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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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

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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This is a guaranteed way to improve energy and improve productivity

Clear your mind, clear you calendar, and clear your focus

With today being Labor Day in the United States I want to extend a challenge to every reader of this blog.  Unplug and enjoy the day.  No cell phone, no computer, and if your brave enough no TV!  It’s important for our bodies and our mind to recharge.  People need to take breaks during the day and during the week.  Unplugging can improve productivity!

UNPLUG

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What can you expect from The Goal Oriented Life (TGOLife)?

Winning at Life, Winning at Business, and Winning at Leadership

I just wanted to take some time to post an update on this site.  Blogs, ideas, training, etc are all coming together.  YouTube Videos, Webinars, etc are all in the planning and development stages.  I look forward to posting blogs very soon.  What can you expect from this site?

What to Expect

This site will give you the tools to Win at Life, Win at Business, and Win at Leadership.  I will be happy to share my 30+ years experience in these areas and give you the tools that helped me succeed.

I planned to post once a week.  After reviewing the areas between life and business it only made sense to post twice a week.  Here is what I am planning so far.

Every Blog will focus on winning at life, winning at business, and winning at leadership.  Focusing on accomplishing more though goals and standards.

Mondays – Leadership and Business Focus.  This will start out your work week and give you the tools to Win at Leadership, Business, Growth, Etc.  Topics: Leadership, entrepreneur, team building, tips on running more successful meetings, etc.

Thursdays – As we get closer to the weekend we can adjust our focus from the busy work week to focus on ourselves.  Thursday blogs will focus on personal development.  These will have a leadership theme and will help you with Leadership and Business but with a focus on Winning at Life.  The main focus is to give you the tools to make you better.  Topics: Health & Fitness, Organization, Financial, Family, Social, and a variety of other topics.

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Welcome to my new blog…

Building a community of people who maximize their lives...

Welcome to my new blog.  My name is Pete Szpakowski. My goal is to help you build the knowledge and skills to help you maximize your life, your career, and your business.  I am an online virtual mentor.  If you want to maximize your life in any area this is for you. Business, Financial, Health, etc.

Picture of Peter Szpakowski

I plan to post once a week on Tuesdays starting in September 2016.  This is not just a site for a blog but a dialog between the community of people we build on this site.  I encourage each of you to comment on the posts and learn from each other.  I will read and interact with each one.

If you have a topic you want me to address, please leave a comment below.  I am looking forward to connecting with you.

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