How to Become More Influential

We all love to hear ourselves talk. Our brains actually light up and we feel good. But, if  we are blinded by our own thoughts, we’re not leaving room for others to contribute. They turn off. Think how this affects “how deals get done, projects get run, and profits get earned”, writes Judith E. Glaser.

Here’s her formula for recognizing your own blind spots and become a more effective communicator and influencer:

Stop:

• Assuming that others see what you see, feel what you feel, and think what you think, since that’s rarely the case

• Failing to recognize that emotions, such as fear and distrust, change how you and others interpret and talk about reality

• Thinking you understand and remember what others say, when you really only remember what you think about what they’ve said.

• Underestimating your own propensity to have conversational blind spots

Start

• Paying attention to and minimizing the time you “own” the conversational space

• Sharing that space by asking open-ended discovery questions, to which you don’t know the answers, so you stay curious (i.e., What influenced your thinking?)

• Listening non-judgmentally to the answers

• Asking follow-up questions

Judith E. GlaserJudith E. Glaser is CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc. and Chairman of The Creating WE Institute. She is an Organizational Anthropologist, and consults to Fortune 500 Companies. Judith is the author of 4 best-selling business books, including her newest,Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (Bibliomotion, 2013) Visit www.conversationalingelligence.com; www.creatingwe.com; jeglaser@creatingwe.com or call 212-307-4386.

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What Your Brain Does When Someone Talks Too Much

.. think of this next time you have a big sales pitch or you’re trying to influence someone to your point of view.

by Judith E. Glaser

Conversational Blind Spots at Work

Twenty-eight years ago I began my first experiment in what I call conversational intelligence. I was hired by Union Carbide to work with 17 high-powered sales executives in danger of losing a bid for a key contract. My job was to figure out how they could raise their game and beat the other seven competitors.

blind spots derailing your career?

For more than two weeks I had them role-play potential conversations with “customers” and I charted what they said. The patterns were clear: The executives used “telling statements” 85 percent of the time, leaving a paltry 15 percent for questions. What’s more, almost all the questions they asked were actually statements in disguise. They were talking and talking, trying to bring their counterparts around to their point of view, all the time thinking that they were still conducting good, productive conversations.

Having spent thousands of hours observing executives in similar, real-world situations — from prospecting to performance reviews, business development to innovation — I can tell you this is a common problem. People often think they’re talking to each other when they’re really talking past each other. They carry on monologues, not dialogues.

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Saying “No” to Abuse—the First Time

by Sandra Ford Walston

Experiencing abuse one time was simply enough for CEO Donna Cameron. “Sometimes, the most courageous thing we can do is leave a toxic workplace or stand up and say, ‘this is who I am, and if that isn’t what you want here, let’s get that out in the open right now,’ ” she said.

Donna’s experience provides rich insight into averting denial (the thoughts or feelings that keep us trapped and closed to creative options) in the workplace.  Of course, if you have plenty of other prospects, or no financial worries, that is probably much easier to do than if you desperately need that paycheck to make the mortgage payment and buy groceries.

However, are you limiting your options based on fear?

In order to overcome denial, our perceptions about our personal courage play a key role. Do you base your reality on the limited perceptual range of your senses thus limiting your options?

Anyone Can Be an Ally

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Here’s What to Do Next Time You Squirm..

Ouch! DVD cover..when a colleague, client, boss uses a stereotype to make an inappropriate comment.

With the law of numbers, just imagine if all employees were sensitized and knew how to respond in the face of harassment or discimination.

Ouch!That Stereotype Hurts is a 30 minute video training that is engaging, highly produced and, according to the University of Cincinnati, highly effective. Here are some of the stats:

 

  • A recent study at the University of Cincinnati showed that 82% of Ouch! trainees had already used the Ouch! skills in their workplace interactions and personal lives within 3 months.
  • The study also documented that trainees had a statistically significant increase in awareness of bias and stereotypes, and a lasting positive change in their comfort and confidence to speak up using the Ouch! skills.
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How Assumptions Derail Good Mentoring Relationships

by Lois Zachary

Why is it that some people succeed at mentoring while others miss the mark?

For one thing, the word “mentoring” is not uniformly understood. Mentoring partners hold differing assumptions about what mentoring actually means. Mentees and mentors frequently come to mentoring as novices, unprepared for roles and responsibilities. Like a sage on the stage, the mentor’s role is often seen as dispensing advice and doling out guidance.

Mentoring partners assume they know each other and fail to take the time to build trust. If the goals of mentoring remain fuzzy, so are its outcomes. And finally, mentors and mentees sometimes fail to build in mutual accountability for their relationship and only one partner does the heavy lifting.

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Three Ways Our Communication Triggers Emotions, Good or Bad

by Judith E. Glaser

Conversations are the source of energy that transcends doldrums, the power that launches transformational products, and the golden threads that create trust.workplace communication skills

Conversations are the way we connect, engage, navigate, and transform the world with others. Awareness of the behaviors that open us up and those that close us down, and their influence in our relationships, allows us to better harness the chemistry of conversations.

The quality of our culture depends on the quality of our relationships, which depends on the quality of our conversations. The most powerful “leadershift” anyone can make is to realize that each person has the power to “create the conversational space that creates deeper understanding and engagement rather than fear and avoidance.”

When managers and leaders understand the chemical impacts of their behavior, they tend to make changes—for example, they learn to deliver difficult feedback inclusively and supportively, thereby limiting cortisol production (resulting in fear and avoidance) and stimulating oxytocin (trust, engagement, creativity) instead.

Remember these three chemistry lessons for better workplace communication:

1. Be mindful of your conversations and the emotional content you bring—pain, which closes the brain, or pleasure which opens it. Are you sending friend or foe messages? Are you sending the message “You can trust me to have your best interest at heart” or “I want to persuade you to think about things my way?” When you’re aware of these meta-messages, you can create a safe culture that allows everyone to interact collaboratively, sharing perspectives, feelings, and aspirations and elevating insights and wisdom.

2. Conversations trigger emotional reactions. Conversations carry meaning—and meaning is embedded in the listener even more than in the speaker. Words cause us either to bond and trust more fully, thinking of others as friends and colleagues, or to break rapport and see others as enemies. Your mind will open as you see the connection between language and health, and you’ll learn how to create healthy organizations through your conversational rituals.

3. Note that the words we use in our conversations are rarely neutral. Words have histories informed by years of use. Each time a new experience overlays another meaning on a word, the information collects in our brains to be activated during conversations. Knowing how you project meaning into your conversations will enable you to connect with others and, in so doing, let go of much of the self-talk that diverts from effective co-working.

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Judith E. GlaserJudith E. Glaser is CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc., Chairman of The Creating WE Institute, an Organizational Anthropologist, consultant to Fortune 500 Companies, and author of four best selling business books, including Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (Bibliomotion). Call 212-307-4386, visit www.conversationalingelligence.com; jeglaser@creatingwe.com.

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Is Your Communication Style Draining Your Team’s Energy?

By Judith E. Glaser

We are all familiar with the “chemistry” factor in relationships and the chemical attraction metaphor; now we are learning that such insights are more than metaphor— they are reality!Woman.Generations.Races.franky242

Positive comments and conversations provide a temporary chemical “high,” while negative ones languish longer. A critique from a boss, a disagreement with a colleague, or a fight with a friend can make you forget praise. If you are called lazy, careless or unprofessional, you are likely to remember it and internalize it, easily forgetting all the past compliments.

Chemistry plays a big role in this reaction. When we face criticism, rejection or fear, when we feel marginalized or minimized, our bodies produce higher cortisol, a hormone that shuts down the thinking center of our brains and activates conflict aversion and protection behaviors. We become more reactive and sensitive, perceiving greater negativity than exists. These effects can last for days, imprinting the interaction on our memories and influencing our future behavior. Cortisol functions like a sustained release tablet—the more we ruminate about fear, the longer the impact.

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Stop the High Millennial Turnover with Career Development

Did you know that Millennials prefer career development to a cash bonus by 3 to 1? According to a PwC study, Millennials want to learn and develop their skills. If they don’t get this kind of training, they’ll leave for a company that will provide it.

We can help.  We provide short video tutorials that can fuel a blended learning program or be used on their own. Click on the graphic below and register (top right hand corner) to watch any of our short video programs on positive attitude, leadership skills and more.  It’s free! Watch now.

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Good Leaders Find Clarity Without the Data

The internet has automated many tasks to make our lives easier. Scheduling, communication, now “Robo-investing” where computing helps to automatically re-balance our financial portfolios to hit our financial targets.  But, one thing that can’t be automated is good decision-making.

This video of Inkling founder and CEO Matt MacInnis explains how he had to make the hard decision to re-direct his company after five years of slogging it out in the e-textbook world.

What’s so great about this video is that it illuminates good decision-making in the face of no hard evidence or data, facing change, letting go of attachments and being right. It’s just a great example of leadership.

(We apologize ahead of time for the long ad at the beginning, especially for such a short video. Can’t wait until a smart entrepreneur can disrupt that in the future.)

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