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! 

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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  # # # 

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Nov 11 2008




     Well, I’m happy to say that I’m still alive (after thinking about yesterday’s post headline quote), though I am a bit achey after twice sliding (Aha!  Safely!) into second base during my 55+ seniors softball league winter game this morning.  I’d probably be less sore if we’d won. 

     And speaking of not winning, I also got a pile of legal papers today showing that I came pretty close to winning a $600,000+ inheritance from a former student who died last year and surprisingly named me in her will (as the only non-family member, eligible only if none of the four named relatives survived; and I just learned that two didn’t, but then, two did!).  C’est la vie.

     Then my computer service provider was down half the day, and –once again– I failed to win the lottery . . . BUT, you know what?  It was a great day to be alive, and the only thing better will be –tatata-tadah!– tomorrow!  Howcum?  Tomorrow, I get to go to work, and I get to figure out when and how to play in between the work!  It’s like gimme dirt in a room and a broom.  Instant gratification, sweeping.   

     I read where a famous writer, who recently died, was asked who in the world would want to be 90 anyway? He responded, “anyone who’s 89!”

     Well, I have a ways to go yet to get to 89, but you know the older you get, the more seconds (minutes?  hours?) each day that age-related thoughts start to pop into your head.  I remember a 20-something assistant I once had who found out I had just celebrated my 30-something’th birthday, told me I was “older than dirt” because anyone over 30 was older than dirt.  She’s now, let’s see, 35?  Hmmm. 

     What’s the bottom line? (as all the financial wizards of Wall Street inquire in too-little-too-late fashion).  You’ve already heard it.  Maybe if I say it again, you’ll actually think about it.  Maybe you’ll even act on it?  Whoa!  Miracles will never cease!  Ready?  Here it is (again): 

You are only as old as you think you are! 


     Hogwash, you call that?  Well, don’t take my word for it . . . do a survey (better than taking a poll; we’re polled out these days!).  Really!  Ask a bunch of old people what they think about that statement.  Ask yourself!  Me?  Ha!  I’m getting younger every day!Halalpiar        

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