Influencing Tools – Which Ones Do You Use?

Whatever your organization or business the skill of influencing others is becoming increasingly important.  The effective use of influence provides opportunities for increased communication, collaboration, innovation and desired results.

Aspects of influence include

  1. Empathy:

Think more of “What’s in it for them” and less of “What’s in it for me.”

  1. Intent

Define how your desired outcome will benefit the other person, your organization and yourself.

  1. Reciprocity

Give as much as you take.

In business, understanding human behaviour and how the people you are working with will act, or react, in certain circumstances is essential.  That is where developing the above skills will serve you well.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss.

Business Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com

 

The Best Way to Listen

In a recent article Steve Johnson cites some research done on listening and the best way to do so that actually provides the listener with a surprisingly accurate take on the emotions of the person(s) you are listening to.  The best way to listen and increase you accuracy of reading people’s emotions – close your eyes while listening.  Yes that is the key.  Keeping your eyes closed provides an accurate read of the emotions of those you are listening to.

When I think about it the result is not that startling.  Much of the work I do is over the phone.  My perception of the emotions of others is quite accurate.  When listening without the benefit of seeing the other person your other senses kick in.  Equally important you are not distracted by the visuals around you.

Now I am not recommending that you keep your eyes closed when in communication with someone.  I am suggesting that you give yourself the opportunity to converse with others over the phone or where you have fewer distractions and discover how your listening processes improve.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss.

Business Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com

Conflict Resolution

Conflict it is one thing that we all deal with at work and in our personal lives.  Common strategies for addressing conflict include withdrawal, giving up and giving in, and using aggressive behaviour or language.  The behaviours mentioned above are not recommended as they tend to add more stress to an already tense situation.

A strategy that does not add to the pressure of conflict and its resolution involves addressing the problem productively.  Meaning that diplomacy, compromise and negotiation skills are required and need to be fully utilized to resolve the strain.

When you are in conflict you are in a situation of distress and that generally lowers your levels of well-being.  Having the flexibility to resolve the conflict by utilizing the skills noted above will actually boost your overall well-being.

It certainly works for me when I remember to use it.  And there are times when simply withdrawing is the best solution.  I recommend giving diplomacy and compromise a try.  If it does not work you can always withdraw yourself or walk away from the situation.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss. Business Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com

 

Being an Authentic Communicator

Communication – sounds simple and yet we all have had experiences that indicate it is a complex process.  Whether at work or at home being an authentic communicator may present a challenge that many people are not that aware of.

The art of authentic communication is based on speaking or writing for yourself.  That’s right – speaking or writing for yourself.  Much of the time what we try to pass off as authentic communication is actually an attempt to have our audience responds in a certain way.

Messages are carefully crafted to have that audience be taken by the content.  The flaw in this is that we have absolutely no control over how another person will react to what we have written or spoken.

Try communicating for yourself and track the results.  You may find it curiously liberating and find that the message may even carry a greater impact.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss.

Business Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com.

 

Resistance to Change is Normal

It is quite normal to resist what appears to be occurring especially in the workplace where the changes have the potential to lead to sometime of loss.

Four additional factors that cause resistance during a change initiative follow.

  1. Loss of Support System(s)

Changing organizational structures usually shakes the workplace up and support structures are viewed as being eroded.

  1. Previous Change Experience

Attitudes toward change are determined in part by the way we have experienced change in work and personal life in the past. Those employees who have lived in the same neighbourhood, driven the same route to work, and done the same job over many years are likely to be discomfited by any change.

  1. Peer Pressure

Employees tend to resist change as a form of protecting one another and thereby demonstrating workplace loyalty.

  1. Lack of trust

When employees trust that a change process will have them be treated respectfully there is a marked decrease in resistance to change.

All sources of resistance to change need to be acknowledged.  As people our emotional response to change requires validation.  It is a change agents’ role to try and foresee objections.  Doing so may save you valuable time and effort in having fewer if any fires to put out.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss. Business Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com

Remembrance Day – the Symbolism of Poppies in the Language of Flowers

This Remembrance Day with the focus on poppies it seemed appropriate to share what the poppy symbolizes in the language of flowers.

For many cultures, the Poppy is a symbol of:

  • Restful sleep and recovery
  • Consolation for a loss or death in the family
  • Remembering – the fallen of various wars and armed conflicts
  • A lively imagination
  • Peace in death
  • Messages delivered in dreams
  • Resurrection and eternal life
  • Beauty and success
  • Extravagance and luxury

The symbolism of the Poppy varies greatly from country to country, but most of them share at least one or two common meanings for this particular flower.

Listening Skills – Are you Paying Attention?

When asked most managers and business people would say that they listen well and would probably be able to repeat what has been said verbatim.  The question becomes is that what true listening is?  From my perspective that is not quite what listening is.

Listening only occurs when you are present to the person doing the speaking.  Distraction is common when people think they are listening and includes the following:

  • Being in your head preparing a response;
  • Eager to speak so that you are able to show that they’re wrong or that you disagree;
  • Having an emotional response to what they’re saying;
  • Putting together your shopping list instead of listening openly.

Pay attention to what you are thinking about when you are listening.  People are able to sense when you are authentically being present when they are speaking. Track your results. Let me know what happens.  I am genuinely interested.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss.  Business Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com.

Purpose and Value in your Business Brand

Does a lack of purpose in your business brand = no value?  And what constitutes purpose?  What is the building block for it?  Well – how about looking at trust as the building block.  Yes trust as a building block for the product and brand is essential.

Question now becomes – what does it take to master that?  Good question – and one that I do not have an answer for.  Maximizing value to a client needs to go beyond price point.  This is the challenge.

Suggestions and feedback as to methods for creating trust are welcome.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss. Business Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com

Conflict Resolution

Conflict it is one thing that we all deal with at work and in our personal lives.  Common strategies for addressing conflict include withdrawal, giving up and giving in, and aggressive behaviour or language.  The behaviours mentioned above are not recommended as they tend to add more stress to an already tense situation.

A strategy that does not add to the pressure of conflict and its resolution involves addressing the problem productively.  Meaning that diplomacy, compromise and negotiation skills are required and need to be fully utilized to resolve the strain.

When you are in conflict you are in a situation of distress and that generally lowers your levels of well-being.  Having the flexibility to resolve the conflict by utilizing the skills noted above will actually boost your overall well-being.

It certainly works for me and I recommend giving it a try.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss. Business Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com

Resistance Factors to Change Management

There are at least dozen factors that cause resistance to change in business and organizations.  I have previously mentioned four.  Here are four more.

Lack of Competence

Change implies new skills – fear of not being able to make the transition causes people to push against the process.

Poor Timing

Planning a change initiative and implementing the process during a period of relative calm is a necessity.   Resistance may occur when changes are introduced at an awkward time.

 The Lack of Reward or Incentive

A plan to address the upside for employees and the gains that will be made is necessary.  Failure to do so is a breeding ground for a lack of motivation for the change itself.

Office Politics

Every organisation has its own share of in-house politics. Employees may resist change as a political strategy to “show or prove” that the change decision is wrong.

What other factors have you come across that indicate resistance to change?

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss. Business Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com