The 5 Key Strategies To Becoming A Better Listener

Listening is one of the greatest strategies to being a Great Leader

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.

Be An Active Listener

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:

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Do This Exercise to Build Your Strength Profile for a SWOT Analysis

A SWOT Analysis is an Excellent Tool To Grow as a Individual or a Business

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.

Know your Strengths

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.

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What is a SWOT Analysis? 3 Reasons Why You Should Complete One. A Downloadable Template Provided!

How to use a SWOT Analysis to improve you or your business

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.

SWOT Analysis Chart

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.

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3 Reasons to Set Goals or New Years Resolutions in November

And a Free Goal Setting Download

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.

Hello November surrounded by pumpkins

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:

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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.

Peter Szpakowski

Here Is How You Can Gain More Friends And Build Better Relationships

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.

It's All About Relationships

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.

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How To Become A Better Leader By Increasing Your Leadership to Management Ratio

What is a Leadership to Management Ratio And How To Calculate Yours

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.

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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!

Peter Szpakowski

One of the best ways to continue learning when you don’t have free time…

Podcasts for on the go learners

I work in an industry where the environment and technology is changing all the time.  The industry is changing at such a rapid pace that there is no dollar amount or free time available to keep up to date.  I’m sure most of you reading this article can relate.  A new computer system, a new process, a new service, etc.  I’ve been turned down for a promotion or turned down by a client because I did not have the latest and greatest technology.  Because of this I pursued the many options of training available to me.

Podcasts to keep on learning

We have been discussing the many services available on the internet

and use of modern technology devices to increase your education and knowledge.  Youtube, Kindle, and this week we discuss podcasts.

What is a podcast?  A Podcast is a multimedia computer file available on the internet for download.  Another definition of a podcasts is an on demand radio or video that has been available on apple devices or apple iTunes.  More recently you can now stream podcasts on android devices through services and applications such as pocket casts.  Most producers  have websites that have online streaming right from the website.

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How Can You Use A Blog To Get Promoted Or Get That Next Job?

Blogging is one of the best ways to set you apart from the competition

Many people get into blogging because they want to write about something they love.  If people start blogging because they feel it will help them get ahead in their business or their industry and don’t love what they do or don’t love what they are blogging about then they might have a surprise coming.  If you love your job and you love what you do then blogging is an excellent idea if not one of the best ways to get promoted (achievement and accomplishments are two of the best ways to get promoted).  Even a high quality blog on an unrelated topic to your career could be beneficial.  You just have to present it in such a way that it puts you over other candidates.  A great blog can be one of the best references on a resume or cover letter.  If you have a high quality blog and blog about what you love it can even be a conversation piece during an interview.

Blogging for your next job

Here are some questions you can ask yourself before you start blogging.

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