Back to Basics: Seven Types of Listeners and Tips for Better Listening Skills

Here is a great article on the types of listeners, courtesy of Dale Carnegie.

Exceptional listening skills and the ability to persuade others to your way of thinking make the difference between good and great teams. Pure listening builds trust, credibility, and respect. One reason is that when you fully listen instead of trying to compose your response, the result is a relevant and on-target response. What you say when you do respond is proof of how well you listen.

The “Preoccupieds”

These people come across as rushed and are constantly looking around or doing something else. Also known as multitaskers, these people cannot sit still and listen.

Tips

If you are a “Preoccupied” listener, make a point to set aside what you are doing when someone is speaking to you.

If you are speaking to a “Preoccupied” listener, you might ask, “Is this a good time?” or say, “I need your undivided attention for just a moment.” Begin with a statement that will get their attention, be brief, and get to the bottom line quickly because their attention span is short.

The “Out-to-Lunchers”

These people are ready to chime in at any given time. They are perched and ready for a break to complete your sentence for you. They are not listening to you. They are focused on trying to guess what you will say and what they want to say.

Tips

If you are an “Out-to-Luncher,” act like a good listener. Be alert, maintain eye contact, lean forward, and show interest by asking questions.

If you are speaking to an “Out-to-Luncher,” check in with them every now and again and ask if they understood what you were saying. As with the “Preoccupieds,” begin with a statement that will catch their attention and be concise and to the point, because their attention span is also short.

The “Interrupters”

These people remain aloof and show little emotion when listening. They do not seem to care about anything you have to say.

Tips

If you are an “Interrupter,” make a point to apologize every time you catch yourself interrupting. This will make you more conscious of it.

If you are speaking to an “Interrupter,” when they chime in, stop immediately and let them talk, or they will never listen to you. When they are done, you might say, “As I was saying before…” to bring their interruption to their attention.

The “Whatevers”

These people remain aloof and show little emotion when listening. They do not seem to care about anything you have to say

Tips

If you are a “Whatever,” concentrate on the full message, not just the verbal message. Make a point to listen with your eyes, ears, and heart. Pay attention to body language and try to understand why this person wants to talk to you about this issue.

If you are speaking to a “Whatever,” dramatize your ideas and ask your listener questions to maintain their involvement.

The “Combatives”

These people are armed and ready for war. They enjoy disagreeing and blaming others.

Tips

If you are a “Combative,” make an effort to put yourself in the speaker’s shoes and understand, accept, and find merit in another’s point of view.

If you are speaking to a “Combative,” when he or she disagrees or points the blame, look forward instead of back. Talk about how you might agree to disagree or about what can be done differently next time.

The “Analysts”

These people are constantly in the role of counselor or therapist, and they are ready to provide you with unsolicited answers. They think they are great listeners and love to help. They are constantly in an analyze-what-you-are-saying-and-fix-it mode.

Tips

If you are an “Analyst,” relax and understand that not everyone is looking for an answer, solution, or advice. Some people just like bouncing ideas off other people because it helps them see the answers more clearly themselves.

If you are speaking to an “Analyst,” you might begin by saying, “I just need to run something by you. I’m not looking for any advice.”

The “Engagers

These are the consciously aware listeners. They listen with their eyes, ears, and hearts and try to put themselves in the speaker’s shoes. This is listening at the highest level. Their listening skills encourage you to continue talking and give you the opportunity to discover your own solutions and let your ideas unfold.

Tips

If you are an “Engager,” keep it up. People truly appreciate this about you.

If you are speaking to an “Engager,” take the time to acknowledge their attentiveness. Thank them for their interest in you and your topic.

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Back to Basics in Leadership

I am starting a new series of posts that focus on going “Back to Basics”. These basics are the foundation of leadership and serve to guide us through not only our  business endeavors but also our personal lives.  By learning and focusing on these timeless principles, the end results are truly amazing.

We can and should all strive to get better at the things that matter in life.  Who wouldn’t want to be a better Mom or Dad to your kids, become a better friend to your buddies,become a better spouse to your significant other, a better co-worker or employee at your job or become a successful business owner, all based on learning and applying these basic principles over time.  The results are truly worth the effort.

I thought Id start with a great video by Chris Brady, who talks about what leadership is. Enjoy and stay tuned for my “back to basics” posts.

Ben

LIFE EDGE Series

Here is a great post from Orrin Woodward on the Edge Series.  This is something I truly believe can help children and young adults for generations to come.  Book smarts and good grades are important but LIFE skills are equally important.  As i mentioned in earlier posts, I wish I knew some of this stuff as a child! 

Chris Brady did it again. For months, he kept a torrent pace of emails, phone calls, and in-person meetings to influence me on the importance of LIFE skills training for youth. The results of his efforts have blown us all away. The Edge Series alone is surging past 6,000 subscribers! In fact, many of the kids are earning the money and paying for their own subscription. How do I know this? Because anyone 12 years old or above can attend a LIFE event, and the amount of adolescent boys and girls attending seminars has increased dramatically. When I speak across the USA and Canada, I routinely have multiple boys and girls, dressed in business attire, tell me their story as they ask me to sign a book or their Edge Subscription.

Leadership and life skills are crucial in a person’s life. Why wait until after the school years to realize this? Why not give your kids an EDGE? The first EDGE is parents who model the right behaviors, and the second is the Edge Series delivered directly to the home of hungry kids wanting to learn the principles of success. Packed full of stories from the successful men and women in the LIFE business, along with exclusive interviews with top names in athletics and business, the Edge Series has become one of the favorite products in LIFE. What the Mental Fitness Challenge is to adults, the Edge Series is for youth. A huge thank you goes to Chris Brady and all of the speakers who have made the Edge Series what it is. Below is a video that describes the Edge Series.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

What is Emotional Intelligence and why it’s important

Have you ever wondered to yourself why people do the things they do or say the things they say? Have you ever met someone who was constantly negative or complained about anything and everything? Have you ever wished you could of handled a situation better than you did? We all have! A lot of our success or failure in life is due to something called “Emotional Intelligence”.

I like to consider myself , what Chris Brady calls, a “Prodigious noticer”.  I find it interesting, sometimes comical, sometimes disturbing, to watch people’s reactions and interactions with situations and others around them.  Whether it be close family members, people at work or those you meet for the first time, it seems even the most intelligent (IQ) people struggle in Life simply because they lack Emotional Intelligence.  I know that in my professional and personal life, one of the main things I try to work on every day is to increase my EQ.  Thanks to LIFE and all of the great, successful people I get to associate with, I have learned how important this one attribute is towards a happy, successful professional and personal life. This attribute, EQ, is essential as a leader.

Ok, so What is Emotional Intelligence?  Emotional Intelligence as defined by Wikipedia is:  (EI or EQ) is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups.

One of my favorite books, Emotional Intelligence, by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, truly captures the essence of how important it is to deal with not only your own emotions, but of those you interact with on a daily basis.

What everyone needs to know.
Emotional Intelligence Is the Other Kind of Smart.

When Emotional Intelligence (EQ) first garnered significant media attention back in the 1990s, it really hit home for people. For the first time we all had an explanation for an unusual finding: people of average intelligence outperform people with the highest levels of intelligence the vast majority of the time (70% to be exact). Suddenly we had a name for the main determinant of success in life: emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is critical to managing your behavior, moving smoothly through social situations, and making critical choices in life. There are four emotional intelligence skills and they group under two primary competencies: personal competence and social competence.

  • Self-Awareness is how accurately you can identify your emotions in the moment and understand your tendencies across time and situation.
  • Self-Management is how you use awareness of your emotions to create the behavior that you want.
  • Social Awareness is how well you read the emotions of other people.
  • Relationship Management is how you use the first three emotional intelligence skills to manage your interactions with other people.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Intelligence (IQ), and Personality Are Not Connected.

The three do not go together in any meaningful way. Emotional intelligence explains a fundamental element of your behavior that is unique from your intellect. You cannot determine someone’s IQ based on their EQ and vice versa. Intelligence is how quickly you absorb new information and it does not change throughout your life. Emotional intelligence is unique because it is a flexible skill that you can improve with practice. Anyone can develop a high degree of emotional intelligence.

Like IQ, your personality does not change. Personality is the style with which you approach the world: what motivates you and the people and situations that give you energy (versus those that drain it). One example of this is the tendency we all have to be introverted or extroverted.

 
Emotional Intelligence Dictates Performance.

Emotional intelligence has a massive impact upon personal and professional success. TalentSmart has measured the EQ of close to a million people now and we find that this skill accounts for 58% of performance in all types of jobs. Emotions are the primary driver of our behavior. Working to improve your emotional intelligence results in improvements in many areas of your behavior. We’ve found that more than 90% of top performers have high EQs.

High EQ individuals make $29,000 more on average than those with low EQs and every point you add to your EQ adds $1,300 to your annual salary.

Emotional Intelligence Can Be Increased With Practice

Your brain is hard-wired to give emotions the upper hand. The limbic system (the emotional brain) reacts to events first before we have the opportunity to engage the rational brain. The communication between these two areas of the brain is the very definition of emotional intelligence. EQ requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centers of the brain.

“Plasticity” is the term used to describe the brain’s ability to grow new connections between neurons that facilitates the use of new behaviors. Your brain loves efficiency: the skills you practice are the skills your brain will make it easier for you to repeat. When you work to increase your EQ, the billions of microscopic neurons lining the road between the rational and emotional centers of your brain branch off small “arms” to communicate with the cells around them. A single cell can grow upwards of 10,000 connections to the cells around it.

In a separate article written by Dr Travis Bradberry, the author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, he explains how a lack of Emotional Intelligence, negativity and complaining can literally rot the brain.

Rodent studies have long shown that stress can have a lasting, negative impact on the brain. Exposure to even a few days of stress compromises the effectiveness of the neurons in the hippocampus—an important area of the brain responsible for reasoning and memory. Weeks of stress cause reversible damage to neuronal dendrites (the small “arms” that neurons use to communicate with each other), and months of stress can permanently destroy neurons.

Stress is a formidable threat for those of us who want to think clearly, reason effectively, and have a decent memory.

Most sources of stress are easy to identify. If your non-profit is waiting to land a grant that your organization needs to function, or you are working on the biggest project of your career, you’re bound to feel stress, but the unexpected sources of stress are the ones that can take you by surprise and harm your brain.

Recent research from the Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany found that exposure to negative emotional stimuli—the same kind of exposure you get in the presence of complainers and otherwise negative people—caused subjects’ brains to have the same emotional reactions that they experienced when stressed. Your brain gets sucked into a negative emotional state when exposed to negative people, and—just like a stress response—the longer you endure this state the worse it is for your brain.

Here are some strategies that author Bradberry suggests:

1. Set Limits with Complainers

Complainers are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral. You can avoid this only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. Think of it this way: if the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

2. Squash the Negative Self-Talk

Sometimes you absorb the negativity of other people, and other times you create it for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad about something, but your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can either magnify the negativity or help you move past it. Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary, and self-defeating. It sends you into a downward emotional spiral that is difficult to pull out of. You should avoid negative self-talk at all costs. Be wary of the following two types of negative self-talk in particular and try the alternatives:

  1. Turn I always or I never into just this time or sometimes.Your actions are unique to that particular situation, no matter how often you think you mess up. Make certain your thoughts follow suit. When you start treating each situation as its own animal and stop beating yourself up over every mistake, you’ll stop making your problems bigger than they really are.
  2. Replace judgmental statements like I’m an idiot with factual ones like I made a mistake. Thoughts that attach a permanent label to you leave no room for improvement. Factual statements are objective and situational, and help you focus on what you can change.

3. Quit Focusing on Problems—Focus on Solutions

Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions.

4. Get Some Sleep

A good night’s sleep makes you more positive, creative, and proactive in your approach to problems. Being well rested helps you deal with your own negativity, and gives you the perspective you need to set limits with complainers and negative people.

There’s a reason the squeaky wheel gets the grease—complainers are hard to ignore. Whether you or they are the source of your stress, apply the strategies above, and you’ll remove the power that complaining and negativity hold over you.

I hope this information helps.  My life has dramatically improved over the last 6 years as a direct result of information provided thru LIFE. Anyone can achieve what they focus on.  You will be amazed what you can achieve when you apply the right information over time.  The key is to learn on a regular basis, with the intent of improving in the area you desire.  All of us can benefit from learning success principles, many of which were never taught in school or purposely learned in life. LIFE provides a great resource and place to learn and grow in multiple areas of our lives.  All my thanks go to this incredible resource along with all the great leaders who made LIFE possible. Lead on and have a great day!

Ben

What’s your Financial IQ?

Have you ever wondered why you can’t ever seem to get ahead financially? Are you looking to get out of debt but have a hard time making ends meet?  Are you worried about retirement and what your future holds?  Do you know what the future trends of our economy are and how to capitalize on them? Have you ever thought, there’s got to be a better way? You are not alone!

Today, we are in the information age. The rules of the game have changed.  Financial security has become more difficult based on today’s economics. What was painfully obvious, based on my results in life, was that what I thought I knew about money was not entirely true.  I violated every rule in the book and lived paycheck to paycheck, even after many years of hard work.

In retrospect, I realize that school never prepared or taught me about finances and unfortunately,  I never had solid role models in my life that understood solid financial principles.  I believe society is in trouble today because we only exemplify and preach what we learn and apply over time.

After plugging into some amazing information from LIFE, I learned that it’s never too late to change based on new information. The information contained on these Cd’s and books, were created by multi-millionaires who truly have results in life.  The founders of LIFE, Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, among many other successful business entrepreneurs, have helped tens of thousands of individuals get out of debt and get their finances right based on the information they offer.  This information is vital for anyone, whether you are highly knowledgeable about money or simply looking to learn the basics.  Sometimes, being reminded of what we knew or have forgotten, can make a difference.

After learning some about the history of money, the what, why and how of finances, where we are and what to expect in the future, I realized how much I didn’t know.  As Chris Brady is fond of saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know, and what you do know sometimes just isn’t so.

Just like an Ostrich who buries its head in the sand, I overlooked the very things that could actually help me get out of the mess I was in.  One thing was for sure; Without the right information, knowledge and discipline, I would continue to struggle to make ends meet and live paycheck to paycheck. This information changed everything for me. When you apply the right principles and information to any given situation,  you can achieve significant positive results. The testimonies from others who loved the material are overwhelming!

I can honestly say that this information below changed my life forever. Try this information out.  It will inspire you, educate you, entertain you and most importantly, have a major impact on your life.  Get it here!

Maximize Your Finances and Today’s economy and your Money

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Three factors that set the course for success in LIFE

I picked out one of the many books in my library to read while on my overnight trip in Cancun, Mexico and came across a favorite of mine called, ” Leaders without borders“, by Doug Nickerson.

 This book is only a 100 pages long but it packs some powerful, thought-provoking teaching and ideas that can have a positive influence on you.  I’ve heard Co Founder of LIFE and best-selling author  Orrin Woodward say that “ideas have consequences”, so I wanted to share three “factors” from the book to help set the course for success in LIFE and in your leadership journey.

#1 The factor of a positive response You are in command of your response. Henry Van Dyke said, ” There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament.”  As a leader, you set the tone not only for yourself  but for your organization by the way you react to the things that happen to you.

A positive response is not a willful denial of the reality that exists.  Your response, however, reflects the realization that whatever happened is only a snapshot of one moment in the larger picture of your destiny.  When you choose not to be defined by one negative moment, but rather re-define it for good, you have chosen a positive response.

#2 The factor of a positive attitudeI like Herm Albright’s  lighthearted observation: ” A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort”  A positive attitude in the midst of negative circumstances is exactly the right prescription to turn things around.

While certainly no one can deny that Thomas Edison was a man of accomplishment, he also suffered great setbacks.  Yet Edison said, ” I never did a day’s work in all my life, it was all fun.”  What a great attitude. The right attitude propelled him to unimaginable accomplishment, and it can do the same for you.

#3 The factor of positive perseverance- When you choose a positive response to negative circumstances, you begin to experience exponential growth as a leader.  Your reactions, positive or negative, set in motion the laws of reciprocity.  The choices you make have  a great impact.

Emerson said, ” That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has become easier”. Your reaction as a leader is charting a course for your future, so choose it wisely.

Some last thoughts. When it comes to your life and your business, what does your face say about you? Are you an optimist or a pessimist? A strong leader is one who does not shy away from reality , but looks through the lens of optimism when faced with challenges.

An optimistic leader confronts his fears

An optimistic leader gives others confidence

An optimistic leader looks for the good in all situations

An optimistic leader will certainly have moments of being tested

Doug Nickerson says,  “the next time things go haywire,  just remember that you are not alone. When times are tough and adversity strikes, let your confident words be,” I believe this is going to be our finest hour.”

Optimism does not prevent difficulties or make you immune from them.  Optimism, however, empowers you to face difficulties with a confidence that gives you an advantage to overcome them.

Robert L Stevenson said, ” You cannot run away from weakness; you must sometime fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where do you stand? Now is the time to rise up with courage and be the optimistic leader you were destined to be.

This great book is an example of not only great teaching on the key principles of success but a great reminder of the factors we once knew but don’t apply on a regular basis.  Listening to one CD or attending one meeting does not build habits.  It takes little bits of information, energy, effort and application over time, to experience full results.  We cannot change our destination overnight, but we can change our direction.  The journey is certainly worth the destination.

Plugging into leadership training  and personal development material from LIFE over the last 5 years, has been one of the best things I have ever done, not only for me and my family, but for many others looking to Live the Life they’ve always wanted.

Lead on and may the wind be at your back.

Ben