Archive for May, 2012

Here are two questions that will help you listen.

Posted in Leadership, Management, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on May 16, 2012 by Chuc Barnes

I pointed out previously that effective listening SAVES time. Sadly, most people get in such a hurry today that they don’t listen. They might hear, but they don’t listen and, thus, they WASTE a lot of time.

Realize that listening
• Equals respect.
• Is a form of empathy.
• Is good time management.

Ok, so what can you do to improve listening on your team?

First, please recognize that there are a number of “generations” in the workplace today and each generation has a different preference for communicating.

“Matures” like voice mail.
“Boomers” prefer email.
“Gen X” like text messages.
“Gen Y (Millenials, Next Gen, Nexters)” prefer social media.

All of the above communication methods of course work very well, but–as a team leader–you’d be smart to improve the interactions in your team by asking them the following two questions:

1) What’s the best way for us to communicate?
2) What can we do to save time for each other?

Notice that if you ask these two questions you’ll have to LISTEN, and when you listen, you’ll learn what your team members prefer. As team leader, you then can adapt your communication processes to meet the preference of the group. This will save time for the group.

I propose that effective listening helps teamwork and teamwork is time management.

Does this ring true to you?

Why don’t people listen today?

Posted in Customer service, Leadership, Management, Presenting, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on May 8, 2012 by Chuc Barnes

Can you remember when your mother spoke to you and said, “Listen to me.” Perhaps your mother even said, “Look at me when I’m talking to you.”

Your mom was not just teaching you a skill to use with her. She was teaching you a crucial skill to help you save time when dealing with other people too.

Karen Anderson is a friend of mine and a mom. She also is a teacher, speaker, and consultant. Karen constantly tells her students and clients that “good leaders LISTEN.”

I agree with Karen–and I agree with your mom. Good leaders listen!

Simply try to imagine how can you effectively lead a group in a meeting or any endeavor if you’re not listening to them and paying attention, not just to their words, but also to their body language?

As a former Marine, I can tell you first hand that a good leader, whether in battle or not, is constantly watching his or her team in order to “listen” to what’s going on. And when in battle, leaders and team members use signals so they can communicate without the enemy knowing what you’re saying.

This also is true in sports. When playing basketball or baseball, isn’t it true that players on a team receive messages from their coach from signals (a method of communicating and LISTENING) in the middle of a game?

OK, forget battle and sports for a moment. Think about yourself. Are you a good listener? Do you pay attention to what other people are thinking and saying?

Do you listen to what your customers are saying?

What about your friends? Do you actually listen to them?

And what about today’s politicians. Do they listen? If so, why do they have such low favorability ratings?

Realize that young people “listen” differently than you do. They communicate with friends by sending messages on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. They therefore “listen” to words and they look at photos and videos. Thus, they don’t use much body language.

I’m writing this post right now to remind you, as the leader and self-manager that you are, that LISTENING is a crucial skill — a time-saving skill that too many people are overlooking today.

Just think of all the unsolicited phone calls you receive. What about all the “offers” you keep receiving in unsolicited emails.

Do you agree with what I’m saying about listening being a time-saver? If you do, great! If you don’t, that’s OK. Either way, I’d like to “listen” to your opinion so please jot your comments here.

I’ll write more about listening in future posts.