May 11 2011

Are you a leading leader or lazy lecturer?

Being smart enough to


practice what you preach,


separates leaders


from lecturers.



Lectures are discourses packaged for delivery to “career students,” government employees, and sheep.


None of these needy creatures care about whether a lecturer has lived up to the spirit and letter of the lecture focus, or has actually practiced delivering her or his lecture to a match-up audience in order to gather advance feedback for adjustment purposes. Lecturers rarely indulge in studying themselves or their audiences.

So practice –for the purposes of this post– means doing what you ask or tell others to do, but it also means trying out and rehearsing your presentation of what you plan to say. How else can you make sure it communicates clearly to those you seek to communicate with? Simple enough, yes? But, aha! It’s rarely done, except by leading leaders.

If you’re not in a business emergency or an emergency business, slow down what you have to say long enough to think through what you have to say before you speak, before you hit “Send,” before you release or publish it. . . in person, on the phone, in emails and text messages . . . in meetings, presentations, and marketing.


Regardless of the nature of your business, are you certain your words, and vocal or written tone of voice are effectively communicating the ideas and points you want to convey? Have you tried, tested, and rehearsed the important messages in ways that encourage and generate meaningful and honest feedback? Are you sure?

You know all that stuff about first impressions, active listening, and soliciting effective feedback, but are you doing it? Have you set yourself up to be approachable? Great writers get great readers to review and edit their drafts.

Smart entrepreneurs and business owners often clear subject matter they want to transmit or present with their lawyers, accountants, advisors and consultants, investors, partners and referrers, but fail miserably to get representatives of their target audiences to tune in, understand, and respond productively to their spiels.

If you fail to get direct and primary feedback from your sales team and key customers, for example, on a new marketing direction or branding program or revenue stream, you are likely to fail with it.

It really doesn’t take much to advance-check your facts on Bing or Google.

It doesn’t take much time either to advance-check the opinions and perceptions of those you seek to impact.

The medium is (still) the message — at least half the message anyway.

Professionally-run focus groups and interviews are hard to beat for first-hand qualitative input.


HOW you come across cannot be a random hit-or-miss event when it’s an investor, bank loan, partnership, major customer account, or key employee you seek to influence. Reassurance comes from asking and adjusting, asking and adjusting, and asking and adjusting.


“Yeah, but I’m better when I wing it!”


Don’t kid yourself. That’s an excuse to not do the hard work of preparation. You may think you’re a great spontaneous presenter, but you should know that others can tell when you’re winging it!

— —————————-

On top of all this rationale, the icing on the cake, is the intangible but striking value of engaging others in your process. By soliciting others’ opinions and judgments, you are motivating, encouraging, and rewarding those you draw from. You set them apart by sharing a special level of trust with them.

Think about the feelings of importance, responsibility, and confidence you feel when others ask for your input. Leading leaders lead by inspiring enthusiasm, innovation, and entrepreneurial thinking. They motivate others to achieve. Practicing what you preach motivates others to achieve.  


# # #


Your FREE subscription: Posts RSS Feed

Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet

May 30 2009

Successful Business Owners Listen Harder

Read My Ears!


     Like a lot of communication practices, it seems most of ustend to slack off, get careless, and periodically get to a point of not listening carefully. Y’hear? It’s normal for our minds to drift off every few minutes when we’re listening to someone else… attention peaks and valleys vary with each individual. [The average American’s attention span has been reported as 12 minutes!]

     If I were, for example, reading this aloud to you, and included a sentence that mentioned the word “football,” as in the size of my 100-pound Golden Retriever on the day I brought her home, your mind might zoom away to the touchdown you scored in high school, or the Superbowl game that cost you $87,934.56 per seat, or the neighbor’s kid’s football you just leather-pancaked as you backed out of the driveway.

     Okay, you say. You’re guilty, you say. Now what? you say.

     Maybe it’s a good time to take personal inventory in how you come across to others. Why now? When business is “off” you certainly want to make the most of your potential to succeed, to make additional sales, to make efforts more productive… all of that starts (and often ends) with maximizing communication skills.

     One of the best and most immediately productive tools available to get started with is because it relaxes your muscles and makes your brain more alert—the perfect combination for receiving and delivering effective communication.     

     Next, it makes sense to do a little survey of those who share the inner business circle of your life. To keep things abstract and impersonal (i.e., not threatening), you can, for example, ask each person privately what musical instrument she or he most identify you with in the ways you come across to others.

     Ask for clarification, but do NOT criticize any one’s response. Say thank you and smile and walk away, then study the list you get back. What does it tell you about yourself?

     You, for instance, may think of yourself as a versatile keyboard able to perform almost any type of musical message, and someone may tell you you remind him or her of cymbals, crashing into discussions with a finalizing punctuation point of percussion, or a flighty little piccolo that dances around issues while brightening everyone’s day, but not addressing real needs or solving problems. If this exercise doesn’t bear fruit, replace musical instrument with animal.

     Once you have a better sense of what others perceive as less than optimal, focus on ways you can change that/those assessment(s) for the better. Take a quick visit to and then initiate a plan of action for yourself with daily and weekly goals geared to disciplining yourself to come across better by listening more attentively, more actively, more responsively. Remember when you can respond instead of react, you can never over-react! 

# # #  

Input welcome anytime: (”Businessworks” in the subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  # # # 

FREE BLOG SUBSCRIPTION? Click on ”Posts RSS Feed” (Center Column), or now on your AMAZON Kindle for just $1.99 a month after a free trial. BE A CO-AUTHOR: Add your own 7 words to the end of the daily 254 days old growing tale! Click under “7-Word Story” (center column)

No responses yet


Tag Cloud