Lis­ten­ing can pay div­i­dends

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - Front Page -

‘‘It’s easy to think, ‘I’m the man­ager, I’m sup­posed to know what I’m do­ing, so it may make me look weak if I ask for help’,’’ Selden says.

‘‘There’s only a very slight dif­fer­ence be­tween self-con­fi­dence and ar­ro­gance.’’

Ar­ro­gant man­agers say they have the an­swer to ad­dress­ing a chal­lenge or prob­lem whereas self-con­fi­dent man­agers know there is an an­swer, but they may not nec­es­sar­ily have it them­selves.

Man­agers need to write down what they think may be im­por­tant to re­mem­ber in the fu­ture.

It can in­clude how ma­jor chal­lenges are over­come, what did not work and what will oc­cur dif­fer­ently next time.

‘‘Re­view your jour­nal once a week on a des­ig­nated day and time,’’ Selden says.

‘‘Cer­tainly trust your gut in­stinct, but be­fore jump­ing into ac­tion re­flect, ‘Is this the best ap­proach for this is­sue at this time?’,’’ Selden says.

Great lead­ers are will­ing to ad­mit when they are wrong and ad­mit­ting mis­takes shows you are hu­man.

‘‘It also builds trust and re­spect,’’ Selden says.

‘‘Ask them for their in­put in solv­ing the is­sue or im­prov­ing their per­for­mance,’’ Selden says.

‘‘If you have not had some train­ing in giv­ing feed­back, ask your man­ager.’’

Man­agers who have been in the role for nine months need to seek in­for­mal or for­mal feed­back from their man­ager to re­view their own per­for­mance.

‘‘Look for a man­ager within your or­gan­i­sa­tion whom ev­ery­one re­spects,’’ Selden says. ‘‘Build a re­la­tion­ship with that per­son and over time, this friend­ship should turn into a men­tor­ing re­la­tion­ship.’’

Young, new man­agers have en­ergy and po­ten­tial to move up the cor­por- ate lad­der, but lack ex­pe­ri­ence. ‘‘In 12 months, make sure your man­ager will be telling his or her col­leagues it was a great de­ci­sion to pro­mote you,’’ Selden says. THE key to im­prov­ing a can­di­date’s suc­cess in any in­ter­view is to lis­ten to what is ac­tu­ally be­ing said.

Ask­ing a ques­tion that has al­ready been an­swered or un­know­ingly re­peat­ing a point that’s al­ready been made can kill off any po­ten­tial ca­reer hopes.

Re­cruiters and HR peo­ple have long com­plained about can­di­dates who lack strong com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills dur­ing the in­ter­view process.

How­ever, ex­perts say the av­er­age per­son re­mem­bers only a frac­tion of what is said to them.

Psy­chother­a­pist Gilda Carle says that in a con­ver­sa­tion, peo­ple spend 55 per cent of the time fo­cus­ing on body lan­guage and 38 per cent of the time on vo­cal in­to­na­tion.

That leaves only 7 per cent to de­vote to what the other per­son is say­ing.

‘‘We’re ter­ri­ble lis­ten­ers be­cause we are dis­tracted by these non-ver­bal cues as op­posed to what we should be hear­ing,’’ Carle says.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions ex­pert Cherie Kerr says part of the prob­lem is that peo­ple get dis­tracted dur­ing a con­ver­sa­tion.

‘‘There is so much go­ing on, it’s dif­fi­cult to fo­cus on what peo­ple are say­ing to us,’’ she says.

Lis­ten­ing skills can be im­proved with prac­tice, though, and she says peo­ple need to con­cen­trate on the ‘‘now’’ in any con­ver­sa­tion and pay at­ten­tion to ev­ery word spo­ken.

‘‘If we don’t, we might miss a crit­i­cal cue or idea,’’ she says.

A good sales­per­son is al­ways lis­ten­ing and pay­ing close at­ten­tion to what his or her prospects or cus­tomers are say­ing.

Kerr says one way to re­mem­ber what peo­ple say is to re­peat back to the per­son what they are say­ing.

This will also re­as­sure the other per­son that you un­der­stand their point.

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