Wednesday, February 1, 2023

How to Add Polish to Your Interpersonal Communication

E-mail, IM, Skype, phone, snail mail --- there are more vehicles for communication than ever before.   But when it comes to truly effective communication, there is nothing as good as face-to-face meetings.  That’s because more than 90 percent of the communication we do is nonverbal.  How can you possibly accomplish your communications objectives if the person you are communicating with receives only 10 percent of your message?

Add Strength to Your Words.  When I was growing up I was repeatedly told, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”  That’s what nonverbal communication speaks to. When you meet with someone, you have the opportunity to send your entire message and they have the ability to truly embrace it.  You can share the tone and volume with your voice and place emphasis on certain words.  Your facial expressions, gestures, and body language convey additional meaning that is totally lost with computer-based communications.  There is little room for misunderstanding.

Power Up Your Nonverbal Communication.  When you get together with someone, they have the chance to experience the real you.  If you want to make a good impression you’ll dress properly, and make sure your hair and nails are clean.  You’ll lead with a firm handshake that demonstrates self-confidence and follow up with good eye contact and a winning smile.

Tune In to Feedback. Meeting with someone is more personal than using high tech lines of communication.  It gives you the opportunity to build a bond and establish trust.  When you’re talking, you get immediate feedback from the person you are with.  If the response is not what you expected or hoped for, you are in a position to modify it on the spot.

Ramp Up Your Listening Skills. A face-to-face meeting give you the opportunity to listen.  And listening is the most important communication skill we have.  After all, you don’t learn anything when you are talking.  You already know all about what you have to say.  It is when we listen to others that we have the chance to learn about them and what they are sharing.

Being an effective listener means asking open-ended questions and listening carefully to the answers.  Avoid the tendency to interrupt or advise.  Cultivate the ability to make the person you are listening to feel like they are the center of your world while they are speaking.  Let them see how interested you are in what they have to say -- even if you really aren’t.  Actively listen.  That means listening intently and processing the information so you are in a position to respond in a thoughtful manner.  Be sure to read between the lines.  And be cognizant of their nonverbal behaviors.

Show That You Care.  Face-to-face communication is an opportunity to establish a common bond.  Make an effort to find an interest that you share. Be sincere.  Be interested.  Be giving. Supplementing your newly polished communication skills with the knowledge you care can work miracles with your interpersonal communication.


Monday, January 23, 2023

How to Build Leadership Skills and Develop Powerful Teams

Leaders are not born.  They are made.  To be an effective leader one must cultivate essential skills and at the same time be cognizant of the needs of the people who will follow you. Strong leaders set an example with their passion and energy, their determination to set a good example, and their willingness to take responsibility. They ask for and learn from feedback to focus on tasks at hand and achieve positive results. Everyone has the potential to take a leadership role under different circumstances.  Knowing how to proceed is critical when the occasion arises.

Build Relationships.  Leaders set forth values and guiding principles while promoting caring and respect for others. They establish common ground and mutuality of purpose, making sure everyone benefits.  You do not have to be at the top of the totem pole to lead.  Cultivate face-to-face interactions. Learn to leapfrog--to interact at all organizational levels in order to develop contacts and build relationships.

Empower Those Around You.  Listen to those around you before establishing a plan.  Let those who are involved know that what is going to be accomplished is their idea. Set goals and inspire your followers to do their very best.  Getting people to focus on what needs to be done will help facilitate a quicker resolution.  You may delegate tasks and assign responsibilities but it is best not to tell people what to do. Create a nurturing environment that encourages participants to achieve and rely on their resourcefulness in the process. Then, guide them with a softer touch that will deliver better results. And don’t forget to give credit.

Mentor Others. Great leaders are more than positive role models.  They are mentors who provide a nurturing and challenging environment in which people can grow and develop. You can be an effective leader by participating in formal and informal mentoring.  Help those you mentor move through different positions, and draw on your network to refer, find jobs, and open doors for them.  Always be available to give constructive advice and suggestions.

Promote Internal Communication.  Create an atmosphere of fulfillment that fosters information flow and open dialogue while keeping everyone in the loop. Offer simple objectives communicated easily.  Make sure you repeat and clarify as much as needed. Consider establishing internal panels of experts to whom you can refer.  This will not only facilitate the completion of tasks, it will make those you select feel good about the contribution they are making.  If something doesn’t go as planned, don’t place blame.  A leader knows this is counterproductive.

Nurture Teams. Create excitement and build consensus.  Then take the exceptionally talented people you have found and encourage them to work as a team with the rest of the group.  Promote participation and organize everyone involved to grow effective teams that happily produce positive outcomes. And don’t forget that pat on the back.  We all like to receive a compliment when we have done a good job.

Being a good leader is a tough job.  But it is also a rewarding one.  Showing people the way and getting them to work together to achieve a common objective can be personally rewarding.  Seeing goals achieved is something leaders and teams can take great pleasure in.

What Are The Odds? 1.23.23. 23K

Everything is not always business as usual. Sometimes it's great to sit back and relax or stand up and cheer. Today, 1.23.23, Happy Birthday Baby hit 23,000 views on YouTube. If you have a moment to reflect on happiness and joy, you'll find it with my birthday video.