The Daily Recruiter

The Ezine for Executive Managers … brought to you by The SearchLogix Group.

Category: Communication (Page 1 of 2)

LinkedIN Don’ts

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“By Liz Ryan, of  Forbes”

You could think of LinkedIn as a huge database or a research tool for job-seekers and business-developers. LinkedIn is certainly both of those things. You could think of LinkedIn as an online public square where people can post billboards about themselves and their services.

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Birds Are Freakishly Smart

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” By George Dvorsky, GIZMODO contributor”

Birds are capable of extraordinary behavioral feats, from solving complex puzzles to tool making. There may be good reason for that. A new study shows that, pound for pound, birds pack more neurons into their small brains than mammals, including primates.

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Why We Hear More

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” Article courtesy of Farnam Street

It’s a classic complaint in relationships, especially romantic ones: “She said she was okay with me forgetting her birthday! Then why is she throwing dishes in the kitchen? Are the two things related? I wish I had a translator for my spouse. What is going on?”

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Talking about political topics

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“By John R. Stoker, SmartBrief”

Although many people have had business communications training, some still approach difficult conversations with a degree of fear and trepidation.

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How to Fight a Fire (Self-Coaching in a Crisis)

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“By Ed Batista, of EdBatista.com”

Most of my coaching clients are CEOs of rapidly growing companies, and while their work is always demanding and dynamic, sometimes they face a full-blown crisis, a threat to the organization’s existence that will require their maximum effort. These are the situations that truly test a leader’s ability to self-coach, to manage themselves effectively while also guiding others. Here are four factors that have helped clients who’ve had to surmount a crisis:

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How Leaders Can Make Their Message More Memorable

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“By Tanveer Naseer, of TanveerNaseer.com”

The following is a guest piece by cognitive scientist and author Dr. Carmen Simon.

Conversation between flight attendant and passenger:

“What would you like to drink, sir?”
“Water.”

Flight attendant goes to get it and turns around after 2 seconds:

“Sorry, was that a club soda?”
“No, water.”

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10 Golden Rules of Communication in a Team Environment

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“By Samuel Edwards, of Inc.com”

When you’re working as a part of a team, communication is essential. Without it, your goals could be misconstrued, your efforts could become uncoordinated, and you’ll eventually have no hope of achieving a cohesive final result. Obviously, communication is a good thing, but when you’re working with a group of people–rather than in a one-on-one setting–there are unique challenges and qualities to take into consideration.

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Why Don’t People Communicate Up in an Organization?

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“By Dianna Booher, of Huffington Post”

The CEO and the CFO set in opposite corners of the room. But both stuck their hands into the air just as I called for questions at the end of my keynote. “Why don’t employees communicate upward in an organization?” the CEO asked with a twinge of frustration. The CFO added, “My question exactly!”

It’s a common question in the executive suite — even from the most well-liked and brightest leaders in the boardroom. And the question deserves serious thought because typically when downward communication dominates, problems go unaddressed and innovation stalls.

Eventually poor internal communication shows up to the customer as poor service or defective products. So back to the root reasons:

No System
Some organizations say they want employees to give feedback, to pass on ideas for new products or services, to pass on cost-cutting ideas, to pass on flagrant violation of policies, to let senior management know how to improve things in general.

But that’s only in theory — or at least, that’s the way it sounds to employees. No quick, easy system is in place to communicate those ideas anonymously.

And that system doesn’t have to be elaborate. If you’re a small business, you as leader can just make it clear that you are comfortable with responding to email. Another option is to gather feedback through free or paid survey software. Still another option is to arrange for one of your suppliers to collect suggestions via email through their email server and feed them back to you anonymously.

Lack of Response
Some people try to communicate upward once or twice and then give up because they never get a response on their idea. They feel that their feedback or suggestion gets sucked into a big black hole and never gets serious consideration. As a result, they think, “why bother again?”

Slow Response
A timely response — whether positive, neutral, or negative — says someone has considered the idea or feedback. A slow response equals no response. So what’s the definition of “timely”? Various customer service satisfaction surveys suggest that 88 percent of customers expect to receive a response to their email inquiry within 24 hours. Twelve percent expect a response within an hour. Compared to this customer expectation, consider how the timeliness of your internal responses to team members measures up?

Fear
Some people don’t communicate with the boss for fear of reprisal about bad news. Also, a common habit for some leaders is to assign the person who points out a problem the task of wrestling that problem to the ground. Who needs another extra-curricular assignment if you’re already working to peak capacity?

Accountability
Closely associated with fear, accountability keeps some people mum. If they don’t share their numbers, goals, or metrics, then their boss can’t hold them accountable or question them about what went wrong. Keeping others in the dark about future plans and current problems — particularly the senior team — means staying off everybody’s radar screen.

Parental Culture
Some organizations have created a parental mentality — either by the leader or the employees. The leader may act like mom or dad: “You kids don’t worry about things. We’ll take care of the important things for you. Just do your job and we’ll handle the rest.” In other organizations, the employees have created that culture through their actions or lack of initiative, in effect saying, “That’s not my job. I’ll just go play over here. I’m sure you’ll let me know if I need to pay attention to anything else or change anything.”

Whatever the reason people don’t communicate upward in an organization, the result remains virtually the same: distrust, disengagement, and stagnation.

How To Connect With Anyone You Just Met With 5 Questions

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“by Paul Sohn, http://paulsohn.org”

All my life, I’ve began asking myself, “Whom can I connect?” I am naturally hard-wired to see the world as a web of relationships and I get excited by the prospect of connecting people within my web. Not because they will like each other, but rather because of what they will create together. The mantra I operate in is “1 + 1 makes 3. Or 30. Or 300. ”

Entering a new career transition as an entrepreneur and leadership coach/consultant, I am constantly finding ways to build connections and find ways on how I can be for them and against them.

I came across five types of questions that have helped me to improve my emotional connectivity with people. I hope you’ll find the following helpful in building your relational intelligence.

1. Establish Common Ground

Are you able to quickly identify things in which you have in common? Whether that is, your blood type, month you were born, ethnic background, alma mater, organization you work for, hobbies, mutual friends, my number one objective is to start a conversation based something we share in common. This ignites our conversation and helps to take it to the next level. Finding common ground is the lubricator of the relationship engine.

Simply, start looking around. What do you notice in the other person in which you can ask questions to create resonance and commonality? Here’s some examples.
s“Those are nice looking glasses. Looks exactly like the design I’m looking for. Where can I purchase them?”
s“It really sucks to wearing a tie when it’s sweltering, isn’t it?”
s“Isn’t the iPhone 6 so convenient for situations like this?”

2. Ask Questions the Other Person Wants to Hear

This is second nature to master connectors. They are Jedi-masters when it comes to listening between the lines. They intuitively know what the other person wants to be asked.

Here’s a normal response from an average questioner:
sPerson A: “How did you spend your long-weekend holiday?”
sPerson B: “I visited Hawaii with my family on Friday and had a fantastic time there.”

Now, here’s a normal response from an exceptional questioner:
sPerson A: “How did you spend your long-weekend holiday?”
sPerson B: “I had a three day off-site visit with family. What about you?”

Did you catch the difference? In the second scenario, Person B intuitively knew that Person A brought up the question because Person A wants to share his/her experience. That’s why Person B gave a general reply and quickly turned around with the same question to Person A. If you really think about it, a lot of the questions people asked are questions they want to be asked.

Here’s more examples:
s“Honey, did you hear? Our neighbor Jim’s went to Hawaii again.”
s“Were you involved in student clubs while you were in college?”
s“What are the best books you are reading?”

In the first question, the person’t isn’t confirming whether you know that Jim went to Hawaii. The question implies a desire, “I want to go to Hawaii too.” In the second question, “the person isn’t really asking for which clubs you’re involved in college, but rather this person wants to share about his/her student club experience during college.” Same logic for the third question. The person is more interested in sharing his thoughts on the best books he is reading. Exceptional connectors intuitively know this because they are always others-focused.

3. When You Ask, Use “Half Open-ended Questions”

Generally, there’s two type of questions. A closed-ended question and an open-ended question. Here’s an example of these two type of questions:
sClosed-ended Question: “Is working at your job hard?” (Either you respond with “yes” or “no”)
sOpen-ended Question: “How is working at your job?” (The person can freely respond)

We ask these questions all the time. When we meet people for the first time and ask closed-ended questions, the conversation may abruptly halt and create awkward moments. When you use open-ended questions, the question is so big and abstract that the person responding may have difficulty sharing “how much” information.

Instead, employ the “half open-ended question” method. This is when you create more specificity into the open-ended question method. Here’s a few example:
s“What’s your favorite thing about working in your current job?”
s“What’s the hardest thing from taking this class?”
s“What makes this season the busiest time in life?”

A small thing like adding a bit more specificity can make all the difference.

4.Use Questions to Elicit Interesting Episodes

Master connectors learn from one of the most commonly used interview strategies today: behavioral interviews. Instead of asking “general questions” such as ”
s“What’s your strength?”
s“What’s your dream job?”
s“What’s the most important thing you have learned from your role as a customer service rep?”

A lot of times, these questions are often responded with quite abstract terms. Rather, behavioral interviews focused on specific, concrete examples of the past that demonstrate certain qualities. Here’s a few examples:
s“Can you tell me about an experience in your current role where your strength came to limelight?”
s“What’s your current role at work? Tell me a success story of one of your accomplishments this year.”

One caveat is ensuring that you focus on both tact and tone. These questions can often sound intimidating. So, it’s important to sound genuine and interested, not like an interrogator. When you use this method here’s a few examples of what it might sound like in a conversation:
s“Oh. I see. Interesting. So what specifically happened after that?”
s“So what happened to that guy after it happened?”

5. Leverage the Power of Research

We live in a world where transparency is the currency of relationship and information is free on the internet. Whether it’s a blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, this creates an opportunity for master connectors to do pre-work to ask the right questions when you meet the person for the first time.

Whether you are preparing for an interview, going out on a date, or preparing for a networking session, I always spend 30 minutes to an hour to really research the person. I immediately think about what do I share in common? Also, I might follow the person beforehand and read their tweets to see what kind of information this person is interested in.

Shut Up First, Talk Later

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“by Wayne Turmel, http://www.management-issues.com”

Sometimes team conference calls and meetings don’t generate the interest, input and engagement you want. In fact, they’re almost painful. It seems nigh-on impossible to get people to contribute or ask questions, and getting your team to share information seems to be far more difficult than it should be. People often ask me, “what should I say?” The answer, funnily enough, is to say as little as possible.

My colleague, and co-founder of the Remote Leadership Institute, Kevin Eikenberry, has a simple rule for running meetings that ensure maximum input from participants. Put simply, other than saying hello and formally starting the meeting (maybe), the leader should be the last to speak.

Too many meetings follow a familiar pattern. The leader welcomes everyone, there’s a roll call (which usually takes way too long and is interrupted by people beeping in and asking if you can hear them), then the leader gives her update, then asks for ideas, questions, or reports from the group. All too often there isn’t enough real conversation, sharing of information, or cries for assistance. Then everyone hangs up, grateful the torture is over for another week, and goes back to work.

This isn’t the best way to engage people or keep them involved. But what is the alternative?

Try hearing from the participants first, THEN offer the leader’s viewpoint. Why?

•Hearing from everyone in a structured way eliminates the boring “roll call” approach.
•Everyone is expected (and gently coerced) into participating early. The longer people remain passive in a conference call or webmeeting, the more likely they are to stay that way. Think about it: if your report to the group is the only thing between them and the blessed relief of hanging up, why would you keep things going?
•As the leader, you often try to anticipate objections, problems, and questions when you give a report. Often you over-communicate in an honest attempt to cover all the bases. By letting the others go first, you can identify areas of concern, confirm what people have said, and often speak less because that information has been covered.
•If people know they’ll be expected to speak early, there’s a better likelihood of them showing up on time, or at least less late than usual.
•You create a culture of active participation, rather than passive attendance. This reduces (because nothing completely eliminates) the problem of people “tuning out”, answering emails rather than truly listening, and resenting the time spent.
•Because the attendees have told you what they know, what their concerns are, and what the gaps are, you can then focus your remarks and discussion to what’s really important. You also can identify those team members with specific interest or expertise and leverage that to create more of a true team where people rely on each other, and less on the boss. Making your own life simpler is a worthy goal for any leader.

If more leaders spoke less, or at least later on, there would be increased participation, better information sharing and more effective meetings. Not a bad thing at all.

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