Do You Know How to Listen to Succeed?

“Misunderstandings, bad decisions, and team conflict create poor results. Avoid them by simply listening!” Jeannette Seibly

Most people would say, “Sure, I listen if …”

  • It’s something that interests me.
  • The speaker is engaging.
  • The boss is saying something that I need to hear.

But listening selectively doesn’t work.

Poor listening skills are the #1 reason for poor communication today! It impacts everything, everywhere in our lives, careers, and businesses…and leads to poor results.

There is a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak. Simon Sinek

You’re not listening when you are …

  • Engaging with the internal chatter in your head
  • Multi-tasking
  • Thinking about other things to do
  • Replaying old upsets (Hint: listening can resolve them)
  • Creating a new job and not engaged in the one you have

The costs of not listening are many. A select few include:

  • Teamwork and comradery are lost
  • New ideas and opportunities are missed
  • Logical discernment and cost-saving processes are overlooked
  • Trust — people feeling valued and respected disappears

8 Tips to Improve Your Listening and Your Results

1. Set Aside Your Ego. It’s the #1 reason you don’t listen. You believe you know-it-all or have already heard it! The truth is, you haven’t. Stop finishing people’s sentences or ideas. Not only is this rude, but you’re also usually incorrect. When your team does not speak up to correct you…you lose time and cost-saving ideas.

Max was a CFO for a large company. He had an uncanny ability to listen and sought out others’ ideas and opinions before making decisions. He didn’t just rely on executives’ opinions, he talked with others that would be impacted too. As a result, his decisions were better accepted and easier to implement. He’d learned the value of listening early in his career and believed it built trust. He was right!

2. Deep Dive. Hearing a tidbit of info and expanding and expounding on it isn’t listening. It’s your ego at work … and often it can be wrong. Listening and asking questions are part of developing critical thinking skills.

3. Stop the Internal Chatter. You have an internal chatterbox. (We all do!) It operates full-time every day, and many times keeps you awake at night too. Learn to meditate and disengage from mental chatter. Now, use these skills for listening.

4. Be Present. Focus and concentrate in the moment when interacting with others. This simple, but rarely used, listening practice makes all experiences more authentic and meaningful. Bonus … others will feel and see the difference too!

5. Set Aside Your Point of View. Set aside mental ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ about the person, task, or situation. This gets in the way of listening and hearing more than the words said. The creation of new ideas begins by listening and engaging in “Tell me more.”

Sabrina, a project manager had tons of experience and so she didn’t listen to anyone that didn’t agree with her. She said, “no” more than, “Tell me more.” As a result, she lost the trust of her team. They felt disrespected. In turn, they only did the work necessary making it difficult for Sabrina to execute customer projects. They also blamed her for not listening to them whenever something went wrong.

6. Don’t Shoot the Messenger. This metaphoric phrase is used to blame the bearer of bad news. (Wikipedia) Be willing to hear what you don’t want to hear. This. Is. Critical. (Yes, it’s hard, but worth the effort.) It will improve your results, save time and money, and have others feel respected. Also, it will save your job and career.

7. Show Me. Many people are not confident when sharing their concerns. They’ve learned that others don’t want to listen. So, if you’re not clear, don’t dismiss their concerns as unimportant. Instead, say, “Show me the concern.” Have the person physically show you from start to finish to ensure clarity.

8. Stop Multi-tasking. Everyone believes they are the exception to the rule and think they know how to multitask and listen at the same time. They don’t! This egocentric habit (lots of us have it) gets in the way of listening and paying attention to the details. When people need to repeat what they have already said, they don’t feel valued or respected. When you truly listen, it saves time and builds trust in you since you actually heard them!

Becky had a habit of sitting through “boring” meetings thumbing through her social media posts and texts. As a result, she missed her boss’s announcement about meeting with executive management. She didn’t show up prepared with the required 3-minute PPT and she attempted to wing-it. When asked by her boss why she didn’t come prepared, she said, “I’m too busy putting out fires.” His response was, “If you learned to listen, you wouldn’t have so many fires to extinguish.”

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. During the past 29 years, she has guided the creation of three millionaires and countless 6-figure income professionals. Her brags also include being an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker. If you’re struggling to get unstuck, now is a great time to contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A note from Jeannette about listening to succeed. The #1 communication skill overlooked today is listening! We are too focused on standing up and speaking up and forget to listen first! Contact me about providing the workshop, Everyone Is Talking, But No One Is Listening! for you and your leaders.

Want to Become Authentic? It Starts with Self-Awareness

“It takes courage to become who you authentically are and have others listen.” Jeannette Seibly

Being a chameleon or politically correct has its benefits. But so does being authentic and self-expressed. Both can bolster career and promotion aspirations. Both can also limit achieving these very same goals!

“… authenticity means you’re true to your own personality, values, and spirit, regardless of the pressure that you’re under to act otherwise.” (MindTools.com)

Self-awareness is when you’re being honest with yourself and others. Most importantly, you take responsibility for what you say and do, and the impact that it has on others.

7 Reasons You May Struggle with Authenticity:

You…

  1. Need to be part of the team
  2. Fear judgment or ridicule
  3. Suppress insights and ideas, even when they are correct
  4. Are unwilling to admit a blunder or mistake
  5. Dismiss emotional feelings with rational excuses
  6. Seek others’ approval as more important than your own values
  7. Fall victim to socially approved qualities that are not your own (e.g., extrovert v introvert; agreeable v being self-focused, etc.) (ScientificAmerican.com)

As a leader, right now your team (and your career) need your authenticity more than ever. But to be successful, you must also develop a strong self-awareness so that your authenticity creates a positive difference.

10 Tips to Develop Authenticity and Self-Awareness

1. Stop Worrying About What Everyone Else Thinks. (Yes, it’s easier said than done.) Worrying is an excuse for you to hide out and justify why you’re not sharing your ideas and experiences. When you recognize this, stop. Ask yourself, “What is my true commitment to this project and team?’ Now act authentically.

Richard worried about rocking the boat with a new idea since he was new on the team. So, he stayed silent. After the team failed to deliver the results to the customer, Richard shared his idea with his boss. His boss coached him to practice sharing his ideas in the mirror … this would help him set aside his fears and feel comfortable speaking up at team meetings.

2. Set Aside Your Ego. Dial-up your humbleness and dial down the ego when authentically sharing ideas and insights. It makes it easier for others to hear you.

3. Learn the Basics…It’s Time Well-Spent. When you learn the basics in your job, you will build inner confidence and self-expression that helps you create bold win-win-win outcomes.

4. Listen and Learn to Expand Your Beliefs. Confident people are open to listening to others’ ideas and opinions. It’s a great opportunity to stretch limitations without sacrificing your personal and professional values…or authenticity.

5. Take Responsibility for Mistakes by Apologizing. Say, “My apologies.” OR “I’m sorry.” These simple phrases when said authentically help build positive relationships.

6. Forgive and Love Yourself. When you’ve made an error in judgment, a mistake, or a blunder, it’s important to forgive yourself. The key is, what are you doing to “own it” and “make it right?”

7. Listen to Your Feelings. This is a slippery slope. Feelings and logic are both important when making decisions, but are not the same as intuition or gut reactions. Learn the difference. If it doesn’t “feel” right, keep looking for the “why.” It helps you reduce your biases and expand your beliefs.

Joan wanted to build a strong relationship with a new group of businesswomen. While she was self-expressed, her judgmental feelings about members got in the way of developing alliances. She relied on her feelings, calling them ‘intuition.’ These feelings stopped her from being part of the group.

8. Brag or Self-Promotion. Standing up and speaking up is important. But do so in a respectful manner. Also, share your own achievements in a way that guides others to pursue their dreams. Pretending you’re not proud of your achievements is being inauthentic.

9. Be Present. Focus and concentrate in the moment when interacting with others, completing tasks, and engaging in other activities. This simple, but rarely used, practice makes all experiences more authentic and meaningful … others will feel and see the difference too!

10. Develop the Self-Respect and Courage to Do the Right Things the Right Way. Ask for help and accept it. Be a parrot and repeat yourself when people don’t understand the issue after you have reviewed your concerns with your coach.

Jon was concerned about Tom’s decision and shared this with him. But Tom dismissed the concerns as being important. So, Jon spoke with his coach to develop a better way of sharing the impact of Tom’s decision before talking with him again. Tom listened and replied, “I appreciate you speaking up. It takes courage and a positive belief in yourself.” 

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about developing your authenticity and being self-aware.  Being authentic starts with self-awareness of what you say and do and its impact on others! As a leader, right now your team (and career) need your authenticity more than ever. But to be successful, you must also develop a strong self-awareness so that your authenticity creates a positive difference for yourself and others. Need help to discover your authenticity? Contact me for a confidential conversation.

Do You Have Problems Working with Authority Figures?

“If you want to get ahead in your career, you must learn to listen to and work well with your boss.” Jeannette Seibly

Do you:

  • Ignore advice and only argue for your point-of-view?
  • Do it anyway when your boss or board says, “No?”
  • Have a team that bickers a lot?
  • Deny having authority issues and place blame for mistakes on your boss?
  • Look for approval from your boss and seldom get it?

Can you imagine NFL team players thumbing their nose at the coach when told to adopt a new game strategy? I cannot either.

Yet, many times, business leaders fail to work well with authority figures! They believe they know how things should work and fail to listen to sage advice. This mindset costs them valuable time, money, and energy that could have been better used for business growth.

7 Tips to Improve Effective Working Relationships  

  1. Recognize You Have a Problem. “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.” (Dr. Phil) When you cringe because someone sounds like your mom, dad, or teacher, you have a trigger. Heal the relationship with your parent(s) and you will go further faster as a leader.
  2. Positively Handle Feedback and Criticism. Many times, when you get triggered, it has nothing to do with the feedback. It’s an automatic reaction from your ego saying, “Don’t talk to me that way.” Breathe. Put your feelings into words. Learn to ask questions for clarification. If you truly listen, you will find your boss’s insights (or someone else’s) were “right on.”
  3. Encourage Brainstorming and Listening to New Ideas. When you or your team know-it-all and rely on past solutions, you will fail to get to the core issue. Be open to listening to others…it saves time and money while creating viable solutions.
  4. Resolve Conflict Before It Diminishes Your Results. Authority avoidance leaders create lots conflicts. They have poor communication styles and work ethics, making it difficult for team members to succeed. Remember, successful leaders have coaches to help them resolve conflicts before they are no longer manageable.
  5. Learn to Delegate. If you want to achieve true leadership, you must stop doing it yourself! To expand your business, sales results, and influence with your team, create a team that is resilient, reliable, and resourceful. That starts with your willingness to listen and work well with your boss, board, team, and customers.
  6. Get Over, “Do It My Way.” Life is not about doing everything “your way.” Yet, there are many stories on social media about DIYers. It takes maturity and experience to work well with your team, customers, business, and bottom line. You will make mistakes. But your ability to learn from those mistakes and seek counsel will improve your results.
  7. Take a Good Long Look in the Mirror. If you are a leader that acts as a lone ranger, be aware your team members will mimic you! While you may believe this is OK, at some point, it will create irrevocable issues at the wrong time! Learn to be coachable and understand there are other workable ways to get the best results.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about being an authority avoidance leader. Everyone has a boss, board, team, and/or customers that provide feedback and criticism. Failure to listen and learn will sideline your career. Take the time to develop effective working relationships, be coachable, and take feedback, while learning from your mistakes. If this sounds too difficult, contact me for a confidential conversation.

Healthy Conflict Supports Collaboration When Done Right

Many times, when there is conflict or disagreements, we view the other team members as enemies. Then, most team members will take sides, while others will want to remain neutral. Regardless, viewing others as a friend or foe impedes collaborative actions since the focus is no longer on win-win-win results.

The added challenge is, when there is conflict, many people get fearful. They do the “ostrich approach” and stick their heads in the sand. They hope for the best since they don’t have the confidence or skills to impact the conflict. They also fear the impact the conflict will have on future job opportunities.

Conflict and collaboration impact the results of any project. They also impact the effectiveness of the team. While avoiding conflict limits your effectiveness as a leader, failure to build collaboration limits your team’s results. It also hurts your future career opportunities.

7 Tips to Improve Collaboration

  1. Set the Right Example. It’s OK to disagree and have differing ideas, values, and experiences! This awareness is key so that you and your team members don’t overreact or stop listening. The key is to listen and be open to hearing others’ points of view. As the leader, it starts with you setting the right example and expecting your team members to do the same.
  2. Brainstorm. It isn’t hard when done right. When brainstorming ideas, list ALL ideas from each and every team member. If there are concerns, ask questions for clarification, not for debate.
  3. Ensure Everyone Speaks. Call on each person for his/her perspective and ideas. Allow them to “pass” if they don’t want to share at that time. Again, ask each team member until there are no new ideas offered. Go around the team at least 2 times after new ideas have stopped to ensure no one is hiding out.
  4. Respect Each Team Member. Remember, it’s OK to not agree with others. Conflicts arise, along with voices when people do not feel heard. Get the training necessary for you and your team to feel heard. As the leader, set the example of listening while valuing and respecting each and every team member’s perspective and ideas. Remember, off-the-wall or silly ideas can spark the right ones!
  5. Stop Multi-Tasking. Have everyone leave their electronic devices and other distractions at the door. If on a remote call, remind them to shut down other programs and minimize distractions. It’s important to remember when we truly listen new ideas get generated.
  6. Address the Fear as It Arises. Regardless of all the team training, some team members will get fearful during conflicts. Fear is contagious. As the leader, it’s up to you to learn how to recognize and manage it now. Work with your executive coach to develop a mindful resilience for yourself, which inspires team members to do the same.
  7. Align for Better Results. Many companies rely on 100% consensus as their way of resolving conflicts. However, it’s a poor strategy. The hoping and waiting costs time, money, and customers! It also breeds silos and distrust. Instead, align by agreeing on the best plan for right now. Understand how it will impact the company tomorrow. Then, put together a strategy to move forward.

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker. For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel in business and beyond.  Need help developing you and your team to achieve better results?  Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. Don’t forget to listen toOn the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

There are a lot of posted jobs right now. Selling yourself will attract the recruiter’s attention. Learn how to do it in 5 easy steps: http://CareerBragging.com

Expanding your business doesn’t need to be difficult. Learn how to Be a Fabulous Podcast Guest (and get invited back!) http://SeibCo.com/workbooks/

 

3 Bad Habits You Need to Break to Be a Confident Leader

 

Leaders today are facing new challenges. Remember, it’s important to build true confidence in yourself and others during this time.

Building your confidence today and inspiring confidence in your team is critical! And, given what’s going on in the world, it’s even more important now.

What inevitably gets in the way of being a confident leader? Your bad habits.

Due to all of the uncertainty, as a leader, you are under more pressure than ever before. Now, is when your leadership habits…the good, not-so-good, and bad…can either support you and your team achieving great results or not.

It’s Critical You Breakthrough These 3 Bad Habits

  1. Poor Listening Skills. This #1 bad habit will sabotage your results!   

A leader had a bad habit of checking his emails and texts during meetings. He insisted he was only multitasking and could hear everything being said. He failed to understand the human brain is wired for one activity at a time. (Multi-tasking is a myth!) It wasn’t until he missed hearing critical information that he learned this lesson the hard way. Even after the team member repeated himself, he failed to understand or question the significance of it. As a result, the budget was exceeded and timeline was missed.

Always listen as though your results (and career) depend on it…because they do!

  • Lack of Awareness. One leader constantly found fault with how others did their work. He thought he could do it better and faster. The truth was, he didn’t have the skills to do their jobs. He lacked the awareness of the impact of his comments and did not understand these comments disengaged his team and hurt productivity.  

When someone fails to achieve the required results, it’s time to inspire confidence in your team members, not criticize their work habits. Remember, during this crisis, it’s NOT business as usual.

During ALL conversations stay present and aware:

  • State the intended goal or results in 10 words or less.
  • Listen to each team member’s input and concerns.
  • Work through any push-backs in a win-win manner (think, ethical considerations, workability, impact on others, etc.).
  • Align on the work and completion dates with your team to meet your client’s needs.
  • Provide necessary resources. Remember, working from home is not the same as working from the office.  

Your awareness determines the quality and timeliness of your team’s results.

  • Know-It-All Attitude. A new leader was a micromanager, a common trait of inexperienced leaders. She wanted everything done exactly as she thought it should be done. Whenever a mistake was made, instead of taking responsibility, she blamed her team (and others) for making her feel humiliated and for letting her down.

To break this bad habit, listen to your team members’ ideas. They are working on the front lines and can be resourceful when encouraged to do so. Also, listen from compassion since they are experiencing a lot of frustration, stress, and anxiety during these uncertain times. It’s up to you to inspire confidence in them!

Building true confidence in yourself and others starts inside you.

Remember, bad habits are amplified during a crisis. They will come out and be displayed in unexpected and unwanted ways. Work with an executive coach NOW to effectively navigate through these uncertain times. It’s the mark of a confident leader who inspires confident team members!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2012-2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach and keynote speaker. For the past 27 years, she has guided the creation of leaders to excel in achieving results. Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results. Don’t forget to listen to her podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

I’ve got an invitation for you.

All leaders are bosses! If you want to be a better boss or hope to be a boss someday, I invite you to download “15 Ways to Be a Better Boss”  It’s free.

Mindful Resilience is Required to be a Successful Leader

Life.Should.2Note: This is a reprint, originally posted on June 23, 2020. Last week I conducted a Mindful Resilience webinar for the Denver Financial Professionals. Participants shared: “This is very helpful…I love it…Thank you.” Due to so many changes occurring right now in the workplace and in life, I would recommend reviewing the 6 Tips.

What can you do to handle your emotional triggers while eliciting the best from others?

We are all triggered by certain words, facial expressions, and gestures. As successful, resilient leaders, we don’t have the luxury of hanging onto our upsets.

Mindful resilience is when we develop a conscious awareness of our triggers and address our reactions in a positive manner. It’s starts with you, as the leader, taking responsibility for your triggers when they occur so they don’t get in the way. Remember, clarity of what triggered your reactions is required before you can create win-win-win outcomes.

6 Tips to Create Mindful Resilience

Breathe. Remember, everyone gets triggered. The moment you notice you are triggered, breathe in for 5 counts. Pause. Exhale for 10 counts. Repeat this practice 3 times. Why should you practice breathing? Breathing reduces the fight, flight, or freeze stress response triggered in your brain. Breathing allows you to take responsibility for your reactions (aka triggers) and is critical before attempting to resolve any issue.

Have Come-Down-to-Reality Conversations. Team members can hold onto upsets and use them to justify their poor job performance. That’s why you, as the leader, need to be aware of when these upsets are brewing and take responsibility for resolving them before they turn into a major issue. Remember to use straight talk with compassion during these tough conversations.

Get to the Heart or Core of the Problem. When you as a leader inadvertently dis someone or ignore a festering issue, upsets will be covertly expressed. It’s like a mole hill expanding into a mountain. Remember, you are human and you will make mistakes! So, will everyone else. Instead of allowing your ego to justify your actions, ask and clarify what happened with your team member or team, then, talk it out. If you don’t, the upset will become an irreversible issue that overshadows the core problem.

Be Responsible for Your Communication Style (most people aren’t)! When you use words or terminology that others don’t understand, apologize. Start over by asking questions and be curious about their responses. It’s very easy to lose people when you present the same information over and over (think, you’re probably bored). Also, when you’re presenting a new idea you’ve been thinking about for a while, remember, it’s the first time they’ve heard it. Keep in mind, people learn at different rates of speed. Be prepared to draw a graph or show them a specific example. Remember, as a leader, it’s your responsibility to slow down and get everyone on the same page.

Learn How to Forgive, Even When You Don’t Believe You Should. As a leader, you will have arrows aimed at you when team members feel frustrated or upset. But you don’t have the luxury of hanging onto these insults without them impacting your mindset and success as a leader. Forgive those that gossip, criticize, or blame you. While this is easier said than done, remember, forgiveness is for you. Remember, you don’t to say, “I forgive you” to the offender to forgive them. If you do, it may make it worse.

Hire the Right Coach. Mindful resilience requires you to expand your POV. When a sticky situation or political relationship is not going well, talk immediately with your executive coach. Listen and learn. You can make things worse and sideline your career if you attempt to do it on your own.

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel at working through difficult situations and political relationships. Contact Jeannette to improve your strategic hiring, coaching, training, and managing processes.  Don’t forget to listen to her podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

How do I interview to win the job offer? Selling yourself is key to winning the job, promotion, and/or pay raise you want! Learn how in 5 easy stepshttp://CareerBragging.com

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How to Develop a Great Relationship with Your Boss

building-better-relationship-with-your-boss.4Every successful leader has times when his/her boss doesn’t like them! This happens for a variety of reasons. For example, you’ve made a series of bad decisions, your direct reports are complaining about you, or your ego hurts results.

Why doesn’t your boss like you? Because you’ve made more work for him or her!

The key to developing a great relationship with your boss is resolving issues as they arise. This requires 1:1 communication. Unfortunately,  you tell yourself to wait it out. You hope that you won’t need to talk it out. Yet, this strategy rarely works and hurts your relationship with your boss. You also miss out on new career opportunities.

6 Tips to Develop A Positive Working Relationship with Your Boss

Develop Trust. If you are someone that doesn’t listen to yourself when you make promises, it’s the reason your boss (and others) don’t trust you. Learn to be present and listen when you make promises. Also, listen to your boss, especially when you think you already know what the boss is going to say! Ask follow-up questions to clarify expectations for assignments.

Develop Confidence. While you may not have confidence in your boss’s ability to make the right decisions, set this aside. (If appropriate, recommend an executive coach!) It’s important you develop your boss’s confidence in your ability to manage your team or project. To develop this confidence, work with your own executive coach and focus on the inevitable ups and downs of managing others and projects. This makes less work for your boss! The added benefit is confidence breeds likability.

Develop Integrity. Bosses value honesty and candor. But, when telling the truth, be responsible to state it in a tactful and diplomatic way. There are 2 ways (hint: use the best one based on the boss’s type of personality):

  • -Warn the boss s/he won’t like your answer and then use straight talk; OR
  • -Use a sandwich approach: share 2 positive things before sharing 2 specific issues. Then, wrap up with 2 good things.

Develop Good Working Relationships with Others. If team members complain about your management or project style, this breeds discontent. Many bosses don’t like resolving people issues or getting in the middle of conflicts! To alleviate this from happening, learn to slow down when interacting with others. Build alignment by being present in all conversations and work through conflicts. Be a champion for team success not just your own success. Work with your executive coach and learn how to elicit better responses from others.

Develop Project Success. If you fail to meet your customers’ expectations, you will create distrust. And, eventually your boss will be forced to fire you! Instead, learn how to manage projects for success. Start with developing strong project management habits, brainstorming skills, people development skills, and meeting facilitation skills.

Learn How to Brag! Most bosses have no idea what you’ve been doing, and, when they do, they only hear about problems! Learn how to brag and bring your successes and your teams’ successes to your boss’s attention. Also, learn to appreciate your boss…it makes you more likable!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel in business and beyond. If you have a boss that doesn’t like you, get it resolved now before it’s too late! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

Having trouble landing your next job? It’s time to learn why! Selling yourself is key to winning the job, promotion, and/or pay raise you want! Learn how in 5 easy stepshttp://CareerBragging.com

Want to attract more customers? Learn how to Be a Fabulous Podcast Guest (and get invited back!)  http://SeibCo.com/workbooks/

How to Put Others at Ease During Conversations

microaggression.bizsavvycoach.3As leaders, it’s important to learn how to put others at ease during conversations. Mastering this skill opens up a world of possibilities! With conversations, you will learn about potential project flaws, how to motivate team members, and how to improve your influence with bosses and clients. And, these are only a few of the benefits!

Are you someone who:

  • -Can comfortably talk with all types of people: team members, boards, executives, and influencers?
  • -Marvels at others’ ease when conversing with anyone, anywhere, and at any time?
  • -Enjoys talking with others and have a desire to listen and learn?

Developing excellent conversation skills will make you a better communicator. If you’re willing to do the work, you can learn how to interact, motivate, and influence others with ease as a leader.

9 Tips to Fine-Tune Your Conversation Skills

  1. Be Present. Set aside all distractions before starting any conversation. When talking or listening, keep your focus on the other person. Think of them as a VIP, regardless of their title or position in the company. Whenever possible, move from behind your desk and sit in a chair close-by. When working remotely, keep your eyes on the screen. Start to notice how present you are or are not during conversations.
  2. Unleash Your Natural Curiosity. This is important when interacting with others. Instead of taking a righteous position, keep your mind open to hearing what others have to say, and create new solutions together.
  3. Allow Others to Communicate in Their Own Way. Expecting others to communicate with you in a particular way can be off-putting. You will miss out on hearing important information. Instead, allow them to communicate in a way that works for them. (To quickly understand their communication style, use the PXT Select.) Develop a thicker skin if you are easily offended. Learn how to ask questions to elicit the best from others instead of debating their POV.
  4. Have Compassion for Others’ Challenges. Be open to listening, and, when asked, provide appropriate advice. Do this without blaming them (or others) for the situation. Stay objective while being understanding of the situation. This is not a time for jokes or other humor. Be responsible for ensuring any excuses shared don’t derail a project, client relationship, or team effectiveness.
  5. Keep Your Calendar and Office Decluttered. You might ask why this matters during a conversation? It matters because a clean office is more inviting. Others feel more comfortable and are more open in what they have to say. If working remotely, remove wall art that could be offensive. Always minimize distractions. Otherwise, these can be become deterrents to having conversations and learning what you need to know in any situation.
  6. Pronounce Their Names Correctly and Use Their Preferred Names. Avoid using shortened versions (e.g., Jenny for Jennifer, etc.) or labeling others (e.g., superwoman, strong man, etc.). If you don’t remember the person’s name or don’t know how to pronounce it, ASK! “I’m not clear how to pronounce your name.” OR “I’ve met so many people recently. Can you remind me of your name?” Then, repeat the person’s name to their satisfaction.
  7. Ask Questions Without Sounding Like a Reporter. A good conversation puts others at ease. Learn how to have a conversation without first deep-diving into the who, what, when, where, and why. That’s what a reporter does. If you uncover a problem, be responsible for setting up the conversation before deep diving into it. “I’m hearing a potential issue in this conversation and need to clarify what I’m hearing. Is that OK?”
  8. Share Your Own Experiences. Team members want to know they are not alone in their challenges. When you share your experiences, start with the point of your story and end with the point to re-emphasize it. Remember, keep it short (about 1 minute) and stay focused on the topic. Most importantly, honor confidentiality.
  9. Keep an Open Mind. Stay focused on the topic at hand by taking a positive and healthy interest in their POV. Listen and respond to questions using straight talk. This encourages team members to stay at ease during any conversation. It’s how you discover what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel in business and beyond. Find out how effective you are as a communicator with all types of people. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

If you are underemployed or unemployed, it’s time to learn how to sell yourself and get that job, promotion, and/or pay raise! http://CareerBragging.com

Do you want to increase your business? Learn how with Be a Fabulous Podcast Guest (and get invited back!)http://SeibCo.com/workbooks/

 

There IS a Better Way to Improve Meetings

Delivering Bad NewsLeaders and team members want to be productive. Engaging team members during meetings create shorter discussions and better decisions. Productivity will naturally increase!

Ironically, the #1 challenge leaders face is engaging team members and keeping meetings productive. And as we all know, today there is the additional challenge of conducting remote meetings.

Consider, There Is a Better Way

Stop Focusing on PowerPoint presentations. Recently, Jeff Bezos banned PowerPoint at Amazon. They found meetings are now shorter and smarter…while costing nothing to implement! (Inc. 2020)

The presenter provides a written, readable, and stand-alone hard-copy document (1 to 3 pages). This requires the presenter to think through and communicate with greater precision.

Team members read, together and in silence, at the beginning of each meeting. This encourages leaders and team members to get on the same page faster and engage in more meaningful conversations.

By replacing PowerPoint with briefing documents, Bezos effectively increased company-wide management productivity by at least 25 percent.

But Wait! Before You Implement!

Understand Reading Levels

Before you jump in and hope to achieve the same dramatic results, remember people read and comprehend at different rates of speed.

According to a study of literacy rates by Wylie Communications, 34% of Americans read between a 4th– and 5th-grade level. 37% read between a 6th– and 8th-grade level. Savvy presenters focus on communicating at the lower grade levels. Yet, writing at a 4th-grade level can be difficult. That requires eliminating “big words” and “jargon” while simplifying numeric data and charts.

Also, leaders must manage the discussion process since team members can become difficult when others read too slow, ask too many questions, or misinterpret the data.

Develop Clear Communication Strategies

Communicating information on point and in simple terms requires practice. When writing, focus on your audience, include simple graphs and other documented data.

Use a readability indicator (Google for sites) to keep your ideas simple and on point. Some sites provide the grade level for the document. (The readability indicator for this article is 8th grade.) Keep in mind, your audience’s reading level will be lower than you think. (Center for Plain Language)

You may believe distributing information before the meeting can be helpful. It’s not. Team members can’t or won’t take the time to read it…and will fail to remember content and/or pretend to understand the data. This can further disengage the team.

Manage the #1 Saboteur

The problem of multi-tasking is still a major deterrent for productive meetings. It’s why some companies ban electronics during meetings!

Yet, the distractions of working remotely and poorly managed meetings continue to make it difficult to keep leaders and team members focused.

To keep people’s attention during my workshops, I use worksheets with key points listed and provide blank spaces to fill in data. This approach provides a structure for note-taking. It allows team members to absorb more information while keeping them engaged and focused on the topic. While some may resent this approach, it’s usually because they don’t want to stay present during the conversation.

Provide Training to Improve Communication Skills

Due to greater reliance on video conferencing, online chats, and phone calls, leaders and team members must step up and improve their communication skills.

Tips:

  • Listen with the intention of learning and ask questions to clarify. Non-verbal communication includes physical and auditory cues. Since 80% of communication is non-verbal, if you don’t develop the skills you will find it difficult to truly discern what they mean.
  • When speaking, start with the point you want to make.
  • Keep your ideas on-point and brief since attention spans are short. Avoid talking just to talk.
  • Use simple and easy to understand explanations and graphs.
  • Ensure everyone is being responsible for staying present during all conversations.
  • It’s important you and your team participate in various training opportunities to improve speaking, listening, and debate skills!

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel in business and beyond. This includes conducting engaging and productive meetings! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

Is your career at a stand-still? It’s time to learn how to sell yourself and get that job, promotion and/or pay raise! http://CareerBragging.com

Do you want to Be a Fabulous Podcast Guest (and get invited back!)? Learn how: http://SeibCo.com/workbooks/

5 Ways to Boost Your Career as a Remote Leader

Sales.business.time.focus.get real

Typically, leaders have boosted their careers by having frequent 1:1 time with their bosses.

In this new world of work, 1:1 time is disappearing since you are now a remote leader. The new challenge is taking responsibly and committed actions to create 1:1 time with your boss or miss out on career opportunities and promotions. Remember, your actions will always speak louder than your words!

5 Tips for Boosting Your Career and Paycheck

Take Initiative. Pick up the phone, send an email or text. Say and ask, “Just checking in. What do you need from me today?” Communicate in a method your boss prefers and is most likely to check. Also, provide updates on special projects or notify him/her of any unusual challenges. If there is a project or situation that needs his/her attention, request a voice-to-voice or video conferencing meeting asap. Come to the meeting with the facts and more importantly, potential solutions.

Brag. Bosses and clients seldom know all that you’ve done to meet quality requirements and deadlines. So, use metrics to let them know in a biz-savvy manner of your accomplishments.

Follow-Up and Follow-Through. Working from home does not mean you are on vacation! Set up work hours that reflect the company’s and client’s needs. Be sure to set up your home workspace and environment to reduce distractions and interruptions.

Develop Good Relationships. Working with and through team members as a remote leader requires new skills. Develop your people and project management skills by working with an executive coach. This will avoid costly trial-and-errors.

Remember, it’s a new normal.

  • Plan on extra time to resolve the usual challenges.
  • Take responsibility for clearly communicating and guiding others through confusion.
  • Make a commitment and follow-through to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Be a Solution Provider. Today there are many new challenges. Don’t be afraid to recommend new ideas. First, listen to team members’ feedback. Then, share with your boss before implementing the new ideas. During video conferencing, listen and don’t multi-task. If you do, you’ll risk missing out on valuable information. When there are issues, research to uncover the true problem. Focus on the work, procedures, and systems, not on team members’ personalities.

© Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel in their careers. The new world of work is here. What are you doing to excel?  Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.