listening

I’d Rather Set My Hair On Fire

Have you ever had a telephone conversation with someone while also catching up on your email or surfing the latest news?

Have you ever been on the phone trying to talk with someone only to realize they aren’t paying attention but are instead reading from the screen in front of them?

Nobody disagrees with the importance of really listening to each other. In fact, I’ve tracked it on Twitter and you’ll see that thousands talk about the importance of listening. If that is all true then why do so many people do just the opposite?

To listen – truly listen to someone you have to tune everything and everyone else out.

This is one reason I don’t understand why so many companies insist on having telephone conference calls that last for an hour or more. Most of them are usually scheduled for one hour and it seems like whoever is leading the call always feels the need to fill that time. As a result, the majority of the people on the call have a speaker or headset on while they read their mail, check out their favorite blogs, clip their nails and groom the dog. And, what is even more amazing to me is how many people have to attend these calls every day and sometimes multiple times.

Yikes! I’d rather set my hair on fire!

I know that’s easy for me to say but you get the point.

You’ve probably played the game where a group of people get together and someone leads off by whispering to the next person a statement that is written down. Then that person tells it to another and one-by-one the story is passed down the line. By the time the final person at the end of the chain states out loud to the group what they think they just heard the entire initial story has changed and often so much so there isn’t any resemblance to it.

If this can happen when you know you’re supposed to be listening imagine what the outcomes are of corporate decisions dependent upon team conference calls that last for hours where your attention is less than focused.

Managers love these kinds of calls.

Leaders detest them.

Listening Away Assumptions, Fear, and Your List of Shoulds

“How are you?”

“I’m fine. Never been better.”

How many times a day do you have that type of exchange with someone either in person, on the phone, or in email? It’s already happened to me a half-dozen times this morning. I always assume the initial question is a social greeting and not really a question. I don’t think most people really want to take the time to listen to me – to find out how I really am feeling. And, that’s okay most of the time.

A lot of people aren’t really fine right now. And, they have been better. You might count yourself in that group. You might be wondering if you’re really doing the thing in life that makes a difference for both yourself and those around you. It’s easy to wonder when you hear and see so much negativity around you. However, I’m here to tell you that with over 60 years of experience as a human being, I find that there always will be negative people, negative stories, and those who have given up on making a difference and want you to join them. Ignore them. Run from them.

Running your own business, working in sales, shipping a new project, and making a difference are all challenging not just for you but for all of us. Don’t let the experts tell you any differently. It’s hard work. That’s why it’s called work. But, it can be fun and rewarding and you can make a difference. I bet you already are making one with someone.

But, maybe you’re feeling dissatisfied and scared. It’s good to be dissatisfied otherwise we’d never strive to make somethign even better and scared is normal. You were successful at something before you started this new project, career, or business. What was it about you that allowed you to be successful in the first place? Are you doing what led to that success now? You might be harboring assumptions that are stifling you now. Do you have a list of “shoulds” that are holding you back. What could they be?

Now, please go find a quiet place, sit down and relax and then ask yourself this question. Or, better yet, sit with a trusted friend or two and let them listen to the answer.

The question is, “How are you?”

And, now, give yourself and them the honest answer.

Talk about why you’re dissatisfied, why you’re scared and why you’re worried you might now be doing the “one thing” that will make a difference. Or, maybe how you’re afraid of the idea of even doing one thing.

Listen to your answers. Write them down – especially the assumptions and the shoulds. Ask yourself if you’re trying to force things to happen. Are you focused on the right thing?

And, what is the right thing? I can tell you what it’s not. It’s not:

  • You!
  • Monetary survival
  • Proving something to someone else or proving them wrong.
  • Getting the award, the recognition, the trophy.

Focusing on these things will only lead to failure. I suggest focusing on one thing for the time being.

Focus on providing extraordinary value to the people you come in contact with every moment of every day. Ask yourself:

  • What kind of value can I provide for this person?
  • How can I make their lives better without consideration for my own agenda?
  • Who can I connect them with who will bring more value to their lives?

That’s it. One primary focus and three questions.

And, now will you do me a favor? Will you answer these two questions for me? You can do it in the comments or send me a private email but I promise you that I will listen.

How are you?

What can I do to help you get what you want in life?

Thank you.

Becoming a Master In Your Business

Golf is a difficult game to master. Many professional athletes in other sports will tell you that it is number one in difficulty to master.

Creating a beautiful painting, extraordinary photo, or a digital video that makes moves people to cry or laugh or feel is also a province of the masters.

How do you then master these things – assuming you want to?

  1. You get the best coach or teacher you can afford.
  2. You watch and listen to the masters – your role models.
  3. In golf you play with players who are better than you and you learn from them
  4. Creating beautiful images means spending a lot of time in museums listening to what the artist is saying.
  5. You learn what the masters do that nobody else is willing to do.
  6. Then you practice, practice, and practice.

What makes you think that if you want to be the best and create an extraordinary business (or an extraordinary life) that you can do it without following these same rules? What makes you think you can create a website, read the latest on social marketing and some other business books and then call yourself an expert – a master? What makes you think you can be successful when you focus on yourself, how much money you can make, as you feed your ego?

The masters will teach you that by focusing on creating value for others you will be on the path toward mastery – a path with heart.

If you want to be a master then find someone who is already a master – someone who has walked the walk and just doesn’t talk the talk. And, then beg them to teach you. Listen to them with your heart and not just your ears.

Then practice what you’ve been taught and what you’ve observed. What is it that you will do that nobody else will do?

Do these things and one day you will indeed become a master.

Now it will be your turn to help others who want to follow your path with a heart.

Learn How to Recognize and Sell to the Four Personality Types

People do business with people that they know, like, and trust. Since we can’t pick or choose the “type” of person we are most likely to trust and like right away, we need to learn how to effectively with everyone’s personality style.” Learn how in this report and start increasing your sales right away!

Selling To The Four Personality Types

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