Have you ever had that boss or friend who you swear loves to talk. Talk about anything and everything. And when you try to get a word in they jump right in with another story or something about them? In Steven Covey’s book “How To Win Friends and Influence People” one thing you can do to win friends and influence people is listen. Not just listen but listen with a clear mind. Understand and remember what the person is talking about.
To become that great leader. That Level 5 leader that John Maxwell talks about in his books. That leader that everyone looks up to and respects at work. You will need to become a great listener. Become the best listener you know. It’s not hard. I have been told that I am a leader who cares about my people. That understands my people. That takes an interest in my people. That wants to help my people. I have been told this by colleagues, management, and my team members. I attribute this to becoming a great listener. When you listen and understand people something triggers. They can trust you more than most.
I have not always been a great listener… Just ask my mom. I had to learn to become a great listener. For me there are just 5 simple rules to becoming a great leader.
The 5 key strategies to becoming a better listener are:
Last week we reviewed what a SWOT Analysis is. This week we start to build a SWOT Analysis for you or your business. This is a very good exercise to perform 2 – 3 times a year and revisit the results each time.
Strengths are what drive us in hard times. Strengths are what brings us joy in our hobbies, family, and business. It’s important for us as individuals or businesses to understand our strengths. These are traits that make us strong, smarter, and wiser in our life and in our businesses.
A SWOT Analysis is one of the simplest tools to help take business and lives to the next level. A SWOT analysis is a simple tool that should be completed once or twice a year. A SWOT analysis will get you thinking about what areas you are good at and how you need to improve. A SWOT is a simple tool to highlight to you the areas you should be focusing on for opportunities and threats. A SWOT analysis can be done as a team or even with a group of advisors. If your looking to improve you can fill one out for yourself. You could also have other people fill one out for you. This will help you understand how others perceive you. A SWOT can be for individuals or a company / Team as a whole. People or businesses can have many SWOT’s.
Here are the simple steps to fill out your SWOT. Once you are done you can build goals or plan around any action items that are the result of doing a SWOT Analysis.
Strengths – Write down the strengths you or your organization have. These are strengths you will want to improve and keep building them stronger.
It’s getting close to the new year. You know what that means… Time for new years resolutions? We also know new years resolutions don’t work. Often they are last minute thoughts. Not something we put much thought or planning into. Or maybe we are just doing it because everyone else is doing it. I have never been much for new years resolutions but I have set annual goals every year. I have been setting goals for myself for over 30 years. I have found the best time to plan for annual goals (January – December) is in November of each year.
Each November I sit down and use a spreadsheet I have developed to plan out my annual goals. I am happy to say that I have been success most of the time at all these goals.
Setting Goals In November are 10 Times More Successful Than Those Set in January.
3 reasons I have found planning your next years goals in November are:
When I help others improve and grow in their career and life I grow and improve my career and life. When you serve others you grow as a leader and you accomplish more through what you learn.
So many people struggle to get more friends, to get more business relations. If you want to get more friends and get more business relations the formula is easy. Maybe you want to be better friends with the ones you already have. Maybe you want to have better business relations with the ones you already have.
The secret formula is this:
You will aquire more friends in 2 months being interested in them than you will aquire in two years wanting people to be interested in you.
How many times when people tell you about their weekend or a business deal you respond with relating it to something you did? It might seem simple to do that because it’s natural. We want to tell people about things that happen to us. It’s not natural for as many to listen to people and respond with happiness for them or saying how great it is. People are drawn to those that they feel want to hear about them. Not to those that always have an opinion.
What is your Leadership to Management Ratio?
Balancing your Leadership to Management Ratio is an important factor when becoming a better Leader. What makes it very difficult is when you don’t know the difference between the two. Just to clarify the difference lets briefly describe some of the key traits of each:
Leadership: Interest in the Individual, Good Listener, Forward Looking, Visionary, Honest, Mission Driven, Say Thank You, Gives Compliments, Understanding, Goal Oriented, Competent, Influences Teamwork, A Can Do Attitude, Gives Credit Where Credit is Due, Asks Questions Without Giving an Opinion, Provides Motivation, Shares Authority, etc.
Make people feel important. Communicate! You need people who are committed. You will not have commitment without connection and you will not have connection without communication. Talk to people daily!
I recently bought a car. It was a nice car and all cars are expensive these days. About a week after I drove the car home I got a letter from the dealer/salesrep. It was a nice letter that was all printed out on a piece of paper. The letter had my name at the top. But it and was a carbon copy type letter that could be sent to everyone who purchased a car from this dealer. At the bottom was my sales persons name and a space for him to sign. Only the sales person never signed the letter. Now it was nice to get this letter don’t get me wrong but there was no personalization at all. The sale person did not even sign where there was room for the signature. I doubt it was my salesman who put the letter in the envelope and mailed it to me.
Time for the kids to go back to school and start learning again. Funny how some of us can’t wait to get out of school and start with our own career, life, etc. But do we ever stop learning? Sure we learn about life and the ins and outs of what it takes to raise a family. We learn about a career. But what are some ways we can keep learning to better ourselves? To learn about a hobby? To learn more about our career and how we grow as professionals? Learn about personal development and living a well rounded life like this website teaches. No matter what it is you want to learn or when there are countless resources to help you learn.
People can now get equal to a college degree with free resources thanks to the Internet. We have free resources that will change the way people get an education after high school. Colleges will need to reinvent themselves to prove their worth at the rate these alternate methods are growing.
This week we will just touch on some pretty basic tools that people are using these days that are pretty common. These are tools that can increase your knowledge in a matter of hours or even minutes. Just think what a few short minutes a day over the course of a year would do for you.
Three Ways to keep learning without going back to school are: