November 2018

All posts from November 2018

Learning to Network – from Stress to Pleasure

by Joseph McGuire on 29th November 2018 Comments Off on Learning to Network – from Stress to Pleasure

coffee break

All successful networking is dependent on two key things: reciprocity and curiosity.”
Phyllis Weiss Haserot

Unlike many people I enjoy networking, but it certainly wasn’t always the case. Now I’m happy to go into a room to meet people whether I know them beforehand or not. When I first began networking I found the experience particularly daunting. Generally I coped by helping set up the room, hanging around with someone I knew, standing silently in a group and frequent visits to the bathroom to calm my nerves.

After a while I began to learn the value of listening. Appearing at least to be interested rather than trying to be interesting served me better. I even went as far as compiling a list of stock open-ended questions to use at events so that people would talk to me, avoid dead air and ensure I didn’t look like Billy-No-Mates! Being willing to ask questions also had another benefit. It made me more approachable as people saw that I was willing to engage and listen. It also transpired that I was sometimes asking questions which others wanted to but felt too awkward to ask. It saved them from appearing foolish as they saw it. For me it meant I learnt something new and my often naïve questions often prompted fresh reflection on the part of the speaker.

It began to dawn on me that many others were also uncomfortable in the situation. As I paid more attention to listening and observing it became apparent that quite a few individuals in virtually every gathering were making small talk to fill the silence rather than speaking to connect. Many will also gravitate towards those they already know. If those individuals are speaking to someone new it presents the opportunity of a fresh introduction. Otherwise why not introduce yourself to someone you haven’t met and learn about them? You may be able to help them directly or indirectly which will benefit them and make you look good.

In preparing myself to enter a room I have several key points to remember:

  • It’s often a good idea if you’re new to arrive early and help the organizers setup. It makes you look good and provides you with immediate introductions.
  • If possible get a list of registered attendees beforehand and target specific people to meet. Bear in mind you’re not looking initially to sell anything but to arrange a meeting.
  • Make sure to follow up on all such introductions within 48 hours at most.
  • Bring a buddy if you’re nervous and speak to other attendees about each other. Promoting the interests of someone else may be easier than speaking about oneself.
  • Keep your questions concise but open and demonstrate that you are listening.
  • Stand tall when entering the room, make eye contact and smile – always remember to smile!
  • Know why you’re there, move around, meet the people you want to meet and learn to effectively and politely disengage!

If you like this article feel free to share it.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales communications and HR. He is also the author of the recently published book  Face Facts:The Art of Reading Your Clients and Prospects for Sales, Negotiation and Recruitment’. Now available:

https://clearsightcommunications.com/face-facts-book

Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group training and presentations, private functions and conferences. Contact: joseph@clearsightcommunications.com

Or call: + 353-(0)87-246 1853

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Joseph McGuireLearning to Network – from Stress to Pleasure

You May Be Listening But Are You Hearing?

by Joseph McGuire on 11th November 2018 Comments Off on You May Be Listening But Are You Hearing?
Listen To The Listening Bronze To Listen Sculpture

Creative Commons Zero CCO

Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.” – Jim Rohn

Listening is a key component of successful and effective communication between any two or more humans. How often do we hear ‘debates’ on radio or TV where there is an almost total absence of listening. So often these exchanges are marked and fuelled by an apparent compulsion by participants to talk, often to the extent of going completely off topic.

I’ll leave it to psychologists to analyse the reasons why this phenomenon is so prevalent. My focus here is on the positive benefits of learning to listen. Doing so enables us to hear not just what is being said but also the tone and intent behind them. We can also learn to listen for what is being omitted, whether intentionally or otherwise.

But behaviour in the human being is sometimes a defence, a way of concealing motives and thoughts, as language can be a way of hiding your thoughts and preventing communication.”Abraham Maslow

Albert Mehrabians oft misquoted study refers to the percentages of understanding and congruency in conversations with a strong emotional content. His breakdown of 38%, 55% and 7% relates to tone and syntax, body language, and the words themselves. Too often we focus our attention on the words and allow ourselves to be distracted and even misdirected. It then becomes easy to miss the incongruencies in the mix of body language etc, especially if the speaker is eloquent, or more technologically competent than we are.

The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.” – Joseph Priestley

It requires confidence, awareness and willingness to listen with care. Whether in interviews, negotiations or sales processes the potential misdirections are plentiful. Extending our listening skills beyond our ears and intellect to ‘whole body listening’ helps greatly. Aligning all our faculties enables us to hear what is said, the intention behind it and what is left unsaid. Having a more complete picture allows us to give a much more informed response.

Start practicing by putting your feet on the ground and rest your hands on your thighs. Pay attention to your breath both in and out, and focus on the rhythm. Briefly scan your body from head to toe for any areas of tension. Gently roll/shake any such areas to begin a relaxation process – it won’t all happen at once but you’re making a start. Repeat daily for even 5 minutes at a time and you’ll see obvious benefits. Cultivating the awareness of your own body and its signals will increase your alertness for incongruencies in those you’re interviewing/negotiating with.

Relaxed alertness without straining facilitates a deeper level of understanding and is a means to differentiating between clear and hopeful decisions, leading to better deals!

If you like this article feel free to share it.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales communications and HR. He is also the author of the recently published book  Face Facts:The Art of Reading Your Clients and Prospects for Sales, Negotiation and Recruitment’. Now available:

https://clearsightcommunications.com/face-facts-book

Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group training and presentations, private functions and conferences. Contact: joseph@clearsightcommunications.com

Or call: + 353-(0)87-246 1853

Feel free to share this post...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someone
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Joseph McGuireYou May Be Listening But Are You Hearing?