3 Ways to Increase Your Influence

A lot of people get caught up in waiting for the other person to stop talking so they can start. But if you take time to really listen to what the other person has to say, you can sharpen your influencing power. Here’s how.

A person of influence listens to people. They understand the incredible value of becoming a good listener. Listening shows respect and builds relationships—at work and at home!

When you don’t pay attention to what others have to say, you are sending the message that you don’t value them. When you do listen to others, you are communicating that you respect them and show them that you really care about them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Every man I meet is in some way my superior, and I can learn from them.” 

How can you learn if you aren’t really listening?  Unfortunately, few people are good at listening.  If you are one of them—fantastic. If you are like most of us, keep reading!

What gets in the way of listening?  Here are 3 common barriers that get in the way of effective listening.

Barrier No. 1: Overvaluing talking

Effective communication is not persuasion, it is listening. If you are waiting for the other person to stop talking so you can talk, you’re not listening.

TIP: A good rule of thumb—listen twice and much as you speak. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason!

Barrier No. 2: Lacking focus

Most people tend to speak about 180 words a minute, but they can listen at 300 to 500 words a minute, which can cause you to lose focus. You have all that extra space to fill and you can start daydreaming and thinking about what you want to say next or what you are going to have for lunch. 

TIP: Learn to direct that attention by concentrating on the person you are with. Focus on their body language, watch for facial expression, look into their eyes.

Barrier No. 3: Carrying personal emotional baggage

Your past experiences, both positive and negative, color the way you look at life and shape your expectations—especially strong experiences. As Mark Twain said, “A cat who sits on a hot stove will never sit on a hot stove again. He’ll never site on a cold stove either. From there on, that cat just won’t like stoves”. Being preoccupied can make you defensive and impact your ability to really listen.

TIP: Check your emotions and focus on the purpose of the conversation. Keep yourself on an even keel so that you don’t lose the purpose.

Measure your listening skills.  

Ask someone who knows you well to use these questions to evaluate your listening skills:

  • Do I usually look at the speaker while he or she is talking?
  • Do I wait for the speaker to finishing talking before I respond?
  • Do I make understanding my goal?
  • Am I usually sensitive to the speaker’s immediate need?
  • Do I make it a practice to check my emotions?
  • Do I regularly suspend my judgment until I get the whole story?
  • Am I in the practice of summing up what the speaker says at major intervals?
  • Do I ask questions for clarity when needed?
  • Do I communicate to others that listening is a priority?

3      Tips to becoming a better listenter

No. 1: Don’t interrupt. Give people time to express their ideas. Hold that tongue!

No. 2: Focus on understanding. Listen with the intent on real understanding, not just hearing the words - apply meaning to what you are hearing.

No. 3: Ask questions for clarity. Look at the speaker, suspend your judgements and ask questions to ensure understanding. If you show people how much you care and ask questions in a nonthreatening way, you’ll be amazed by how much they’ll tell you.

There is no greater gift than being listened to and you should really be present with the person you are talking to. As an executive coach, my job is to listen and help leaders come to their own insight. Often, it is one of the few conversations they have where they feel like they are being listened to as well. It is very infrequent that we allow people to talk and be listened to. It seems like such a simple thing but the highly distracted world we live in is often the excuse we give to withholding this gift to the people we care about the most.

"Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." --Stephen R. Covey

About Jill Windelspecht

How you end 2018 is how you will start 2019 - join me and start STRONG!  Mark Twain said “The two most important days in life are the day you were born and the day you discover the reason why.”

Imagine yourself 12 months from now, living the life you’ve always wanted. How would it FEEL to have the clarity to make that possible? How would it FEEL to have a group of people that support, challenge and hold you accountable to your dreams?

Join me and your peers - finish strong and start strong!  

Learn more  https://talentspecialists.net/unlock-your-potential/

Jill Windelspecht has spent 20 years coaching executives, leading global and regional talent strategies, managing change and developing people. She works with mid- to senior-level executives and business owners to reach their potential and help create organizational climates that lead to lifelong prosperity. Helping executives develop their leadership and communication skills so that they can build a strong, cohesive team and break through any barriers holding themselves and their team back ... and not have to burn themselves out by doing so!  View her website by clicking here or contact Jill via email at Jillwindel@talentspecialists.net.  

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  • Next up: 3 Guiding Principles Hyland Followed to Become a Globally Recognized Powerhouse

    3 Guiding Principles Hyland Followed to Become a Globally Recognized Powerhouse

    Read on to learn from Hyland on how maintaining a clear vision, measuring success and giving back to the community all contributed to making the company a global leader in the technology industry.

    Hyland began as a small, tech startup in Rocky River and has grown into a globally recognized technology force headquartered right here in Northeast Ohio. But getting to where the company is today was not easy. During a recent Greater Cleveland Partnership event, the company's leadership explained to attendees the three core, guiding principles her company followed to become a globally recognized brand.

    Core principle No. 1: Have a clear vision

    Before you go out to take over the world, you need to take a second to ask yourself a couple of questions:

    • What’s one thing your company is going to do that will help the world?
    • What do we need to do to become a great company?

    These questions will help you set the vision for your company. Make sure to write down the answers to these questions because they will serve as the guiding values by which you operate your business. (At Hyland, those values are integrity, solutions, partnership, family and passion.)

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    Core principle No. 2: Chart your success

    In addition to putting in place values and a mission that will inspire you, it’s also critical to be able to measure success. At Hyland, one of these measuring sticks is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA. It’s not just about growth. Kirk said. It’s about profitable growth.

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    Core principle No. 3: Invest in community

    The presentation ended with an emphasis that giving back to the community is a critical part of being successful.

    A commitment to community giving can yield a lot of positives for a company, particularly as it relates to employee retention. Giving your people an opportunity to go out and help others is a powerful way of giving your employees a sense of pride in what they do and the organization of which they are a part. Giving back is not just a responsibility. It’s a privilege. It’s an honor.

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    3 Things to Know: Hiring the Perfect Team Members for Your Business

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    As long as you have one employee or intern, the topic of hiring is an important one for your business. Here we are highlighting some of the expert advice we’ve run on Mind Your Business regarding hiring.

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    The key to building a great team is to not only find those top-notch employees but to also retain them. That can be challenging for employers who don’t know where to start looking, who aren’t being intentional with their hiring, or who neglect to do their part in maintaining a positive work environment for their employees. From clearly thinking through what type of candidate would be a good fit to creating an effective work/life balance, here are 19 things to consider when it comes to finding and keeping top talent.

    The second thing to know is it is also important to find and keep talented interns

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    The Internship Summit also explored whether social media is your friend when it comes to hiring interns. Be aware of the benefits and dangers of using social platforms to vet potential internship candidates.

    And, whether you are looking for an intern or looking to becomes one, GCP has a one-stop-shop for all your internship needs. Visit GCP’s Internship Central to learn more.

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    3 Things to Know: How to Network Like a Pro

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    So, we know not to be a networking slug. But another approach to effective networking is to see it as less of a formal task that needs to be accomplished, and more of a social event. Take the work out of networking—have more fun by following these tips on how to stop networking and start kibitzing.

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  • Next up: 4 Ways to Be a Better Leader

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    What traits do you think of when you consider what makes for an effective leader? During a recent Small Business Boot Camp session, Jeff Nischwitz of The Nischwitz group took a deep dive into the qualities all leaders share, and how those characteristics can help a small business—and its staff—thrive. Below are X takeaways from the presentation.

    1. Know Yourself

    Entrepreneurs need to understand what kind of leader they are striving to be. And as part of that discovery, should ask themselves three questions:

    • What kind of leader am I committed to becoming?
    • Am I willing to let go of how things have always been done?
    • Can I tolerate living outside of my comfort zone?

    2. What Not to Do

    Leadership is not bullying. It is not about being disengaged. What is it about, then? Continue reading …

    3. Be Accountable

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    • Ask for feedback.
    • Admit mistakes.
    • Be honest if you don’t know the answer to something.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
    • Allow staff the freedom to challenge perceptions.
    • Understand the ‘3 I’s of Leadership.’ 

    4. Be Conscious

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