A Leadership Power Tool

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Often the greatest gifts we can give another is to listen to them.

Just listen and give acknowledgments (nods, “yeses,” and occasional brief recaps of what you heard).

No advice, no direction, and certainly no oh-yeah-let-me-tell-you-what-happened-to-me.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: This is a leadership power tool. Listening can melt tensions, heal worries, and open doors to new opportunities. It works well with our friends and miraculously with our enemies.

Today’s photo credit: Manchmal könnte ich schmelzen via photopin (license)

It Is Not What We Say That Matters

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Leading, selling, and influencing are not about what we say, our leadership models, our authority, or our unique selling propositions. It’s not the technique.

It is our intent that matters.

We lead, sell, and influence by listening then merging our goals with theirs. We win as they win.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Nathan Rupert cc

How to Argue or Negotiate by Listening

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In an argument or negotiation, we often resist hearing the other person’s point of view. We are too busy formulating our responses. And we fear that if we acknowledge their perspective, we will be giving in, agreeing, losing.

Nopitty nope.

By listening and even acknowledging that they have a good point, we are only saying that we hear them. Whether we agree is a separate thing. By showing them that we understand, we build the relationship, give them the great gift of being heard, and invite them to lower their defenses to hear our side.

We make a big mistake when we think listening is ever time consuming, threatening, or expensive. It’s the exact opposite. All forms of agreement first go through listening and understanding.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Laura Ferreira cc

shortest distance

The Shortest Distance

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We are here, we need to be there, and we need to take these steps to get there. It’s the straight line, the shortest distance. Yet other people not only can’t see it, they get in the way. They don’t do their part. They engage in politics, passive or aggressive resistance, and interference. Why can’t they see it? Why do they insist on making us take the long-way around?

Because what we see as obvious they see as a threat. Our plans conflict with their sense of themselves and with their opinions, beliefs, values, thoughts, egos, and emotions. They feel challenged, rejected, unsafe, or wrong. So they react, often unconsciously. And the path that seemed the shortest distance ends up taking way too long and costing way too much.

The path that seemed the longest–understanding what would be a win for each other then creating together a real win-win solution–is really the shortest distance between here and there.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Wolfgang Staudt cc

listen

How and Why to Get Coaching for Leaders

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter, Will=Our inner game
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We leaders (with or without title) have some significant and often unmet needs. We need to know we are making good decisions. We want to work through our thoughts and options. We need an unbiased sounding board. In other words, we need a coach. Without this support, we can feel a little or a lot isolated and unsure.

It is not easy get this type of support. Most of the people around us–employees, bosses, peers, friends, and family members–either have vested interests in what we decide or just aren’t familiar enough with our situation.

With a bit of effort, we can get the coaching we want. Here are three ways. First, we can hire a coach. Good coaches are great thinking partners. Second, we can cultivate a coaching relationship with those around us who have the talent and who can see then set aside their biases. Third, we can start of join a group of like-minded leaders from outside our organization. Sometimes called a mastermind, this group offers listening and coaching to all members.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: striatic via photopin cc

choose

How to be Chosen

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Sales and Influence, Sweetspot
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We sometimes get trapped thinking that in order to be the one chosen (for the job or by the client), we need to be seen as being smart, hip, credentialed, correct, professional, hungry, not too cheap, sophisticated, anointed, rich, decorated, not too expensive, on trend, published, number one, the hottest new thing, well established, the known brand, experienced, fresh, and first.

Whoa, we better get busy on all that, ya?

Nah.

To be the ones who get chosen, we are the ones who engage their passions, bring their talents, play for win-win, and hear what those who would choose us really need. We are the ones who are confident that we can help and who deliver.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: wallyg via photopin cc

Why Don’t People Listen?

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Why don’t people listen? Oh, that’s easy:

  • They start defending against what we say–often before we speak–based on how we say it,
  • We tend to frame our messages in terms of what’s important to us: they listen in terms of what’s important to them,
  • We speak past each other instead of taking time to understand, and
  • We argue over our stands instead of collaborating to meet our collected desired outcomes.

The good news, of course, is that when you flex to meet their style, recast your message to appeal to what they think is important, listen to clarify and ask them to do the same, and work for win-win, they will listen. A lot.

Seems like a lot of work, ya? Maybe. But it’s a heck of a lot less effort than the repeated requests, defensiveness, aggression, rework, politics, lost opportunities, and hard feelings you have to deal with otherwise.

 

In your corner,

Mike