Getting People Ready to Listen

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Sales and Influence, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1

Having difficulty getting others to see your point of view? Start by demonstrating that you understand theirs.

Having difficulty demonstrating that you understand their point of view? Start by asking them about it.

When people know you have understood them, they quite naturally open to understanding you.


In your corner,


Today’s photo credit: Katy Wrathall Biscuit face via photopin (license)

Tell, Tell, Tell, Yell!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
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Tell, tell, tell, yell. (To which we all respond with hide, fight, complain, and deflect.)

Easy but not so effective, is it? What does work?

Build relationship and trust constantly. Agree to argue the points not the personalities. Agree on the why and outcomes before the how, when, and who details. Make sure everyone is heard. Reach true consensus where we all may not agree but we understand and will 100% support it. Agree to be held to account. Hold each other to account.

Hard? You bet. Effective? Whoa, yeah.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: fpdd! 39 via photopin (license)

How to Communicate Through A Very Narrow Pipe

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, We=All Who Matter
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Language is a very narrow pipe. Depending on the mindset of our listener, what we say can come across a little or a lot differently than we intend. We cannot rely solely on words to communicate clearly, completely.

The most important thing we can do to improve the chances that we communicate well is to regularly build a solid foundation of trust with everyone who matters. Where there is trust, there is more leeway, less defensiveness, and a greater likelihood that we will be on the same page as we communicate.

We can also listen more and flex to their style (that is, their preferred way of working with people, tasks, and information) by matching pace, tone, and body language. And we can confirm mutual understanding, go for win-win, and follow up with written confirmations of agreements.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: tanakawho cc

Present Present

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, Will=Our inner game
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Presence is simply staying focused on what’s happening now instead of worrying about the future, regretting the past, defending ourselves (“Here’s why I am justified…”), or attacking others (“I am so right and you/they are not”).

There is a gift inside every moment. We miss the gift when we are too busy worrying, regretting, defending, or attacking. The gift is knowing that we are now–in this very moment–safe, that now we can handle anything, and that we now respond adeptly to whatever does show up.  A much better way to be, yes?

Being present, we get the present.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Vincent_AF cc

When to Double Up on Communication

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1

When we as leaders fail to overcommunicate our intent, goals, progress, values, issues, and dreams, we leave a giant void that others are left to fill on their own. They will each make up a different (usually quite wrong) version of the truth and then will act as if their story is true. The ensuing disharmony and confusion will be quite expensive in lost time, opportunity, people, and good will.


If we think we’ve done enough communicating, if we think people are tired and don’t want to be told anymore, we should double up on showing them the vision, how they contribute, our values, etc.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: lensletter cc

I have been thinking...

I Have Been Thinking…

Posted Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 3 min.

It happens all the time. We finish a conversation and (often much) later think of a better way we could have listened, empathized, queried, coached, argued, or explained. It’s frustrating.

But we don’t have to live with it. Whether we are leading, selling, or collaborating (or parenting, relating, counseling, etc.) we can always go back. We can always reach out and say, “I have been thinking about our conversation and…

  • “…I don’t think I properly acknowledged how well you did that tough job. Thanks for doing it.”
  • “…I think I could have done a better job outlining the situation and presenting options. Here’s a better summary…”
  • “…I overreacted. I am still frustrated because I thought you were giving me an excuse instead of a solution. But I wasn’t being very constructive. Can we try this again?”
  • “…I need to bring up an important but tough topic. I’m sorry I didn’t do this sooner; I was afraid of how you’d take it and unsure how to proceed. I think the way you characterized our colleagues was unfair.  Even if they weren’t there to hear you, it caused damage to their reputation among the people who were there. Can I make a suggestion for how you can repair that damage?”
  • “…you said you were really constrained by your budget and timeline. And I think I was too optimistic about what we can get done within those limits. Would you be willing to explore how we can restructure the proposal to fit your budget and perhaps build a business case to justify more investment later?”
  • “…I see now how you are feeling like you’re between a rock and a hard place. You just wanted someone to hear and acknowledge that. Instead, I jumped right to solution-mode. How are you doing?”
  • “…I was upset that you didn’t clean up the mess you made in the kitchen and I could have handled it better. What would be a better way for me to respond in cases like this?”
  • “…I’m sorry. I messed up. Please forgive me.”

Reach out.


In your corner,


PS: Note in the examples how we “own” our part of the problem even if the other person also has some work to do.

PPS: Knowing we can go back gives us more courage to jump into tough conversations because we know we don’t have to do it perfectly. We get do overs.


Today’s photo credit: SjurWarEagle cc

What It Means When They Aren’t Getting Stuff Done

Posted Posted in What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 1

That they are not getting valuable stuff done (or are just doing the wrong things) is a sure sign that we haven’t done our job of

  • establishing a clear, compelling, commonly understood goal and
  • constantly reminding people of how what they do contributes to the goal.

Of course, we need more than just that goal to succeed. And sometimes we have the wrong person in this role or that. But it is far too easy to believe that everyone always understands the goal and their part of it. And it’s far too easy, then, for us to blame the wrong things when we see people going off in the wrong directions.


In your corner,