Episode 038: Why You are a Bad Listener and How to Fix It [PODCAST]

You’re probably not a good listener. No offense, it’s just statistically likely. So, the question is then, why are you a bad listener and how do you fix it?

Why you are a bad listener and how to be better

No one wants to be known as a bad listener. No one wants to forget an entire side of a conversation and have to ask someone to repeat. Everyone wants to be a good listener. Few people want to become a good listener. Just like everyone wants to play the guitar, while few want to learn to play guitar.

4 “Musts” to Make the Leap from Successful to VERY Successful

I’m going to make one assumption about you as I write this post:

You are already a successful person.

I know that to be true because unsuccessful people don’t usually read self-improvement blogs. No, you may not be a millionaire yet, your business may still be virtually unknown, or you haven’t gotten the promotion you’ve wanted for the past two years, but the very act of reading this shows me you are already successful. But I also know that you want to take it to the next level. So how do you do that?

Go from successful to very successful
To make the leap from successful to very successful, there are four things you must learn to do. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

To make the leap from successful to very successful, there are four things you must learn to do. In studying the most successful people in history, I’ve found that each of them clearly learned to do each of these. Some learned them earlier than others. But eventually they learned them all before they reached the level of very successful.

4 “musts” to make the leap from successful to very successful

1. You must learn the magic word.

7 Secrets of Personal Development from Dale Carnegie Training

You’re ready to take your career and your life to the next level. Now what?

If you haven’t heard of Dale Carnegie, you’ve probably lived in Siberia for your entire life. Welcome to life.

Dale Carnegie Training was founded on the principles of the famous speaker and author of How to Win Friends and Influence People. Today, the company offers leadership training to help businesses and individuals achieve their goals.

I asked Celia Wang from Dale Carnegie Training to share seven secrets of personal growth with us. Take it away Celia…

Dale Carnegie Quote Only you can take charge of your personal development. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

When it comes to taking your career and life to the next level, many people don’t know where to start. The following seven “secrets” of personal development can help you learn how to find success and stay positive through your struggles and triumphs. Read on to see insights and tips from Dale Carnegie Training, which specializes in leadership training, to help you go further this year and beyond.

Secret 1: Only you can take charge of your personal development.

What Would Sam Walton Think of Today’s Wal-Mart? Part Two – Principles 6-10

There is no denying that Sam Walton was one heck of a businessman.

And his rules for building a business clearly worked. But where is Wal-Mart today? And what would Sam think?

Original Walmart Sam Walton

His Ten Rules for Building a Business are found in his book, Sam Walton: Made In America. Yesterday, we covered rules 1-5 and where Wal-Mart stands today. Today, we’ll take a look at the last five.

Here are the remaining rules for building a business and what I think Sam would think today.

The One Question Everyone is Asking

Are you being heard? Are you hearing others?

When I advise marketing clients, I ask them to put themselves in a potential customer’s shoes and ask this question. You, too, should ask it anytime you are speaking.

What's in it for me? What's in it for me? What's in it for me?

Others are constantly asking themselves that question as you talk. If you want to truly be heard, you must answer that question.

What is in it for you?

You already know the answer to that question when you are talking. More profit. Less hassle. A feeling of accomplishment. Those are all great things, except that no one else cares.

That is the cruel reality…and it is reality.

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Five Killer Meeting Tips from Tom Dixon

Raise your hand if you like meetings.

Even at the finish line of a marathon, that is a question sure not to cause a stink. (Get it? Marathon…sweaty people…stink? OK, good.)

Whether you are one of the eleven people worldwide who raised their hand to that question or you are like the 99.9999% of us who hate meetings, you want them to be better. So I brought in Tom Dixon to offer some helpful tips.

Tom Dixon Meeting Tips - Leadership
Tom left a great comment a few weeks ago in my post, Do This in Your Next Meeting. It Works.

One trick I’ve learned as a meeting participant is to play back one or two sentences that recap what I’ve taken away from the discussion…this can be helpful to others to solidify what was discussed as well as a chance for the group to clarify any points I didn’t get right.

Tom normally writes at his blog, Monday is Good where he offers practical career help. He believes it is possible to look forward to Monday. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter too. You won’t regret it.

Why You Are a Bad Listener and How to Fix It

You’re probably not a good listener.

No offense. It’s just that most people aren’t.

Why you are a bad listener

No one wants to be known as a bad listener. No one wants to forget an entire side of a conversation and have to ask someone to repeat. Everyone wants to be a good listener. Few people want to become a good listener. Just like everyone wants to play the guitar, while few want to learn to play guitar.

You are likely a bad listener for one of seven reasons:

  1. Selfishness. This isn’t as bad as we have made it sound. This is normal. You are always thinking of yourself. Have you ever had a dream that you were not in? 
  2. Preoccupation. You are distracted. Deadlines, problems at home, an illness. 
  3. Your mind wanders. We speak at about 130 words per minute. You can listen at about 400. You can think at 1,000. There is a 600-word gap between thinking and listening. Your mind is going to fill that in.

Leadership Lessons from the 12 Steps

There is a way to recover from bad leadership behaviors. It is found in the 12 steps.

Yesterday I wrote about the three leadership lessons I learned attending a recovery group. Today I want to share the seven lessons for leaders and aspiring leaders that the 12 Steps give us.

What are the 12 Steps exactly? I list them below along with the lessons. Essentially, they are a systematic pathway to recovery or improvement. And they work. If you work them.

12-steps-leadership-lessons

Here are the steps along with the lessons:

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.

This step is applicable to every area of life.

This is, by far, the hardest step for leaders to admit. You got this far on your own. You are strong and in control. People look up, and often fear, you.

But you have a compulsive habit of snapping at people with bad ideas, or reacting harshly to criticism, or over-working. If you have dealt with anything like this for more than five years, it is out of control. It is unmanageable. The first step is to admit that.

12 Steps: Leadership Lessons from a Recovery Group

I am in recovery.

Not from an addiction or abuse, but from a lifetime of anger. I have touched on the subject in four posts before (the four links are at the bottom of this post). What I may occasionally lack in content, I make up for in transparency.

After years of trying to figure it all out on my own, I finally entered a 12-step recovery group at our church. And my life is changing dramatically.

12-steps-recovery-group

Through this process, I realized there were ten valuable leadership lessons from a recovery program. But before I share those, I want to share one of the biggest life lessons I learned there.

When I first entered, I admit that I walked in with the attitude that my problems were not as bad as everyone else’s problems. I went in with the belief that my poop did not stink…or at least nearly as bad as everyone else’s. To be blunt, I looked down on others.

What I saw at first was a bunch of drug addicts, alcoholics, and weirdos. What I have found are some of my best friends.

Learning to Not Listen

Listening is a choice. I was at a meeting last night and a curious thought hit me followed by a wave of guilt, confusion, and frustration pouring over me. If I know what I believe about God is true, then why do I continue to do the things I know that I am not supposed […]