Communication Skills are Not Just About Talking

Tag: Communication,Personal GrowthBeth and Neill

A Gift That Keeps on Giving The gift of listening

With the gift giving season fast approaching, we want to tell you about a gift you can give to anyone you’re in a relationship with.

Are you having [tag-tec]communication problems[/tag-tec] in any of your relationships-at work, at home, or with friends? Do you ever wish there was something you could give to someone that would improve your relationship? Would you be surprised to learn there really is such a gift?

If you want to strengthen, enhance, and grow your relationships, the best gift you can give is the gift of presence. Now, we’re not talking about anniversary, birthday, or Christmas presents … The presence we mean is the gift of listening to the other person without thinking about yourself at all.

“If you want to be listened to, you should put in time listening.”
~ Marge Piercy

Being present for another person doesn’t just mean listening to them without speaking. It requires that you really put yourself and your desires aside for the moment so you can fully hear what they have to say. When you give the gift of presence, you’re not only showing other people that you appreciate and support them, you’re also opening the door to discovering what’s really important to them-the hidden values underneath their words.

This week, identify one thing you can do in relation to this awareness and take action. Remember, the shortest path to a happy life is found through conscious choice.

With love, or
Beth and Neill

Relationship Advice – Tidbit of the Week

Tag: Personal Growth,Relationship AdviceBeth and Neill

This Weeks Relationship Advice Tidbit

Are you enjoying all your relationships? How would you like some relationship advice that is guaranteed to Help.

We believe the quality of our life is created by the quality of our relationships. Think about it, unless you’ve chosen the life of a solitary monk living in a cave, your life is filled with one relationship after another. Your family and friends, the people you work with, the person that delivers your mail. Even all those momentary relationships you have with salespeople, servers and restaurants, and the clerk in the grocery store. The list goes on and on.

How much more wonderful would your life be, if each time you interacted with another person you both left feeling satisfied?

Are there any you would like to improve? Are you enjoying the relationships you have with your all your family and friends, what about your boss, colleagues or employees. How is your relationship going with your kids?

The Gift Of Presence

If you want to improve, enrich and strengthen your relationships, we suggest the very first step is learning to give the gift of presence. Now, we don’t mean anniversary, birthday or Christmas presents…  The presence that we’re talking about is the gift of listening to the other person without thinking about yourself at all.

“If you want to be listened to, you should put in time listening.” ~Marge Piercy

Being present for another person doesn’t mean just hearing their words without you talking. It involves you putting your self aside for a moment so that you can really hear what’s important to the other person. When you give the gift of presence, you’re not only demonstrating to the other person that you care about them, you’re also opening the only door to discovering solutions that will be satisfying for everyone.

So next time you notice yourself starting to defend your position, believing you’re right, thinking that the other person is wrong, or giving the other person advice about how to change, STOP… and try giving the gift of presence. What if you got to lose, except maybe a whole bunch of stress, frustration, and pain.

If you’d like to discover other related relationship advice articles, you can start by reading: “Are You Playing Together So That Everyone Has Fun?”

Committed to your success,

Great Leadership Start with Alignment

Alignment – Out of the Auto Shop and Into the Office

Last time you got your car tuned up, the mechanic probably talked to you about alignment. If you want to get the most performance out of your car, it’s important that your tires are all moving in the same direction and working together. Turns out that what is true for cars is also true for [tag-tec]effective business communication[/tag-tec]. [tag-tec]Business relationships[/tag-tec] will be most successful when everyone is aligned and moving in the same direction toward a mutual goal.Handshake and teamwork

Alignment goes beyond just improving your [tag-tec]communication skills[/tag-tec] or trying a new listening technique. Truly [tag-tec]effective communication[/tag-tec], whether it’s for business or some other interaction where you and others are working to create the best outcome, begins with alignment.

We Are All Inter-Connected

Here’s another way to look at it: generally we go about our own business, trying to achieve our personal results. We forget how inter-connected we are with other people. Our interconnections limit how far we can get toward our own desired result. With alignment, we share the same vision with our interconnected partners. We are much more likely to reach the desired outcome. Alignment opens the way for greater success and mutual satisfaction.

Start with Personal Alignment

The first step to creating alignment with someone else, is identifying, and expressing, what you feel is most important to you about the outcome you want. Here is where you’ll need to figure out the underlying values that support the outcome you hope for. Maybe you would like people in the office to show up 15 minutes before the start of a meeting. Searching for the hidden value might make you realize that consideration is very important to you, or you maybe you highly value preparedness. Don’t forget, no matter what the desired outcome, underneath something you value is motivating you to want that outcome.

Aligning with Others

Now that you recognize your own underlying values, you need to figure out what the other person or the group values. This is a discovery process so start by expressing the values you’ve realized are critical to you in your work environment. Find out how important those things are to the other people involved. Would your partner or partners be willing to search for ways to create that kind of environment? In the process of aligning your values, you are creating a shared vision. If you state your shared vision it might be something like increasing effectiveness, or enhancing productivity or working together more harmoniously. When you have defined your shared vision, you can start to discuss strategies to achieve the desired results.

Things to Remember for the Alignment Discussion:

Try to keep the alignment conversation as action-free as possible. This is a beginning phase, so you might want to start by agreeing with the other person that you will not get bogged down with the specifics of what you want or how you’re going to get what you want.

Once your shared vision is established, you will have plenty of time to discuss how to reach your goals. Before you begin, agree that talking about the failures of the past isn’t effective during this phase. (Examining the past can be useful because it might help you to understand values that may have been lacking, but avoid assigning fault or using it to justify your skepticism.)

Here are some other valuable pieces to add to the conversation:

A commitment to stay away from negative criticism or judgments;
An openness to explore strategies that you both can agree on;
An agreement to celebrate all wins that result from this conversation.

Now that you are sharing the same vision and you’re working toward the same outcome, the big picture becomes clear. Alignment makes it easier to produces results that are enjoyable for everyone.

With a shared vision, everyone will be traveling along the road of cooperation and teamwork with far fewer potholes than you encountered before. Alignment leads to increased productivity and result in rewarding outcomes for everyone involved.

We would love to hear what you think. Please comment below.