Stories I only tell my friends: The Power Of Belief-System

December 5, 2011

STEPS TO BUILDING A POSITIVE PERSONALITY – Part 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — mylittleblackpen @ 11:36 am

step 8: be a good listener

Ask yourself these questions. How does it make you feel when you wanted somebody to listen to you and

  • They did more talking than listening?
  • They disagreed with the first thing you said.
  • They interrupted you at every step.
  • They were impatient and completed every sentence you started.
  • They were physically present but mentally absent.
  • They heard but didn’t listen. You had to repeat the same thing three times because the other person wasn’t listening.
  • They came to conclusions unrelated to facts.
  • They asked questions on unrelated topics.
  • They were fidgety and distracted.
  • They were obviously not listening or paying attention.

All these things show disinterest in the person or the topic and a total lack of courtesy. Do the following words describe the feeling of not being listened to?

  • Neglected
  • Rejected
  • Dejected
  • Let down
  • Unimportant
  • Small
  • Ignored
  • Belittled
  • Annoyed
  • Stupid
  • Worthless
  • Embarrassed
  • Demotivated
  • Disheartened

Let’s reverse the scenario. How does it makes you feel when you want someone to listen to you and they

  • Make you comfortable
  • Give you their undivided attention
  • Ask appropriate and relevant questions
  • Show interest in your subject

Do the following words describe the feeling of being listened to?

  • Important
  • Pleased
  • Satisfied
  • Worthwhile
  • Cared for
  • Good
  • Happy
  • Appreciated
  • Encouraged
  • Inspired

What are some of the barriers to effective listening?

External Barriers Internal Barriers
Physical distraction

Noise

Fatigue

Preoccupation or absent-minded

Prejudice and prejudging people

No interest in subject or speaker

There could be intellectual barriers, such as language, comprehension, etc. in order to inspire others to speak, be a good listener. Listening shows caring. When you show a caring attitude toward another person, that person feels important. When he feels important, what happens? He is more motivated and more receptive to your ideas.

An open ear is the only believable sign of an open heart.

David Augsburger

In order to be a good listener:

  • Encourage the speaker to talk
  • Ask questions. It shown interest
  • Don’t interrupt
  • Don’t change the topic
  • Show understanding and respect
  • Pay attention, concentrate
  • Avoid distractions
  • Show empathy
  • Be open-minded. Don’t let preconceived ideas and prejudices prevent you from listening
  • Concentrate on the message and not on the delivery
  • Recognize the nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions, eye contact, etc. they might be communicating different message from the verbal
  • Listen to feelings and not just words

step 9: be enthusiastic

Nothing great is ever achieved without enthusiasm.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enthusiasm and success go hand in hand, but enthusiasm comes first. Enthusiasm inspires confidence, raises morale, builds loyalty, and is priceless. Enthusiasm is contagious. You can feel enthusiasm by the way a person talks, walks or shakes hands. Enthusiasm is a habit that one can acquire and practice.

Many decades ago, Charles Schwab, who was earning a salary of a million dollars a year, was asked if he was being paid such a high salary because of his exceptional ability to produce steel. Charles Schwab replied, “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among the men the greatest asset I posses, and the way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement”.

Live while you are alive. Don’t die before you are dead. Enthusiasm and desire are what change mediocrity to excellence. Water turn into steam with a difference of only one degree in temperature and steam can move some of the biggest engine in the world. That is what enthusiasm helps us to do in our lives.

step 10: give honest and sincere appreciation

The psychologist William James said, “One of the deepest desires of human beings is the desire to be appreciated. The feeling of being unwanted is hurtful. Expensive jewels are not real gifts; they are apologies for shortcomings. Many times we buy gifts for people to compensate for not spending enough time with them. Real gifts are when you give a part of yourself.

Sincere appreciation is one of the greatest gifts one can give to another person. It makes a person feel important. The desire to feel important is one of the greatest cravings in most human beings. It can be a great motivator.

The biggest disease is not leprosy or tuberculosis but rather the feeling of being unwanted.

Mother Teresa

Appreciation, in order to be effective, must meet certain criteria:

  1. It must be specific. If I tell someone that he did a good job, and walk away, what will go through his mind? He will think, “What did I do well?” He will be confused. But when I say, “The way you handled that difficult customer was great,” then he knows what he is being appreciated for.
  2. It must be immediate. The effectiveness is diluted if we show our appreciation for someone six months after he has done something commendable.
  3. It must be sincere. It must come from the heart. You must mean every word. What is the difference between appreciation and flattery? The difference is sincerity. One comes from the heart, the other from the mouth. One has an ulterior motive and the other is sincere. Some people find it easier to flatter than to give sincere praise. Don’t flatter or get taken in by flatterers.
  4. Don’t qualify praise with a but. By using the but as a connector, we erase the appreciation. Use “and”, “in addition to that” or some other appropriate connector. Say something like “I appreciate your effort and would you please …” rather than “I appreciate your effort but …”
  5. After giving appreciation, it is not important to wait for a receipt or acknowledgement. Some people are looking for a compliment in return. That is not the purpose of appreciation.

If you are receiving appreciation, accept it graciously with a “thank you”. It is easier to deal with honest rejection than insincere appreciation. At least the person knows where he stands. Insincere appreciation is like a mirage in the desert. The closer you get, the more disappointed you become because it is nothing more than an illusion. People put up a front of sincerity as a cover up.

step 11: when we make a mistake, we should accept it immediately and willingly

When I am wrong, make me easy to change; and when I am right, make me easy to live with. This is a good philosophy to live by. Some people live and learn while others live and never learn. Mistakes are to be learned from. The greatest mistake a person can make is to repeat it. Don’t assign blame and make excuses. Don’t dwell on it. When you realize your mistake, it is a good idea to accept it and apologize. Don’t defend it. Why? Acceptance disarms the other person.

step 12: when the other person realize and admits that he has made a mistake, congratulate him and give him a way out to safe face

If we don’t let him safe face, we are hurting his self-esteem.

A Little Black Pen

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