Sunday, October 28, 2012

Communication At Work (Part 3)

How does all of this relate to you and your clients? Well, if you aren't communicating well, you may be losing them. People may not be listening to what you say because of how you say it. And that means miscommunication, decreased productivity and lowered self-confidence. The quality of how you communicate is particularly essential in today's business environment. The tremendous and ever-increasing use of the telephone as a business tool, often dictates that the first impression you make on a potential client or customer, is based solely on the level of confidence; not on a handshake or a wardrobe selection. And to truly improve this, you must move beyond helpful suggestions from friends and co-workers, or practicing your presentation in front of the bathroom mirror.

What to do? Utilize the services  of a speech consultant. Many different types of organizations ranging from small legal partnerships to major television and radio networks, retain their services. Those individuals benefitting from speech consulting span varying levels of responsibility and include salespeople, managers, receptionists, and media liaisons, among others.

When do you make use of a speech consultant? Answer the following to determine whether you could benefit from working with one.

  1. Do I speak a foreign language or use a dialect that makes communication with others difficult?
  2. Am I fearful of talking on the phone, in public or with authority figures?
  3. Have people mentioned that they can't understand me?
  4. Do I speak too slow or too fast?
  5. Have people told me that I don't know how to listen?
  6. Is my voice too loud or too soft when I speak?
  7. Do I compare myself to other speakers, wishing I were more like them?
  8. Is it difficult for me to pronounce certain sounds?
  9. Am I unable to adjust my vocabulary to different social situations?
  10. Am I personally embarrassed with the way that I speak?

Two or more yes responses may indicate the need for a speech consultant to fully identify and correct the problem.

(To be continued)

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Monday, October 22, 2012

The Small Stuff!

'Don't sweat the small stuff."

The first time I heard that, I thought, "What the hell is that?" Now, at 55, I realize that most of my stress is really small in nature.

Learning how to balance your "stuff" takes time, effort and patience. A friend told me that it takes about 30 days to develop new behaviors or habits. "Sweating the small stuff" falls into that category.

A nice by-product of learning not to sweat the small stuff, is to actually LQQK at your daily stuff, as small. If (in the past) you freaked out with all you had to do, your blood pressure and stress levels are probably through the roof. I'm not suggesting to take a "lah-de-dah" attitude with your daily responsibilities. I'm suggesting a healthy perspective where you assess what is major vs. minor stuff. Rather than reacting to each issue with negativity, you'll learn an easier way to get through the day. In turn, your stress level will lower and you'll begin to have more fun.

Start your PERSPECTIVE today -- with the small stuff!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Public Speaking 101 (Part 1)

A key feature for any type of communication is a sensitivity to listeners. Whether you are talking to a couple of friends at your local coffee shop, or giving a speech to hundreds of people. Your listeners want to feel that you care about their interests and desires. When you are presenting, include functional examples that tie into your speaking points.  Talking about every day situations will pull your audience in, and keep them interested in what you say.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Communication At Work (Part 2)

What makes up nonverbal communication? Nonverbal communication incorporates your eye-contact, body language and  listening skills. Eye-contact involves a "direct gaze" with another person. Have you ever questioned why some people are unable to look at you? Maybe, they are uncertain of themselves, suffer from poor self-esteem or are lying. In any case, when one does not make use of consistent eye-contact, one has to question the reasons why.

Did you know that 90% of language is nonverbal? That's right. Think about this the next time you are with a client and think that you are in control (when you really aren't). The client may not be able to articulate what YOU are doing, but is reading a deeper message based on your nonverbal language. It's the small nuances that are received by others, that speak DEEPER and LOUDER!

The last part to nonverbal communication is "listening." This does not mean passively hearing the words. It means having the ability to process and understand the ideas of another person. John Gray, in his book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, explains  that the language of listening is something that needs to be taught, it doesn't happen OVERNIGHT! Being an effective listener is NOT a skill just for women. Men have it too! What is important to remember is that if you are interacting with a client who is unable to relate to you; or what you are telling him, he may be deficient in this area. If you have been told that you don't listen well, then maybe you need some instruction on how to change this. (To be continued)

Food For Thought

What type of impression does YOUR body language convey? Is it strong or weak? Do you maintain eye-contact with other people, or does it drift? Are you an active or a passive listener?

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

What Does Your Voice SAY?

Your voice is a statement of you and your character. When it's STRONG, it conveys confidence and personal power.

Your voice has NOTHING to do with selling a product. It's about how your voice registers your authenticity and integrity. Voice is part of an invisible medium of communication. When it's weak, it shows a lack of  confidence. When it's STRONG, it shows  your CONFIDENCE and personal power.

How can you find it? Tape your voice and listen to it. (You may want to do this a couple of times. Each time you hear your voice, you'll hear another level to it!)

And be sure to take notes! You're a work in progress.

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