3 Listening Hurdles You Can Overcome

Effective listening is at the heart of communication. We do more listening than reading, writing or speaking yet research shows we listen with 25% efficiency. Not surprisingly, "be a better listener" frequently shows up as a top coaching goal for my clients who want to transform how they work through greater emphasis on relationships. To help my clients improve their listening skills we first explore what's getting in the way of listening. They find it's beneficial to identify the habits they want to stop or manage at the same time they are defining new ones to fill the gap. Three particular behaviors [...]

By |2018-09-04T21:59:00+00:00August 21st, 2018|Communication|

Listen Up!

My clients are successful people who've got intellect, talent and a host of admirable skills, yet most admit, " I need to be a better listener." Heck, I'm a coach and I need to be a better listener! With that goal in mind, I've signed up for the Listen Up! Listening Bootcamp hosted by the team at Only Human, a production of WYNC. To start, I took their Listening Quiz and tested my hearing age using the Mime Test app. Starting November 16 I'll receive 5 daily tips from five "master listeners". It’s not easy to improve our hearing. But [...]

Excuse Me, Your Red is Leaking on my Blue

My apologies if you were expecting a political post.  I am discussing a somewhat related topic… conflict. A study by AtTask found that U.S. employees spend an average of 2 1/2 hours per week resolving workplace conflict, which aggregates to $359B in lost productivity.  When I share this statistic in a workshop, participants often smirk and say, “only 2 1/2 hours?”  Top reasons cited in the study include mismatched priorities, miscommunication and differing expectations regarding deadlines. What the surveyors miss is conflict based on the personality factor… the clashes that occur due to our individual ways of relating, pursuing goals or trying to solve a problem. In the vernacular [...]

Breaking Out of the Comfort Zone

“Our motivation basically boils down to completing the best loans for our clients as seamlessly as possible. Sometimes we lose track of the personal part of the equation. I’m not talking about our relationship with homebuyers—we’re always solid there. I mean what happens in the office, over the phone, and via email between our team members.”   This client quote echoes a common theme we hear.  We’ve been working with this large national lender, in particular, since 2011. They first contacted us to help reach a number of strategic goals, including improving the way their employees communicate and collaborate with [...]

For Better or Worse – 3 Lessons Learned While Working with My Spouse

After my husband Pat survived a major brain injury in April 2013, I took a leap of faith and joined him in business.  Even he was shocked when, five  months into his recovery, I told him I felt compelled to quit my job.  As an executive of a brand-consulting agency I enjoyed a nice paycheck, great benefits and perks.  I've chronicled my decision process in an earlier post, so as I cross the year mark it seems fitting to take stock of and share what I've learned. 1. You don't know what you don't know. As I considered joining Pat [...]

Film Room #4: Going Beyond

I hope you enjoy another installment of our Film Room series. Though we are 3 weeks into the 2014 season, this edition chronicles their 2013 championship year. Our continued thanks go out to Coach for sharing his story. Go Cougars! “Our first year in the NCAA was like being a toddler learning to walk consistently. We kept falling down, yet were eager to try again. Getting up was frustrating, but we wanted to move forward. It was harder than we imagined, in part because we didn’t yet know what we didn’t know.” (Victor Santa Cruz, head football coach, Azusa Pacific [...]

Film Room #3: The Turnaround

“Within each player or coach is the root or seed of his motivation. As a leader, even when you’re motivated to learn and improve, you may still be creating an environment that frustrates those around you, and zaps their motivation. Leaders have to work from the places that motivate those around them."   Victor Santa Cruz, head football coach, Azusa Pacific University The intensity of coaching a college football program is well documented. Just consider how many hours of media are dedicated to breaking down coaching decisions and analyzing critical in-game moments. Coach Victor Santa Cruz of the Azusa Pacific [...]

Calming the Ripples and Waves of Conflict

Most business leaders I know are great at focusing on what I’ll call “primary” conflicts, the challenges that arise from interpersonal issues, or have to do with making unpopular, bottom-line-driven decisions. What’s interesting is that many of these same leaders act as if primary conflicts occur in vacuums. They don’t recognize the secondary ripples these conflicts create and send out across departments and companies. When left unchecked, these secondary conflicts can and will undermine an organization’s health. A closer look at the ripples I use ripples here because it makes for an apt visual. That’s how secondary conflicts often start—a [...]

The Ten Pillars of Leadership

The Leadership Challenge is a "personal coach in a book". When leaders understand that leadership is a relationship and they begin to engage in the Five Exemplary Practices-Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart- they are better able to perform at their personal best. Kouzes and Posner believe, "Inspiring leadership speaks to our need to have meaning and purpose in our lives... a leader must have the ability to bring out the best in others-to enable others to act." Their Ten Commitments of Leadership are at the core of [...]