple Networking Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-are-what-you-do-16-ways-to-improve-your-body-language">You Are What You Do: 16 Ways to Improve Your Body Language</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-say-no-to-friends-and-family">5 Ways to Say &quot;No&quot; to Friends and Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today">25 Small New Year’s Resolutions You Can Start Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development 25 changes communication listening Thu, 17 Nov 2011 11:24:13 +0000 Julie Rains 776165 at http://www.wisebread.com Leadership by Listening http://www.wisebread.com/leadership-by-listening <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/leadership-by-listening" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman listening to her friend.jpg" alt="women talking and listening to each other" title="women talking and listening to each other" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you a good listener? Listeners can be great leaders because they have volumes of field intelligence that no one else has bothered to notice. I know from firsthand experience.</p> <p>Sometimes, good listeners aren't recognized as excellent or potentially excellent leaders because we're not standing in front of large groups of people making speeches. Instead, we're having one-on-one conversations: learning more about our friends, coworkers, and acquaintances, tapping their domain knowledge, and getting a handle on their passions, frustrations, and dreams. It's this information that we use to identify opportunities, plant seeds, spread ideas, and make things happen.</p> <p>If you happen to be one of those people who might be listening so much that you don't have a chance to promote yourself, and perhaps you're a bit on the quiet side, you can still be an incredible leader. Consider these ideas.</p> <h2>Find Good Opportunities</h2> <p><strong>Tackle the project that no one else wants.</strong> The project might seem troublesome, controversial, or inconsequential. A factor in being a great leader is choosing projects carefully. But just because no one else is interested doesn't mean the project (or program or problem) isn't worthy of our attention. If you're trying to establish yourself as a leader and can't get the right opportunities, then taking on a challenge can be a great way to earn recognition.</p> <p><strong>Solve a problem.</strong> For whatever reason, the powers-to-be (no matter how wise and well-informed) have a persistent or particularly annoying problem. They're concerned, reasonably or irrationally, about seeming insensitive, setting too-rigid guidelines, not preserving the peace. The truth is that I get mired in similar problems because I've listened to others' concerns and complaints, which may make it easier to sort through these dilemmas, recommend solutions, and stand firm.</p> <p><strong>Learn to recognize &quot;amazingness.&quot;</strong> Some of my best leadership successes have involved learning from incredibly talented people and adapting their fresh, relevant concepts to the needs of my group and community. Listening to lots of people can mean noticing trends and recognizing novel ideas as well as knowing when a group is ready to hear about new approaches.</p> <h2>Keep Listening</h2> <p><strong>Assess and leverage strengths.</strong> Learn about other people's strengths and preferences by asking questions, listening to responses, and showing genuine interest in varied topics, common and obscure. Rather than assigning people to random tasks, leaders who listen can easily locate and call on the right people for expertise, support, and collaboration. Remember to make an open call to find folks with unadvertised talents and those who are lousy at self-promotion but still want to contribute.</p> <p><strong>Challenge and encourage, but don't push.</strong> Be upfront about commitments you'll need as well as the support you're willing to give. Listen for a negative response and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-straightforward-ways-to-say-no">accept &quot;no&quot;</a> as readily as you embrace &quot;yes.&quot; Understand that too many &quot;no's&quot; may mean that the timing for a project, program, activity, etc. just isn't right. Knowing when to walk away is a valuable asset.</p> <p><strong>Listen to people with diverse viewpoints.</strong> Meet with stakeholders who can influence the success of your mission and uncover their concerns. Use these insights to modify project details, avoid violating values held by team members, and ensure integrity in communications. Take this time to explain your intentions and how your actions will benefit their long-term goals.</p> <h2>Be Real</h2> <p><strong>Accept that your leadership style will be different.</strong> Feigning ultra-confidence probably isn't going to work well for those who are intent listeners, especially those on the introverted side. You've probably detected inconsistencies in others' calls to action and execution of action plans. You don't want to mislead in any way so you might not act totally fearless. Some will reject your style but others will be attracted.</p> <p><strong>Admit mistakes.</strong> No one wants to repeat the same mistakes. Actually, many people don't want to make mistakes at all, especially ones that might become public. But if you're taking on the projects that no one else wants, then you are likely to encounter new territory and make missteps. Staying upbeat is extremely valuable in rallying support. But acknowledging imperfection makes you more approachable by those with great ideas and shows that you're not obsessed with your plan but rather with fulfilling a mission.</p> <h2>Take Action</h2> <p>Leadership opportunities exist at the convergence of troublesome projects, hand-wringing problems, people who have the knowledge and desire to help, and <em>amazingness.</em> If you are truly listening, you'll see these opportunities and seize them.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/leadership-by-listening">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-simple-networking-tricks">15 Simple Networking Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today">25 Ways to Communicate Better Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-get-people-to-listen-when-you-talk">7 Ways to Get People to Listen When You Talk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-generosity-is-key-to-everything-including-your-career">Why Generosity Is Key to Everything — Including Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development leadership listening Sun, 05 Sep 2010 17:00:06 +0000 Julie Rains 226151 at http://www.wisebread.com