Archive for September, 2010

Listening Results in Profit!

September 27, 2010
People-Whispering Tip:I just returned from speaking at a wonderful conference I attend every year in the Rocky Mountains with old friends and fellow life adventurers!  The theme of the conference this year was “Listening:  What Stories Do You Hear?”  Here is an example of a fun poster one of the conference organizers created:   It struck me that the art of listening well and its significance to the business world has been greatly overlooked in recent years.  There has been so much attention given to social media and sending out messages as opposed to listening well to others not to mention listening to our inner selves.

Of course, if one uses social media effectively, the messaging becomes a true dialogue and conversation rather than a one-way communication.  This is the heart of its power and why we all need to pay better attention to our listening skills regardless of the medium.  This may be truer than ever in our wild and wooly digital age with so much information coming at us all the time.

Years ago I recall an ad on TV about the cost of listening sponsored by the Sperry Corporation.  The entire ad campaign was based on the Sperry Company being the company who truly listened to customers unlike their competition.  Interestingly enough, whenever I have conducted a workshop on listening, people have not been quick to sign up.  We all think we do it and yet the real question is always, “are you really listening, or are you just waiting for your turn to talk?”

Truly listening is one of the most neglected communication skills in our formal education system as well as in most corporate training curriculums.  In “The Coaching Clinic” 2 day leadership development training workshop I offer, we cite some interesting statistics regarding “communication training.” 

In traditional classroom schooling up until the 12th year or most systems’ senior year in high school, the average student receives 12 years of skills training in writing, 5 to 7 years in reading, 1 to 2 years  in speaking, and 0 years of training in how to listen. 

Have you ever taken a course in listening?  In my Coach U training years ago, we spent a full 6 months or more learning how to listen more effectively.  Indeed, it is a lifelong process.  We all know the qualitative reward of being listening to well, but let’s look at this from a very conservative quantitative profit perspective.

Lets’ assume one employee makes a $10 error due to poor listening.

Assume this happens once per week for 48 weeks or:

Once per week x 48 weeks = $480 per person

$480 x 10 employees = $4,800

$480 x 100 employees = $48,000

$480 X 1000 employees = $480,000

Compare to the “cost” of a one day training between $895 to $1,295 per person – hmmm….have you ever lost more than $10 as a result of not listening well?  Might it be worth it to invest in learning to listen and ask questions rather than just telling all of the time?  Sure there is a time and place to tell, but most leaders overuse this skill and underutilize listening and questioning.

As we can see, we’ve been trained to do so.  And according to John Whimore, author of “Coaching for Performance,” this (listening) is difficult because “obsession with our own thoughts and opinions and the compulsion to talk, particularly if one is placed in any kind of advisory role, are strong.”  

And yet, we can learn or in this case, perhaps unlearn this tendency to create better results and better relationships not only in business but in every aspect of life.  For more on how to improve your listening  and asking skills to create solid bottom-line results, please call us at 404-327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com.

It would be my pleasure to listen to your needs!

 
DiSC® Assessment Application(s):1) The Personal Listening Profile/Facilitator Kit:

Inscape Publishing’s Personal Listening Profile is a great tool to help you determine your listening style and its effectiveness. You may not have realized that you have a preferred listening approach that is NOT appropriate to all situations. The Personal Listening Profile will help you to learn when and how to adopt another approach for more successful communication and collaboration. 

The 16-page report gives personalized strengths and growth areas and provides suggestions for improvement.  It includes a Communications Gap Analysis which is an at-a-glance look at how the respondent’s listening strengths and weaknesses relate to the intended message of the speaker.  An action-planning section encourages people to reflect on their listening styles and to develop strategies for improvement.

The Personal Listening Profile Facilitator Report (available only on EPIC) gives a snapshot of group dynamics by showing the similarities and differences that can lead to miscommunication.  It also shows the individuals whose scores fall outside the group averages and identifies who may feel isolated and out of sync with the dominant listening styles of the group. 

This is useful information since everyone’s voice and contribution is significant and they may not be being heard.  With this knowledge and some coaching, all team members can learn to adapt their styles to ensure full collaboration and teamwork.

In addition to the Personal Listening Profile and the Facilitator Report, there is also a fully scripted seminar available in the Facilitator Kit which includes PowerPoint slides and other training materials so you can train this on your own.  The facilitator kit is in the process of being updated and upgraded even further with some engaging video and new material.  This should be released any day now.

For more information on how these training and coaching tools can support your business, please call us at 404-327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com.

2) New Kind of 360 is Available Now for a Limited Time:

363 for Leadership combines the best of 360 degree feedback with the simplicity and power of DiSC, plus 3 strategies for improving leadership effectiveness. The result is a 360 experience that is more productive and satisfying not to mention actionable and positively-oriented for the feedback participant.
363 for Leadership is meant for anyone who wants to use 360 degree feedback for leadership development, whether they are an emerging high-potential leader or an experienced executive.  From now until November 15, 2010, you can receive a FREE “Everything DiSC for Leaders” personalized feedback report for one leader, per company – FOR FREE!

In addition to the free profile with a retail value of a very cost-effectively priced $155, you will receive a FREE Coaching Supplement Report to create an action plan for development.

TO REQUEST A SAMPLE REPORT AND/OR PARTICIPATE IN THIS FREE OFFER, send your name, company name, approximate number of supervisors/managers, your title, phone number, city/state to Laura@lauraadavis.com.  The relevant information will be sent to you electronically.

INTERESTED IN A TEST RUN? Schedule a DiSC Strategy Session with me.  During this 45 minute complimentry discussion, we’ll discuss your business objectives and challenges, talk about your organization’s leadership capabilities, and see if the Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders is a fit for your organization.

For more about this powerful tool and how it can work for you, please visit www.363forLeaders.com.

Take advantage of this great offer as soon as you can!

Another option to learn more is to participate in Inscape’s Showcase on the 363 for Leaders solution on Oct. 18.  The cost for this webinar is $30.  Please contact me to register ASAP as space is limited.   

3) Half-Day “The Coaching Conversation” Workshop 

“The Coaching Clinic,” our 2 day leadership development workshop also has a half-day introductory version called “The Coaching Conversation.” “The Coaching Conversation” is a great introduction to the Coaching Clinic in that participants learn and practice our proprietary 5 step coaching model.We will be offering public seminars soon and would be happy to bring “The Coaching Clinic” and/or “The Coaching Conversation” into your organization to assist you in transforming your culture from wherever it is now to one with engaged, passionate, committed, productive and fulfilled employees. 

Thanks to all of you who attended our complimentary webinar Sept. 7 entitled “Creating a Culture of Engagement with the Coach Approach.”  We will be offering this webinar again in a new and improved format as well as webinars on additional topics of interest.  

The half-day is a great way to get the members of your organization excited about the value of coaching as a part of your executive and managerial leadership development efforts.

Participants experience “coaching” and “being coached” first-hand around their practical business problems.  As they come up with solutions in real-time, the “aha” moments lead to some powerful shifts and behavioral changes that can make a real difference to any organization.

Transformational Coaching Tip:

Last month I offered some questions you could use as a manager/coach to encourage a team member who is hesitant to take on the leadership of a project team..This month, I thought it might be fun to provide some thought-provoking (and sometimes funny!) quotes on the art of listening for you to ponder and create tips around on your own.

Here goes:

“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have preferred to talk.”

“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force.  The friends who listen are the ones we move toward.  When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”

“The first duty of love is to listen.”

“Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf.”

and now for some humor…

“No one really listens to anyone else, and it you try it for awhile, you’ll see why.”

“Women like silent men; they think they’re listening.”

Enjoy the beginnings of autumn (in the Southeast anyway!) and feel free to call us at (404) 327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com for ways to operationalize any of these best practices into your workplace for powerful, effective results.

All my best!

Laura A. Davis

www.lauraadavis.com