The Importance of Having Good Listening Skills

Dog listening

We often think we are communicating effectively and of course, we want people to take action on what we say. So it can be frustrating when we talk and share a message and NOTHING happens.  Crickets…. Most likely, you were doing only half of what needs to be done to effectively communicate- the talking part. Listening is the other half – perhaps the better half – of all communication. Unfortunately, most people rarely receive any formal training for how to do it properly. Improving your listening skills can enhance your professional and personal life. Follow these practical steps towards becoming a better listener, even in challenging situations where it’s most important.

How Personal Is Too Personal for Social Media?

Sharing Social Media information

Everyone says that you should show your personal side, even if you’re using social media for your business. Personalizing your content and interactions puts a human face on your business. This is how you build real, authentic relationships. But there are cases where you can be too personal, and you need to steer clear of these or the results could be disastrous.

No “Big Talk”

The type of personal content we share on social media falls under the category of small talk, not “big talk.” You might mention a place you ate today and how it was. You may show a picture of your dog and share a milestone in his or her life. But you would avoid topics like romantic encounters, touchy political issues, or things that annoy you about certain people, unless those topics are a central part of your branding.  We have all seen how too much politics has made people cranky and frankly rude to one another- even leading to the “unfriending” behavior that is happening all too frequently.

Sharing (too many) Problems

Venting and complaining about your problems is more likely to annoy than engage. However, there is a right way to discuss problems that can actually boost engagement. The way to do it is to share a problem you faced that is also a common problem of your audience. Get them to discuss the problem with you. Even better, offer a solution to this common problem or ask your audience to share theirs.

Thrive For Success Blog: The Heck With Balance, Let’s Thrive

sueblogpix2I  invite you to change your thinking about work/life balance because I think  it is an unattainable myth. Yep, that is right. Work/Life balance is a Myth. There I have said it. Yes, I know it is one of the most universal sought after ideals. It is not just in North America but it is listed as one of the most important issues around the world. Everyone is seeking work/life balance.

Ah, but does seeking something automatically mean it is attainable?

I say “No!” At least not the way most people are going about work/life balance; as a “to-do” item and another thing that needs to be accomplished. There must be some secret out there to achieving it and if I try a little harder, I will achieve it also. And the game begins trying to find the secret to work/life balance.

There are plenty of people trying to sell you the secret

Everywhere you look there is a magazine article or someone else telling you “The 7 Ways to Achieve Work/Life Balance.” Again another “to do” item and boy, does it feel stressful. Not balanced in the way I want you to feel. What if we looked at balance as a “to be” item and that balance meant feeling a sense of harmony? Now we are getting somewhere that feels a little bit better.

I am not against balance per se but I think there is something much better

I just don’t think that being in balance is good enough. Once you get the seesaw of life “in balance”, something comes along to push you back out of balance. This kind of balance is static. It is a tenuous place to exist and people often are in a place of striving when trying “to balance it all”. So, I invite you to say, “the heck with balance, let’s thrive!” Now thriving in work and life is exciting and allows you experience your work and life in a way that is dynamic.

What exactly does thriving mean?

Thriving is a term we hear a lot about these days.  Thriving according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary means “To grow vigorously and/or to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.” “Despite ofor “because of circumstances”; isn’t that another way of saying “life”. So thriving allows us to do our best work and experience our best life.   For years I have talked about Thriving and I like to add that when you are thriving, you are able to take risks; you are able to make mistakes and have “do-overs” so you don’t need to be perfect.

Thriving allows you to think and grow from a place of abundance and possibility. Sometimes thriving means slowing down and nourishing yourself as a plant often does in winter. Thriving is a way of Being instead of a way of Doing and it allows room for peace and harmony to co-exist with mistakes and messiness. All the while supporting you in moving forward toward your goals.  And by first “being” you can be more successful at taking action and “doing”.

How do I start to thrive?

If you are ready to thrive, I invite you to visit me here again at The Thriving Revolution, a community devoted to creating  businesses and lives that truly thrive.   I will be sharing (and inviting you to share) tips, resources, and ideas to support you and each other in this journey. Together we can accomplish so much more than we can alone.  Please add your comments below and join us at the Thriving Revolution Community Calls held on Tuesdays at 1 PM EDT beginning again in November 2016.

So, back to our myth that work/life balance is attainable. I hope you have decided that work/balance as another “to-do” item is no longer something you desire. I invite you to go beyond seeking balance so that your work and your life will both truly thrive.

Fun day: 23 reasons why 23 is the greatest number

Thought I would do something fun for today, the 23rd of the month.  Here are some reasons why 23 is the greatest number of all time as stated by www.urbandictionary.com  I changed # 8 to It is Tennis Day because that is important to me (see my blog post on “Why I am addicted to Professional Tennis”) and #12 because, come on, we all need to celebrate International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.  Enjoy!

dog cooling with a martini refreshment cocktail

Here are 23 Reasons why 23 is the greatest number:   It is…

1. a prime number, as are 2 and 3.
2. Michael Jordan’s number.
3. the NBA record for most consecutive points scored by a single player in a game, done by none other than Michael Jordan.
4. the number of chromosomes in a human sperm or egg.
5. the angle between the earth’s magnetic and rotational axis.
6. the Tropic of Cancer at 23 degrees N Latitude.
7. the Tropic of Capricorn at 23 degrees S Latitude.
8.  Tennis Day
9. the most quoted Psalm in the bible (“The Lord is my  shepherd…”
10. the number of people executed in “A Tale of Two Cities”
11. the smallest number of people for which there is at least a 50% chance that two will share the same birthday.
12. International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
13. one of the “Lost” numbers on the television show….also the sum of two of the other numbers (8 & 15)and the solution to 42-15-4=23, all of which are also Lost numbers.
14. the number of times Caesar was stabbed in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
15. has been prominently featured in the following: Serendipity, Futurama, Star Wars A New Hope, Monty Python The Life of Brian, Seinfeld, The Big Lebowski, The Matrix Reloaded, and Die Hard III among MANY MANY other movies.
16. the number of flavors Dr. Pepper claims to be a blend of.
17. the number of distinct orientations of Tetris pieces.
18. the sum of U2, the greatest band ever. U is the 21st letter of the alphabet.
19. the number of letters in the latin alphabet.
20. the number of the Illuminati.
21. the letter W in the english alphabet, a letter with 2 points down and 3 points up.
22. the smallest number of integer sided boxes that tile a box such that no two boxes share a common length.
23. the only US president to serve between nonconsecutive terms of another president (23rd president Benjamin Harrison serving between Grover Cleveland’s terms).

Welcome to Monday and Day 22 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

Good morning!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are ready to tackle our last week of the Blog-A-Day Challenge.  Time to play with some other mediums as I have seen some of our bloggers doing.  Think also about creating a way to have people connect with you beyond the challenge (special report, a webinar Mondayetc).

 

Wishing you a Magnificent Monday! 

Welcome to the Weekend and Day 20 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

WAHOO!!! enjoytheweekendWe are entering the last 10 days of the challenge.  Keep up the great work.  Big shout outs to Kim, Karen, Juan, Terry and Cliff for consistently posting AND commenting.  And welcome to our new bloggers who have been sharing some great information.  Look forward to another great week!

Enjoy your weekend!

Welcome to Day 17 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

 

Collection of colorful speech bubbles and dialog balloons

Wow, the days seem to be flying by in this challenge.

I was on a blab yesterday talking about how to repurpose of your content.  Since leverage is one of my favorite words, here are just a few tips about how to increase the visibility and reach of your blog posts.  I will be writing more about this later today:

  1. When you write a blog post, take the few extra minutes to share it on social media (or have it set up automatically to share as I do)
  2. Look back on comments or on topics that you felt a passion for and repurpose it by creating a short video or you can create a special report that you invite people to download.  By seeing you on video or having someone opt-in to receive information from you, you are creating a stronger relationship.
  3. Share your information with other bloggers or in forums by either offering to guest blog or posting a link back to your blog posts.

If you missed my post yesterday about 5 ways to promote your blog, here it is again:

5 Ways to Promote Your Blog

 

Have a great day!

Welcome to Day 15 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

Happy President’s Day

You are at the halfway mark!!

Composite photo of a Bald Eagle with a flag and fireworks in the background. Given a grunge overlay for a nice aged effect. Nice patriotic image for Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Presidents Day.

 

Whether you have been blogging everyday or you have dropped off a little, make the commitment this week to get back on track.  Finish strong.  One easy way is to create a theme for the week and write different blog posts related to that theme.  Ideas include: a comprehensive post introducing the topic, a shorter tip sheet,  an infographic or perhaps even a poll to engage your audience.  You could even add in a short video.  Then a summary at the end of the week.  Have fun with your blog.

Have a great day!

Happy Saturday: Day 13 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

Happy Weekend!!

Happy Weekend Concept

Wishing you a wonderful Saturday.  I look forward to sitting in front of the fire and catching up on my reading tonight.  Many of you may be doing the same. This weekend I invite you to try something new on your blog.  Maybe you decide to shoot a video or share a quote that inspires you.

I will be posting the survey here over the weekend. Please take the time to complete it (should take less than 5 minutes).

 

Also you may have noticed that I figured out how to add the social buttons.  PLEASE use them to share the post- this will help all of you.  Thanks.

Have a fantastic weekend!!

 

Day 12 of the Blog-A-Day Challengers: And the winners are

Congrats to All of You!
Hand holding a winner trophy cup in multi colored confetti concept vector illustration

 

 

You are all doing sharing such great information and support that each day I get excited to read what you have shared.

Thanks for being so committed to yourself and each other.

 

 

 

There are a few people who have really stood out by their posts and comments for the first week and I want to give them a BIG SHOUT-OUT:

Karen Langston: www.karenlangston.com

Juan d”Argent: www.noeconnect.com

Kathy Marcino: www.kmmdisc.com

Terry Green: www.bizeasesupport.com

Cliff Martin: www.claritytodesire.com

We have another survey coming this weekend about week 2.  PLEASE fill it out as I really do value your feedback.

Enjoy your weekend!