Archive for Allie Casey

Listening Mistake that can Hurt Your Career from “Misunderstood!”

Mistake: Making assumptions. Do you frequently finish other people’s sentences? Are you guilty of using the phrase, “I know that already” before you have heard a complete sentence?

The message you send is, “I know more than you do, so let me help you out.” This is not only rude behavior, but it will brand you as a “know-it-all.”

Instead, listen patiently, ask clarifying questions, and paraphrase the speaker’s words. Seek to understand the speaker and their message before making suppositions. This positive behavior will brand you as an excellent communicator.

Copyright 2010 Allie Casey. Excerpt from my soon to be available book  Misunderstood! the Fast Guide to Communicating at Work-What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. If you haven’t received your FREE 6-part audio series – The Power of Effective Communication” then get it now. Just enter your name and email in the boxes on the upper right for instant access.

The Only Business Shortcut that Never Comes Back to Bite You!

If you’re past the honeymoon stage in your business, you know that taking shortcuts have a nasty way of blowing up in your face.  Eventually.

BUT there are always a few people who seem to effortlessly zero in on the key points in any meeting, negotiation, management crises or opportunity.  They get more done, faster – both alone and through others.

Warren Buffett is an extreme example.  In 1991, his multi-billion dollar investment in Salomon Brothers was at the edge of disaster.  The government was *this close* to effectively shutting them down.

Buffett had to choose a new CEO, making what he considered the most important hire of his life.  And he did.   In 15 minutes.  He met the guy for 15 minutes and decided to hire him. And it was a fantastic choice.

Astounding, no?

Was it luck?  No.  Nor was it a kind of reckless shortcut in which he “hoped” it would work out.

Buffett has systematically trained his mind to see subtle things in every day situations that almost everyone else misses. Read more

Communication Begins Before You Start Speaking

Communication starts before you begin speaking. If you find that you’re frequently misunderstood then it’s time you take a look at yourself for the problem.

You must consider how your listener might be filtering your message. Is there a language barrier? If  your listener speaks a different language interpreting your message may lag behind the pace of your speaking.

Do you have different cultural backgrounds, religion, education or positions? These differences could color the way your message is received.

Is your listener emotionally stable or distracted by a physical ailment? He or she may find it difficult to focus on your conversation. Do you like each other? If not, everything you say may be heard in a negative light.

Practice observing your listener for signs of confusion. Check to see if your message will pass through the receiver’s filters and still be understood as you intended.  Be a responsible communicator to avoid misunderstandings.

From  my new book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up — coming soon. Watch for it. In the meantime, get your FREE 6-part audio series, The Power of Effective Communication simply by entering your name and email in the box to your right.

5 Ways to Erase Daily Procrastination in Your Business

Guest blog post by A. Michelle Blakeley:

According to Real Simple magazine’s survey of 10,000 readers, the average daily to-do list has 5 to 9 tasks on it. Only 5% of the readers are productive for 3 hours during a 9-to-5 workday as a result of web-related distractions. According to the Procrastination Research Group, based on some figures, it is estimated that as much as 95% of the people are prone to procrastination. Amongst them, 20% of them are chronic procrastinators.


Procrastination is generally defined as avoided tasks
or activities that need to be accomplished. Poor time management and procrastination can be a direct result of having unreachable goals, having to meet others’ standards, disorganization or the inability to handle the task. Below are ways to erase daily procrastination in your business. Read more

Effective Communication Tips from Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work

LISTENING WHEN THE STAKES ARE HIGH AND EMOTIONS ARE RUNNING DEEP

One if the most difficult listening skills to master is the ability to allow another to vent completely before you offer advice, coaching, solutions or comfort. 

It takes fortitude to listen to complaints and grievances. 

The last thing most people want to do is ask a distraught or upset person if there is anything more they want to say….BUT , you must!

Yikes! Who wants to hear more whining, groaning, complaining or tales of woe.  As painful as it sounds, you must take the time to ensure the emotional storm has passed.

Jumping in to speak (even if there has been a long pause), before the last bit of sticky trash has come unstuck from the bottom of the barrel ensures you won’t be heard.  It’s  akin to  pouring clean water atop a thin layer of mud and expecting it to remain clean and  pristine. Not going to happen.

So you must ask, “Is there anything more?”  And if there is, you must listen and then ask again. Not until the answer is a resounding (even if whispered), “no–that’s it” can you offer your thoughts.

Try it. It works.

Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up is now available at Amazon. Pick up a copy and get your bonuses–today! In the meantime, get your FREE 6-part audio series, The Power of Effective Communication simply by entering your name and email in the box to your right.

Communication Tips from Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work

Communication Skills – Keep Cool Under Pressure

Communicating at Work – Put Your Response into Perspective

It’s difficult to keep your cool in an emotionally-charged conversation without saying something you’ll regret.

Consider the long term impact of your words.  What result will occur moments after your conversation? Will the results last more than a few moments? What about in a year from now? You’ll discover that some  conversations didn’t need to happen at all–but don’t make that an excuse for not having the ones that do.

Thinking about the long term consequences allows you to put things into perspective.  And,  perspective goes a long way towards guiding the tone, words, and intention of your communication.

Copyright 2010 Allie Casey

Excerpt from the forthcoming book —Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say it and When to Shut-up

Workplace Communication – Giving Negative Feedback

When giving negative feedback keep in mind the type of feedback you are providing:

* Is it to find a solution to a disagreement?

* Is it directions or information to shift a project that is going off course?

* Is it to express dissatisfaction concerning work, behavior, or productivity?

Asking these questions and making the distinction helps you keep focused on the response and behavior you are seeking. It’s easy to get distracted or go off course especially when your listener starts defending his position.

Try it. Leave your comments.

*This tip comes from my forthcoming book, “Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say it and When to Shut-Up! Watch for it.

Non-Verbal Communication to Power Up Your Message

Your non-verbal communication is more powerful than your words–when the two are not aligned. If you want your words to be more influential, to carry more weight and authority then you must make certain your non-verbal message is congruent with your verbal message.

Here is one tip for using non-verbal communication more effectively:

In low-risk conversations your non-verbal message i.e., your body language and the sound of your voice, naturally support your words. You sparkle, smile and stand straighter when you’re elated and slump and frown when you are not. But, there are times when you want to appear confident when you are not feeling confident. If you ignore your body and voice relying only on your words your body will betray you every time. To match the two, breath from your belly, straighten your back and relax your jaw, this prevents your voice from sounding pinched and your body from appearing timid. This posture will send a positive message to your mind and you’ll begin to feel as confident as your words.

Try it and let me know.

Copyright 2010 Allie Casey
Excerpt from my forthcoming book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say it and When to Shut-up