BECOME A “WHOLE BODY” LISTENER

To be effective listeners we must involve the whole body.

Not only are our ears tuned in, but so are our eyes, our minds (the intellect),
our bodies, our hearts and our intuition. Good listeners give both nonverbal and verbal signals that they are listening.
A “whole body” listener tunes in by

  • Conveying a positive encouraging attitude
  • Sitting in a attentive posture
  • Remaining alert, but comfortable
  • Nodding in acknowledgment of the speakers words
  • Making good eye contact
  • Listening between the lines
  • Looking like a listener

If you have complete rapport you will naturally match the speaker’s physical movements, tone of voice, vocabulary and breathing patterns. Good listeners are in sensory balance with the speaker.
According to Albert Mehrabian, a noted expert in human behavior, our communication is 55 percent body language, 25 percent inflection and tone and only 20 percent words. Then most of the message is seen and sensed, and the words are far less important than the nonverbal cues and tone of voice.
Think about your personal mannerisms and behaviors. Do you have any of the following habits that would distract or confuse a speaker?

  • Fidgeting
  • Blinking
  • Biting your lip
  • Frowning deeply
  • Playing with your hair, tie or jewelry
  • Looking at your watch
  • Staring

Stop for a moment and think about these behaviors. Would they distract you if you were the one speaking? If your answer is yes, you need to find a way to modify your behavior.

TIPS FOR EFFECTIVELY DEALING WITH THE MEDIA

Talking to the Media?

* Prepare. If you are the right person to answer the journalist’s questions, think of the one or two main points or responses that you want to get across before entering the interview. Have relevant facts at your fingertips. Resist the temptation – or pressure – to reply at once. Ask “Is there anything else you need to know?” Make a note of the questions. Once you fully understand the story, ask yourself: “Do I know the issues well enough to make an informed comment right away?” If you want to check your facts, have a word with someone or just think about the issues; do not feel you have to answer immediately. You should, particularly for the broadcast media, think about summarizing the issue into a few simple key points.

* Call back quickly. Media are generally under tight deadlines, and the earlier you respond, the more likely it will be that you will be included in the story. Make sure you call the journalist back before the deadline, even if it’s just to explain an unforeseen obstacle. A missed deadline is a missed story. Alternatively, the story could still be used but may report that you were unavailable for comment, implying indifference or defensiveness.

* Handling a tough situation. If you know you are being asked about a very controversial issue, ask your own questions. Say: “I know you can’t reveal your sources but can you give me an idea how you knew this was happening?” Try to find out who else the journalist has spoken to – you may get an idea of the angle of the story. If a journalist quotes something particularly inflammatory, don’t react. Make a note of it for your own response.

* Be ready to explain the issue carefully and patiently. While reporters, particularly specialist reporters, may have a good knowledge of the background, do not assume this. Respect the fact that they know a good story and are interested in what you do. If you can, offer to send the information to them, ideally by fax.

* Listen. Make sure you know what question you are answering. Sometimes the question itself can suggest appropriate ways to focus or phrase an answer.

* Get to the point. Capture the essence of what you want to say in the first one or two sentences of your response, and add details later.

* Keep it simple. Most journalists are looking for clear, simple quotes that can be understood by a wide audience.

HOW TO STOP PERFECTIONISM

Need to be Perfect?

PITFALLS

Have to do everything perfectly–even leisure related activities
Drive away others who don’t live up to your “perfect” standard
Avoid things you’re not good at because you fear failure

SOLUTIONS

Distinguish between important and unimportant tasks
Be honest about what you can accomplish and to what degree, then set realistic expectations
Understand that there is more than one way to do something
Eliminate “I should” statements
Don’t magnify your errors
Force yourself to do something unimportant imperfectly
Make a conscious effort to mark the items on your to-do” list that you could do less than perfectly

FEELING GOOD ABOUT WHO YOU ARE-NOT JUST WHAT YOU DO

Give yourself permission to re-establish contact with your creative nature
Accept limitations
Enjoy doing what you’re doing without worrying about what others think
Don’t lose sense of the larger meaning of your life
Let yourself off the hook. Don’t keep beating up on yourself when you make a mistake
Don’t identify your worth as a reflection of your place in someone’s life

ELIMINATE VICTIM-TYPE THINKING

VICTIM-TYPE THINKING INVOLVES PERCEIVING ONESELF AS A VICTIM OF PEOPLE, SITUATIONS OR CIRCUMSTANCES YOU CAN’T CONTROL.

Pinpoint which people or situations are fueling victim-type thinking

Assume responsibility
Take action

HANDLING ANXIETY/STRESS

STRESSED?

Being a Type A personality is not a bad thing, if you learn to control life’s stresses. We are all under stress–some more than others–but the key is to regularly reduce it and gain a balanced perspective on life. Achievement in one area of your life is not worth killing yourself for, even if you die wealthy.

To avoid or overcome burn-out, heed the advice in the 12 tips that follow. But change yourself slowly. You cannot adopt 6 or eight new behaviors overnight. Take them one at a time, and before you know it you will be a new person.

LEARN 12 WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS

1.Limit the number of hours you work. Most workaholics put in 60-80 hours every week. Cut back your work load so you are working a normal 40-50 hour week.

2.Set goals and write them down. Take stock of your activities and determine which offers the highest pay-off. Set goals for these and get rid of as much “busy work” as you can.

3.Learn to say “No!” Refusing to take on more work or responsibilities will not lower your worth in the eyes of others. Fend for yourself.

4. Delegate. Accept the fact that you cannot do everything yourself and that other people can do good work, especially if they are supervised well. In the long run you are better off spending your time training people than trying to do everything yourself.

5. Exercise regularly. This is the best advice we can give you and the one you should act on immediately. It is the best way to reduce stress. Exercise makes you stronger in every way. Research has shown that people between the ages of 55 and 88 who exercise regularly are mentally sharper.

6. Break up your routine. If your routine is very rigid, change it around to give yourself some variety. The same principle applies to what you eat. Avoid food ruts, especially fast food ruts.

7. Take time to relax. Don’t eat lunch at your desk. Use that time to relax, take a walk or just sit and meditate.

8.Get out of town. A change of scenery works wonders, even for a weekend or a day. Plan trips both short and long. They get you away from it all and give you peace.

9.Spend more time with family and friends. Workaholics often downplay the importance of people in their lives. People are very important. Keep connections fun and healthy.

10.Have fun. Pursue your hobbies. Take time to disengage your mind and read, even if you read comic books. Go to sporting events, the theater or whatever you find entertaining.

11. Lighten up. This is the most difficult advice to heed, but it may be the most important. Keep things in perspective, the right perspective being that nothing is worth getting sick about. To help you shift your thinking, spend 10 minutes in a hospital or nursing home. Suddenly you will see the world differently and will not take life too seriously.

12. Repeat.  Go back and repeat the previous 11 steps, year after year, month after month.

Project or Just Work?

How Projects Differ From “Normal” Work

A project is something that is distinct from the normal circumstances of everyday work. A project has the following characteristics:

1. A project is goal oriented.

  • A project has a beginning, a middle and most of all an end. The goal behind any project is to achieve some defined result.
  • A project is never simply an end in itself; rather is is a means to an end.
  • Project–Build a warehouse
  • Not a Project–Get the accounting reports done each month
  • Project–Publish the July issue of the company news letter
  • Not a Project–Decide which work assignments have priority

2. A project consists of tasks that can be put into a connected and interrelated sequence.

 

3. A project has a limited duration

  • It wasn’t really a project in the first place, but rather a program.
  • It’s a project, but one that is in serious trouble. The goal of project management is ultimately to end the project, preferably successfully.

 

4. A project is unique and non routine

  • With a project, you are trying to achieve a specific goal. Once the project is complete, you shouldn’t have to do that specific project again.
  • A key element of projects is that they can be broken down into tasks, which are the specific work packages that have to be accomplished in order to achieve the goal. In an important sense, there is really no such thing as project management; rather, there is task management. From a technical perspective, when you manage a project, you break the project down into tasks, organize the tasks into a logical order and manage the performance of the tasks, one by one. If you have broken down the tasks properly and you manage each one successfully, your project’s outcome should be fairly certain.
  • Because projects have specific goals and a plan for achieving them, projects are always and necessarily time-limited. If the project seems never to approach an actual conclusion, one of two things is true:
  • If you do it all the time, and it is the primary activity or at least one of the primary activities of your job, it’s not really a project.

How Is Your Memory?

To improve your memory there are some general principles that are required if you want to train yourself to remember more effectively. The following seven principles will help you understand factors that are essential to memory improvement.

Memory can be improved through:

  1. Interest – It is much easier to remember things that are of interest. Interest helps you store and process information in such a way that you remember it for a long time.
  2. Selection – By choosing the most significant points about an issue, there is no need to remember everything in detail. You will be able to recall it a month, a year, or even 5 years from now.
  3. Attention – Pay attention to what you want to remember. Attending to one thing at a time will help you clarify the task, event or even a person’s name.
  4. Understanding – It is easier to learn and remember something when it is understood. The more new information can be associated with something you already know, the more meaning it will have.
  5. Intention to Remember – We are more likely to recall something when we intend to remember it. It increases our “original awareness.”
  6. Confidence – Positive Mind Set – Without having confidence in our ability to remember, our “will” to remember becomes nothing more than a mere hope. Use positive affirmations about your memory instead of joking how bad it is.
  7. Ego Involvement – Much of what we experience falls in one of two categories: things that please us (or we agree with) or things that displease us (or we disagree with). We seem to learn best when material reinforces our strengths, opinions or beliefs.

Memory is a skill. Like any skill, it can be improved with practice. With the right attitude, you can have fun learning to improve your ability to remember. You’ll be surprised how fast you will increase what you remember with practice.

How is your memory? IT IS GREAT!

Dave’s 7 Keys to Success

Here are Dave’s 7 keys to success:

  1. Success is predictable, duplicable and achievable.
  2. Results change when you change your programming.
  3. Create a clear vision: know what you want.
  4. Build relationships with those who hold you to higher standards.
  5. Always give more than expected.
  6. Live in an attitude of gratitude.
  7. Be accountable. If you say you will do something, do it.

Guard Your Moral Values

Few people in any field ever reach the ultimate top without a strong sense of moral values. The person who does gain a position of prestige or power with a character not completely honest will soon be uncovered for the weakness. Power or authority demands integrity of the highest type, for without it the occupant of the position will sooner or later give in to the temptation to abuse authority. And even in lesser positions, a strong and sincere sense of morality is a requisite for winning and holding respect and confidence of others in the face of the everyday temptations to deal and contrive as being easier alternatives to thinking and planning.

To say that a person can be a little dishonest in business is comparable to saying that a woman can be a little bit pregnant. A man is either honest or he is not; he either has integrity or he does not. In the book “The Leadership Challenge” the authors interviewed over 3,000,000 managers and supervisors to find what worked and honesty was consistently in the top 5 qualities.

Ken Gaebler, CEO of Gaebler Ventures, says that the biggest factor in whether to fund a start up is its management team, do they have the integrity and ethics to do right by their investors, employees and customers.

Legendary entrepreneur Warren Buffett put it this way: “Trust is like the air we breathe. When it’s present, nobody really notices. But when it’s absent, everybody notices.”

Gaebler says the first step is to be the ethical model your self, “if your employees see you cutting corners and consistently working in gray areas, then they are probably going to do the same thing regardless of what your code of ethics says. It’s a monkey-see, monkey-do world we live in and like it or not, you’re the big monkey everyone looks up to in your company.”

If your desire is to work in an atmosphere of high standards, “The Big Enough Company” says you need three kinds of honesty:

  • Honesty with others – It’s about owning a mistake when you mess up and admitting when you are wrong.
  • Honesty with self – Be brutally honest with yourself about what you really want from your job and your business.
  • Honesty about the experience – While you don’t need to publicly sound the alarm each time you have a concern, there is a cost that comes with claiming that everything is all roses. It makes you unreliable to your peers.

What You Said Isn’t What I Saw

The key to providing world class customer service is being able to develop a rapport with your customers. Find out what they want from you, as well as what they think about you and your company. To do this you need to be able to communicate, and this means talking and listening.

At work, the average person spends 9% of his/her day writing, 16% reading, 30% speaking and 45% listening. Despite the fact that speaking and listening consume a whopping total of 75% of the work day, few people know how to do either effectively.

A study done at U.C.L.A. several years ago found that when you send a message to someone, the meaning is gleaned from three different sources. Twenty percent of the meaning comes from the words spoken, 25% from your tone of voice and attitude, and 55% from the clothes you wear and your body language. Yes, body language.

Body language is the single most important communication technique you should be aware of. You can learn the words and massage your attitude, but if you don’t use the right body language, the receiver will misinterpret what you are saying or think to himself, “what you said isn’t what I saw.”

The acronym that will help you better understand and improve your body language is SOFTEN.

The S stands for smile. When you meet someone for the first time, you make eleven impressions on them in just seven seconds. The first thing someone notices is whether you are friendly and empathetic, and this comes from seeing your smile. An inappropriate smile conveys just as bad a message as not smiling at all. Dr. David Lewis of the David Lewis Consultancy agency gives the following advice when meeting people with whom you are not very close but whom you wish to impress favorably. Use a relaxed smile with lips parted only slightly. At the same time, use a warm, steady gaze and allow your eyes to crinkle at the corners. To increase favor or cooperation, tilt your head sideways while smiling and making eye contact. Avoid a broad, open-mouthed smile that exposes your upper teeth. The smile is often faked and usually inspires distrust.

O is for an open stance. You can have your arms crossed and still maintain an open stance. Arm crossing means only that you are chilly or that your arms are tired. The proper stance is a way to generate receptivity, so pay attention. Women are more comfortable conversing face-to-face, while men prefer a side-by-side position that moves to a more frontal one. With this information in mind, never position yourself opposite an unfamiliar male, or beside an unknown female. Also, don’t remain standing when others are sitting unless you intend to signal dominance.

The F stands for a forward lean. This conveys a confident attitude. You are not resting back on your heels or putting your weight on one leg, rather, you are standing on the balls of your feet engaged in the conversation, using gestures and hand motions. If you are seated, you should be sitting up straight and paying attention, not leaning back in your chair trying to be “cool.”

T stands for territory. Proximity matters. The distance you stand or sit from someone sends powerful signals. We can feel very uncomfortable when somebody “invades” our space. The proper distance varies depending on personal preference and nationality. In America, there are three distances most people use whether they realize it or not.

The Business Distance is around 4 feet. When you meet someone and shake hands, and let go, you will both rock back a little and end up at about four feet. Most people, whether you know them or not, will be comfortable with this. The Social Distance is around three feet. You will know someone well before you talk this closely. The third distance is Intimate, which is about one arm’s length. To be this close, you are usually telling the person something in confidence or trying not to disturb others when you talk.

The most critical element in the SOFTEN formula is the E for Eye Contact. Have you ever heard this? “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” Within seconds of making eye contact with another person, both of you will briefly lift your eyebrows. This is a non-verbal handshake and is done unconsciously. The key point in a conversation with a customer is the length of the eye contact. In the initial stage of meeting a person, hold eye contact for no more than three seconds, then break the gaze briefly. Holding eye contact for too long can signal hostility, disapproval or a wish for greater intimacy. Your customer will feel uncomfortable.

Even though you break the gaze every 3 to 5 seconds, it is essential you maintain eye contact throughout the conversation. This will help keep your mind from wandering and give the customer a positive opinion of you.

Have you ever wondered where you should look when you talk to people? Do you look them in the eyes, or one eye, or nose, or forehead or cheekbones? People wonder about this because they are not comfortable with eye contact. You should look at one eye at a time, switching to the other eye each time you break a gaze. The other person won’t notice, your eyes will look alive and you will pay more attention while listening.

Last but not least is the N which stands for Head Nodding. This body language movement is often misused. Remember the last time you were talking to somebody who was impatiently listening to you? How did you know they were getting impatient? Because they were nodding their head frequently as you talked so you would get the message to hurry up. They looked like one of those dogs with a “bobbing” head that some people have in the back window of their cars. A group in England studied head nodding and found that men and women nod differently. Men nod “big” nods while listening, giving the speaker the feeling that they approve of what is being said. Women have smaller nods with occasional pauses in nodding, giving the speaker the feeling that they want them to “keep talking, I’m listening.” Since women are known for their above average listening skills, the latter method was thought to be best.

The whole point of all of this information is that there is more to a message than just the words. You don’t have to be a body language expert, but if you are aware of the messages your body (or the other person’s body) is sending, you will have a greater advantage in any customer interaction.

Humor Is Like a Rolls Royce

Nothing, absolutely nothing will get people to like you as well as a sense of humor. English essayist, William Hayslet, pointed out in his classic essay, “On Wit and Humor,” that man is the only animal that laughs and weeps. He states that man is the only animal that is struck with the difference of what things are and what they ought to be
A sense of humor is like a Rolls Royce; everybody wants one but not everybody knows how to acquire one. Most of us know a funny joke when we hear one, but most of us don’t know what makes it funny. It either seems funny or it doesn’t.

My purpose is not to try to turn you into a standup comedian. Many times these people are not taken seriously and sometimes lack credibility. But when we understand humor better, we will be better able to see laughter in the world around us. We will then become known as a person with a great sense of humor.

Did you know there are only 5 jokes in the world, only 5 things that make people laugh? Some of you are thinking, you’re crazy, I can turn on cable TV every night and watch comedians spin jokes for hours. That’s true, but they are all variations of the same 5 jokes. To develop a sense of humor you need to know how to utilize these 5 principles:

1. Exaggeration – probably the first joke in the history of civilization. Johnny Carson had some of the most famous lines….”it was so cold that, or “it was so hot that…”
Most golfing stories are exaggeration jokes: ”Why did it take so long to play? Well Harry has a heart attack on the 5th hole and it was, hit the ball, drag Harry, hit the ball drag Harry and so on…”
Probably the first joke was: Org millions of years ago went hunting because he was sooooo hungry he could eat a brontosaurus burger.

2. A Pun, taking a word out of context, –Henny Youngman made this popular, “take my wife………PLEASE! Or, did you know they talked about Hondas in the Bible, “when the Disciples were in one Accord” THAT’S A PUN. It usually gets more of a groan than a laugh.

3. The third is the” Put Down.” Made famous in the past by comedy teams like Martin and Lewis, Abbott and Costello, Sonny and Cher, The Smothers Brothers and so on. Individual comedians do it today. One of the most famous is the guy who says this, “I don’t get no respect…”.Rodney Dangerfield.
And what about me, my baldness:. I always knew I would be bald, I always thought I would come out on top or, I don’t worry about being bald, I wear my hair departed on both sides.

4. Number four is silliness. Three Stooges, Marx Brothers or Monty Python. Examples like pie throwing, walking silly, or Groucho Marx saying “last night I killed an elephant in my pajamas….How he got in my pajamas I’ll never know.”

5. The final category is the surprise joke or the “train wreck” with the element of surprise. Ex; “My wife and I NEVER have disagreements anymore. I raked her over the coals once and I didn’t see her for two weeks……after that I could see her a little out of my left eye.” They ARE ALL the same joke only the words are changed. Put your punch line as close to the end as possible.

Carlyle once wrote,” True humor springs not more from the head than from the heart.–It is not contempt; its essence is love.–It issues not in laughter, but in still smiles, which lie far deeper.

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character it becomes your destiny.

Don’t forget to laugh!