What Did You Say?
My table-mates introduced themselves as the reciprocal protocol began. We chatted about what we did, where we did it and what we thought of the conference. Stan joined the table as the chicken was served. He'd been introduced to me earlier and we'd talked briefly during the pre-dinner social. Now he was peppering me with intriguing business questions. This was going to be a lively and interesting discussion, I thought.
But my hopes vanished faster than an ice cube melting in the desert. I realized Stan wasn't listening. He didn't care what I had to say; he was waiting for his turn to talk. And talk he did, monopolizing the table's conversation with his back-patting soliloquy.
That experience got me thinking. My hopes had been raised believing that someone asking thoughtful questions might be interested in the answers. But that's a rare find in this too-busy-to-listen world. We're too busy answering our cell phones, checking our BlackBerries, and posting our instant messages. We're so busy communicating that we fail to communicate. We think because we said something, it was understood. We confuse communicating with understanding, and silence with listening.
But the absence of talking is not necessarily listening. Real listening requires focused attention and a quiet mind. It's deep, not surface. You do it to understand, not so you can talk when someone pauses. Deep listening comes from the heart, as well as the head.
Deep listeners ignite ideas, influence outcomes and build relationships. They're wonderful to be around. There are few behaviors more powerful in the workplace than receiving someone's focused attention on what you're saying. It makes you feel valued and respected because it's clear that what you have to say matters to them. Deep listeners create dialogues, encourage thoughtful exchanges and enhance creativity. They also build their careers.
I learned to deepen my listening skills by using a technique called reflective summary. So for example, if I said to you, "I had a flat tire on the way to work and missed my boss's meeting," the typical response might be, "Yeah, I had a tough morning, too." Or you might share a similar experience. But a reflective summary statement summarizes your understanding of what it is I said. So, you might respond, "You're concerned you missed your boss's meeting?" If you summarized my message correctly then I'd continue with my concerns. If not, I'd clarify. Either way, we'd improve our communication.
So, here's my bottom-line advice after twenty years in management. If you want to be winning at working, develop deep listening skills. You see, people who are winning at working know they learn more by listening than talking; persuade more by understanding than arguing; and problem-solve more by asking than telling. People who are winning at working have discovered the power of listening.
(c) 2005 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
Sign up to receive Nan's free biweekly eColumn at http://www.winningatworking.com Nan Russell has spent over twenty years in management, most recently with QVC as a Vice President. She has held leadership positions in Human Resource Development, Communication, Marketing and line Management. Nan has a B.A. from Stanford University and M.A. from the University of Michigan. Currently working on her first book, Winning at Working: 10 Lessons Shared, Nan is a writer, columnist, small business owner, and instructor. Visit http://www.nanrussell.com or contact Nan at email@example.com
Now, Do You Have Any Questions?
"Who is that hot babe in the picture?" isn't the type of reply an interviewer expects to hear when he or she invites you to ask questions near the end of an interview. In fact, the way you approach the Q&A session will have a direct impact on the interviewer's perception of you.
Employment Law: Unfair Dismissal - Employer Succeeded in Changing Terms of Employment
Good News for Employers wishing to change the terms of employment of employees, however, employers must still take care.In Scott & Co v Richardson , the Dependant, Mr Richardson, who worked for a Scottish firm of debt collectors, refused to accept his new terms of employment which required him to visit defaulting debtors during the evenings.
Ten Courses Of Study If You Want To Be Your Own Boss
For many Americans, an important component of the American Dream is the possibility of hard work turning into financial fortune. The career exploits of such self made magnates like Andrew Carnegie, Lee Iaccoca and Donald Trump are examples for many.
Mastering the Job Interview - 5 Tips to Make Yourself Irresistible to the Interviewer
So you've figured out, more or less what you want to do and where the opportunities are. Now; you have been called for an interview.
How to Deal With Workplace Inflexibility
You've been a model employee: responsible, industrious, creative and
productive. You've gone the extra mile time and again, with a smile.
10 Major Signs of Job Dissatisfaction
The New Year is a great time to analyze your job and the satisfaction you get from doing it. Running the rat race is just that, scurrying around only to find that at the end of the day or week you are still not happy about who you are and what you do.
How To Power Negotiate Your Next Bonus
A raise in your base salary is a permanent source of increased income. However, to increase your take home pay, you can also negotiate performance bonuses on specific projects, activities, or time frames.
Interview Tips, How to Get the Job You Want
Enter into a state of relaxed concentration. This is the state from which great basketball players or Olympic skaters operate.
Ten Things To Do If You Really, Really Hate Your Job
1. Begin focusing on what you want instead of how much you want to escape.
Get Paid to Shop And Keep Everything You Buy - Without Having to Pay!
Can You Tell Good Service From Bad; Recognise Value For Money; Compare Prices, Staff Efficiency, Product Range, Customer Service Between Rival Firms?If so you might easily find work as a 'Mystery Shopper' and be paid to comment on service in shops, banks and building societies, hotels, cinemas, veterinary surgeries, restaurants, even on long distance flights and holidays.Poor service is the number one reason customers turn their back on a business and start shopping elsewhere.
175 Power Verbs and Phrases for Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews
While you're revamping your resume or cover letter or constructing your proof-by-example stories for interviews, you'll find you need to watch your word choice. Why? Communication is powerful if the words we use to communicate are powerful.
Federal Job Search Strategies: 7 Tips to Help You Succeed
Despite constant calls by politicians and policy makers to reign in government spending, the federal government remains the largest employer in the United States. According to the U.
Recovering From a Career Crisis
If you have ever experienced any of the following, you have had a career crisis:? Losing your job? Being fired? Burning out? Not wanting to do your job for one more dayA career crisis can be caused either by someone else (being laid off) or by your own feelings (burning out).Common Causes of Career CrisesThere are many reasons why people experience career crises.
Defining Success Your Way!
In my career advising practice, I often find that my clients are not clear about what success means for them. Our society defines success primarily around three elements: power, money and fame.
Resumes OR CV : Get That Job
Your resume is your sales document. It tells the world of your achievements, capabilities and roles you have enjoyed.
Resume Writing Service Website
Promote Your Resume Business Website!While we make our websites to be search engine friendly and easy to navigate, you need to do your share. Resume Businesses on the net are becoming popular, but there is no particular market dominator.
Job Interviews -- The Four Worst Objections You'll Face and How to Deal with Them
Dealing with tough questions and objections is an essential part of job interviews. Here are four common ones that derail many candidates.
The Surefire Way To Getting A Pay Raise
If you are working for someone else, it is important to remember this fact: No one gives you a raise, you must earn it. You've got to prove you are worth the additional money you are asking for.
TMI: The Resume Destroyer
"They say my résumé should be only one page long. Is that correct?"Not necessarily.
Successful Job Seeking - The Importance of Your Cover Letter
As an employer I receive many job applications each week. Some cover letters are so well written that I am compelled to review the attached resume even if our company is not currently hiring.