Active listening: Hard work and Dividends

Remember, though listening is hearing, it doesn’t guarantee understanding. Understanding comes from active listening because it seeks to Understand, Interpret and Evaluate what is heard. Most of us were fortunate to be born with hearing, but listening is a skill, that must be learned, practiced and perfected, before it can be deployed successfully.
Research has confirmed that good listeners make good managers. Active listening ranks amongst the most crucial management skills.
Here are four tips to grow your listening ability and take out learning’s even from the most lengthy conversations:
• Always listen for names and subjects.
• Look up and listen with interest, so that you can focus and generate encouraging body language.
• Get rid of your assumptions and bias and you will achieve true understanding of the real message.
• Listen for what isn’t said by looking out for body language.

Active listening gives you very great benefits. Not only do you learn facts and observations you might not otherwise have known, you are also showing value for the speaker. Active listening might be a lot of hard work, but it will pay you rich dividends today………………..

Choosing a Winning Attitude

Remember,the most important aspect of attitude is that it is a choice! What exactly is attitude? Attitude is the physical manifestation of the way in which we have chosen to manage our emotions. We cannot run away from emotion,rather, we can take the time to put the right interpretation on the emotion to ensure that we continue in a positive direction. Henry Ford said a long time ago that “whether you think you can or whether you think you cant, you are right!” How many times do we arrive at a challenged place because we have seen this as the most likely outcome? In coining his Expectancy Theory, Victor Vroom advocates that research has shown that the more you expect something to happen, then the more likely it is to happen!

Do you find yourself unhappy because of your situation? Do you realise that your situation has most likely arisen due to your consistent unhappy mood? In the work place a positive attitude wins you friends, gives you momentum, provides enthusiastic thinking and promotes passionate actions….yes, and thereby delivering results! Your negative attitude has removed all these advantages and yet the pressure for results remains!

Choose the right attitude and boost your workplace performance….…Today!

Recovering from Mistakes

Remember, mistakes are inevitable; they are proof of our imperfect nature. We say, do and make certain decisions that we wish we could take back. There is no shame in making mistakes, but there is failure in not accepting, bracing up or recovering from that mistake to ensure it’s a one-time occurrence.
Here are six key aids to recovering from mistakes:
1. Acceptance is key : you can choose your actions but not the consequences, so it is important to accept the consequence of that mistake.
2. Take the learning: reflect deeply on the experience and look out for lessons that could be learnt. If there are, then you have not failed rather you have embraced learning.
3. Forgive yourself: forgiveness will help give you a clearer vision, so that you can set goals that will ensure that there’s no repeat of such mistake.
4. Focus on your strength: your good qualities and innermost strength will restore your confidence and boost your self-esteem.
5. Address unresolved issues: acknowledge the problems from that mistake, admit responsibility, explain and apologize where necessary.
6. Move on: you can’t afford to dwell on your mistakes. Recover and embrace newer opportunities.
No one is truly great until he has made mistakes, recovered and taken the learning’s. Your past mistakes are the practical experiences you need to finish strong today…………………..

Empty phrases and the efforts they take………………….

Remember, a concise writing is one that shows exactly what is meant in the fewest words possible and clearly too. In putting extra efforts to make our writings impressive, we often add unnecessary bulk to our sentences by taking on too many empty phrases. Here are 10 commonly used empty phrases and better replacements for them.

Instead of —————————————– Write
1. By means of ………………… by
2. Due to the fact that ………………… because
3. For the purpose of ………………… for
4. In order to ………………… to
5. In spite of the fact that ……………. although
6. In this world today ………………… today
7. On the occasion of ………………… when
8. In anticipation of ………………… before
9. It is important that ………………… must
10. Until such time of ………………… until

Notice that writing clearly and concisely requires less effort and makes understanding easy. Concise writing is effortless and expresses clearer meanings. It makes your paragraph less bulky and your sentences, simple. Adopt a concise writing style to improve your communication skills today………………….

The D.A.D Test For Improving Our PowerPoint Slides

Remember, everyone can make a presentation, but not everyone can make a convincing Presentation. Do you use PowerPoint to present? Here is a tip to ensure you can create compelling slides every time you present. The D.A.D test is an effective aid for measuring the effectiveness of your Power point slides. What it does, is to prompt you to assess each slide against the three important considerations:
1: If my audience is Deaf and cannot hear what I am saying about the slide or…
2: If my audience is Dumb and cannot ask me to explain what is on the slide….
3: Then , would the slide still make sense to them?
The D.A.D ( Deaf and Dumb) test is your effective tool in vetting the quality of your slides as you produce them. Use the D.A.D test to create your winning presentation……..Today!

The Supervisors Pledge

Remember, your success as a supervisor is measured through your team.In becoming a successful leader,it is needful to be able to inspire others with the confidence in themselves. Here is a personal pledge that can direct you into becoming that truly inspiring leader:
I pledge to direct, coach, support and lead my team. I acknowledge my team’s growth is a key responsibility, therefore I shall be totally committed to ensuring their constant development.
I shall give feedback that will improve performance, whilst totally avoiding labels and criticism. There will be no dependency amongst my team, because I will always delegate, support active participation and treat everyone as equals, so that in turn they will all become stars.
I will not act superior, throw my weight around, make boastful statements, or make mean cutting remarks. In giving orders, I shall make them clear, concise and deliver them confidently.
I will listen actively, encourage open questions, never accuse until I’m sure of the facts and I will ensure results are achieved through communication, because this is my most effective leadership tool.
In being firm and assertive, I shall also be fair, friendly, supportive, show care and build relationships. I will always say it like it is and further, I will commend and show complete appreciation when work has been done well. Disciplinary measures will only be taken when totally necessary, as I will be slow to punish and quick to reward.
My actions will not only drive my team to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, but will inspire them into becoming stars. I know that these steps will take me from good to great as I begin my journey into becoming an inspiring leader……………….today!

Making Compelling Presentation Openers

Remember,for a presentation to be really compelling,it must appeal to the two types of minds we find in all audiences: left brainers (seeking facts, straight to the point) and right brainers (looking for creativity visionaries, seeking options). Our pressing need is to capture the audiences attention when it’s highest , this being at the start. Your cover slide must therefore have a title that captivates the attention of the audience immediately. How then does one find a starting title that appeals to both left and right brainers? Simple,use two titles or to be more precise, a title and a subtitle. Lets look at an example?
You are presenting a proposal on new sales promotion mechanics that would allow for more efficient results on these schemes. Your audience comprises Finance people (left brainers) Marketing people (right brainers) and Sales people. What would be a compelling opener for your cover slide?

Seamless, Successful and Profitable …A New Era in Sales Promotions.
A proposal for the implementation of a new Sales Promotions Framework.

The first title is the compelling statement that hooks the audience, particularly the right brainers. The subtitle provides the more regular statement in a language that also appeals to the left brainers in the audience. Something for everyone and so everyone is hooked.
Use the compelling opener approach to create added impact for your presentations ……!

Feedback as a communication tool

Remember, our last nugget dwelt on achieving intended results through effective communication. What then is feedback and what is the relevance of feedback to effective communication?
Feedback is the breakfast of champions, an essential communication element specifically concerned with the improvement of performance. As a communication tool, feedback repels the use of generalisations in communication and allows for specific examples of observed situations and behaviours only. Good feedback is never imposed, it is best when solicited for by the party requiring the information. Feedback therefore results in effective two-way communication when properly deployed.
The importance of feedback in building communication bridges cannot be over emphasized. Its objectivity and timeliness provides the opportunity to participate, reflect on learning and improve. Cultivate a feedback culture to make your communication style relevant and effective today……………………….

Communicating Effectively

Remember, it is not sufficient for an information to be heard and understood. The higher communication standard is when we set out to use communication in achieving intended results. It is only then are we certain, that we have communicated effectively. This approach informs the choices, styles and format that we use to achieve our intended goal. We become more sensitive to what precisely is required to win over our audience, using the appropriate words, tone, body language and expressions. .
In achieving effective communication results, there are four areas of emphasis:
1. Drive clarity and understanding by reducing the use of ‘Complex words’ rather, adopt a consistent use of ‘Simple’ words.
2. Adopt active listening skills and use open and closed questioning styles to promote mutual understanding.
3. Develop strong ‘non-verbal communication’ skills, to create an encouraging environment for open communication in all your sessions.
4. Use Feedback and Coaching communication styles to achieve performance enhancing results , in the required situations.
Dial up the results you get from your communication by practising these effective communication tools……Today!.
Next week, we will touch on Feedback as an essential Communication tool.

The Most Provocative Question in Leadership

Remember: Our ultimate strength as effective leaders can be measured in our ability to inspire our team.Inspiration distinguishes people transactions,from people relationships,builds a willingness ladder rather that of imposition and projects leader confidence and assurance. Building Inspiration creates a robust transition from managing and directing to leading and supporting.

Will people follow you if they did’nt have to? This remains the most provocative and critical leadership question that draws the line between the inspirational and the situational leader.While the direction of the situational leader effects a compliance and followership that maybe unwilling yet unavoidable,the inspirational leader displays a commitment that fosters relationships.
Steve Jobs illustrated this when he said: “Management is about persuading people to do things they dont want to do,while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they never thought they could”.

Leaders who go from good to great realize that direction may establish authority,but team inspiration builds winning relationships that delivers great results.

Drive your results by leading an inspired team today………………….