Tag Archive for Awareness

Fearful of Asking for Feedback?

Do you ask for and listen to feedback from the people that can help you the most? Co-workers, clients, the CEO and, of course, customers are you biggest source to unlocking your professional growth or increasing your business.

Most people are afraid to hear the unvarnished truth about themselves or your business but feedback is like exercise…rebuilding the tiny tears in your muscles after a good workout is what makes you stronger. Listen to others with the intent to grow stronger and the tiny tears in your ego can blossom into your becoming a more empathic individual. And that’s good for you and your business.

Ask the right questions and listen without judging. Decide what might be true and then commit to making changes. Try it.

Learn more communication tips in Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Learn more here.

Communicating at Work – Know When to Shut Up!

Okay, it’s not the nicest title but I bet it got your attention. More so, I bet it brought to mind a very specific person that would benefit from reading this post. Am I right?

If the person that came to mind is you–congratulations! You’ve just taken the first step to making a change.

Why is it so difficult for some people to say only what’s needed and no more?

Well, some people …

…fail to stop talking because they can’t handle silence.

… think more words will sell whatever it is they are selling including themselves.

… think they are so  interesting  and feel compelled to tell it all and then some.

… have no self-awareness. Yes, this is a big one.

… have little confidence in their abilities so talking covers up the fear of being asked a question he can’t answer.

You get the point, I could go on and on.

So, when do you shut up and how do you stop yourself once you’re on a rant? Read more

Communication – Starts Before Speech

The process of communication gets initiated even before you utter the first syllable.  If being misunderstood while communicating is something you have experienced, you need to read on and find a solution to the problem.

Account for Communication Filters. You must consider how your listener might be filtering your message. What is her perception on receiving your message? Is the message too emphatic and in a tone which is too demanding on her? Is there a language barrier? If your listener speaks a different dialect or a different language, interpreting your message may lag behind the pace of your speaking. These filters, if not removed, break the communication process. Communication filters are inherent to the process of communication and some major reasons why they creep in are:

–        Cultural Differences. Are the two communicating parties from divergent cultural backgrounds? Different religious overtones? These differences could color the way your message is received and perceived. Be aware of such a difference.

–        Level of Education. Varying levels of education between communicating parties need a higher level empathy on the part of the better educated. The other party might be feeling threatened by an imposing attitude or show of more knowledge.

–        Different Social Levels – A huge barrier and an obstructive filter to efficient communication. Your feeling of being socially upward compared to the other party shows in your mannerism and is a strict No-go when you want to have a successful communication. Balanced mannerism and profile show prior to start of a conversation leads to higher chance of the conversation moving ahead and also puts the other person at ease. So, leave the heavy baggage behind and treat every one your equal.

The practice observing your listener for signs of confusion will stand you in good stead. 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.

Time for Self Appraisal of Your Inter-Personal Communication Performance

It’s wise to do a self appraisal of your communication abilities at least once a year.  Your passport to higher ranks at your workplace (in addition to hard work) is your ability to communication well. So, as you do a yearly appraisal of your financial assets conduct an analysis of where you score on the communication metrics and which aspects need you attention this year. What better time than now to start on this and move ahead than the month of February?

What is Effective Communication and Where Do You Stand?
Communicating effectively at the workplace requires your ability to connect with and get along with others. People may have a different opinion of you because you might not be fitting into their scope of things. It can be argued both ways on whose fault is it but this would be a good opportunity to ask yourself how you are being perceived by others. After all, communication is a two way process, and you might be surprised to learn that you ward off others.

Effective communication starts with a self appraisal of ones communication needs and is built upon a continuum of learning. Its time to start now or else you might be on your own and  all alone, for years at your work place. Not a fun situation to be in.

Behavior Comparison
Your tone of voice, your mannerisms and your volume while speaking send one loud message when your are communicating. Do you speak with matching volume and pace as others? Do you say things that cause people to react negatively or to visible recoil? Do you stand too close or too far away when speaking to colleagues, bosses or customers? Do you respond appropriately to questions? Do you interrupt conversations with self-serving comments or comments unrelated to the topic? Do you interject with unsolicited advice? Answering these questions takes a degree of self-awareness. Self-awareness is critical to likability. Yearly communication self appraisals need you to ask these questions.

If you are wondering about your ability to communicate, connect and listen effectively then I invite you to go to claim your FREE 6 Part Audio Course “The Power of Effective Communication” and Listening Skills Assessment. Just fill in your name and email in the box on the right. And, don’t forget to pick up a copy of my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Get it at Amazon.com

Communicating with Yourself–The Key to Reinvention

Successful reinvention–the art of creating yourself again–is directly related to how honestly you communicate with yourself. Or in-other-words, your degree of self-awareness. How you see yourself and consequently what you tell yourself is the key to reinventing yourself again and again.

Let’s say you want to move from a corporate job to entrepreneurship  but don’t know where to begin. Does your inner conversation sound more negative than positive?  Are you communicating a message to yourself  that you probably can’t make it happen but you’ll take a stab at it anyway? Are you telling yourself you can’t leave the comfort of your job because of your responsibilities? Are you convincing yourself that you’ll do it when “things” get better? Or are you telling yourself that others have done it so you can do it too!?

Or perhaps you want  to create a successful business around your love of decorating and your jewelry business but aren’t sure how to incorporate both of these passions into a single workable concept. Is your self-awareness clouded by what others have said to you in the past? Is your inner voice convincing you that there is no way to combine these two passions? Or do you tell yourself that there is a connection between the two and you’ll get some help figuring out how to make it work?

Or maybe you are a coach but find yourself losing some passion for your coaching practice. Do you tell yourself to shoulder on and your love will come back? Or are you self-aware enough to realize that you are not practicing what you preach? Are you telling others to have fun but you’ve forgotten to have fun yourself?

The new year is the perfect time for introspection and more importantly taking a risk to step out and live the life you dream about living. Take an acting class, join a mastermind or commit to having some fun.

After all, it is your life. And it’s passing every minute. If it is not what you want take action now.

Reinvention Intervention

Don’t Make Resolutions! Reinvent Yourself Instead

Renewal, refresh, review, reflect, rehab, rebound, rejuvenate, regenerate, resolve, reinvent…REJOICE!

‘Tis the season to be thinking about the future and making changes. Resolve to make a decision to RESPECT yourself this new year. (Gotta love those ‘R’ words!) Ask yourself… Is it time to look at success and transformation in a different way? “Is it time for a Reinvention Intervention™?”

There’s nothing better than incorporating your body, mind and soul for true transformation (oh, a ‘T’ word!) When you push against your limitations you begin to remembering your possibilities and passions. Add a cheering squad and your success rate goes up.

Instead of vowing to lose weight vow to change the way you see yourself. Have you spent last year stuck in a job that doesn’t challenge you, use your talents or honor your soul? Have you been living a life that supports everyone but yourself? Are you facing a big change but aren’t sure how to maximize the possibility it holds?

Start your own reinvention by moving your body–nothing fancy required–just shake off your shoes and jump around so you feel the ground under your feet while listening to some fast beat music.

Feels good, right? Silly maybe but who cares–intervention isn’t always pretty. Now while you’re feeling connected to your physical body grab a writing utensil and start scribbling–anything. Really anything. Draw outside the lines, be a kid, be free. Use big arm movements and let loose with a stream-of-consciousness ranting. No one is judging or even looking–so let it rip. If you have crayons and poster size paper all the better. The picture isn’t the purpose…the feeling is. Happy, sad, mad, joyful, remorseful, whatever–take note of your emotions.

Okay, now that you feel perfectly __________ (fill in your own word) let’s add the last step.

What’s missing? What are you missing? What haven’t you done in a while that puts in touch with who you really know yourself to be? What are the emotions the exercise has brought up for you? Is there a passion, a hobby or a side of yourself you have neglected or buried? Do you just miss being a kid? Do you miss dancing or writing or feeling physically challenged? Did the exercise help you remember what FUN feels like? Are you feeling sad or mad about not honoring some part of you? Perhaps you feel joyful and free–do you need to feel that way more often?

If you really want to reinvent yourself enlist a friend to help. Resolve to be imperfect. Resolve to invest in yourself for once. Resolve to communicate with yourself.  Resolve to say “yes” to your gifts, talents and passions this year. Make this year the year to remember who you really are deep in your soul.

Rejoice!Reinvention Intervention

Communication, Inspiration, Motivation, Admiration, Gratitude

Presence, Engagement, Connection, Confidence, Interaction, Credibility, Attitude, Success

Leave me your thoughts below.

Communicating with the Characters in Your Workplace

Communicating at work often resembles a sitcom where coworkers are characters and the story is driven by misunderstandings. Every sitcom from I Love Lucy to Seinfeld to Modern Family are great examples of misunderstandings resulting in humor and a tidy ending.

In reality, misunderstanding with the characters (I mean co-workers) you work with often doesn’t end with a happy conclusion. The good news is that your coworkers may be identifiable as the characters in a good story. Once you get to know them, you’ll be able to anticipate a certain amount of predictable behavior.  Think Seinfeld’s Kramer–you always expect his cockamamie logic to some mundane situation.

So how does this help you? Well, learning how to talk these character types (or communication styles) will help you get your point across more effectively so that cooperation and collaboration becomes the norm rather than the exception.

Ask these questions and notice these distinctions and shift your approach, and your chances of getting cooperation increases.

1. What motivates them?

2. What do they seek?

3. What do they fear?

4. What is important to them?

5. How do they behave under stress?

Create a game for yourself and see if you can created a profile of each of the people you work with and for–and then decide how you need to shift your behavior to connect with them.

What’s your experience?

This post is an excerpt from Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up.  Order your copy today and learn more about behavior styles.

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.

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