Art of Telling – Listening

Becoming One with Your Listener!

It was June 1999 and I was sitting in a room with a group of people I just met. It was the first day of Ty Boyd’s Excellence in Speaking Institute. I was attending his school because I wanted to become a better public speaker. Actually, I wanted to learn to present so well that people would say; “Look at him, he’s a wonderful speaker!” So it’s interesting to note the first lesson I learned that morning was “professional speaking isn’t about the speaker.” Professional speaking is about the message and the audience needing to hear that message. If you don’t have a message your audience needs to hear then you probably don’t have a right to be in front of them. Professional speaking is not about speaking. It’s about how to communicate. Our job as presenters isn’t so much to get the attention of our audience as it is to give attention to our audience.

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Art of Telling – Five Satisfactions

The Essence of Communication!

In my previous blog post I shared the Three Satisfactions that all presenters want from their listeners. They are attention, belief and action. When we present, whether to an audience of 1, 5 or 500, we want their attention, their belief and their action. However, in order to get those three things we must deliver Five Satisfactions back to the listener. They are:

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Art of Telling – Three Satisfactions

The Essence of Communication!

In 1999 I attended a two part seminar entitled; The Effective Use of Language. At the end of the first evening I went up to the presenter, Frank Patterson and introduced myself. I told him I was interested in becoming a better public speaker and that I had recently enrolled in Ty Boyd’s Excellence in Speaking Institute. Mr. Patterson asked why I wanted to become a better speaker. I explained that I had been lecturing at North Carolina State University for over 10 years and was beginning to speak to more and more professional business audiences. I enjoyed being in front of an audience but I still got nervous and felt I could use additional professional speaking education to become better. Mr. Patterson asked me to wait for him and went out to his car to retrieve a set of tapes.

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Art of Telling – Communication is #1

Think of communication in terms of an outcome!

Unfortunately, nothing is so simple that it can’t be misunderstood. You might not think of yourself as a communicator, but the truth is you spend countless hours every day attempting to communicate. In fact, most of us make our living communicating in some way or another. Therefore, the ability to communicate effectively is the most important skill we can develop. Let me repeat that, because it’s the most important message of this blog post: The number one skill of every leader, manager, executive, parent, teacher, spouse and salesperson is the ability to effectively communicate with others.

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Introduction to the “Art of Telling”

“The genius who cannot communicate is at the mercy of the dunce who can.”

Every day we’re required to share information, explanations, changes, ideas, directions, and viewpoints to others in our lives. Men and women who use the spoken word powerfully are the men and women who change the world…“Our World!” Effective communication is the key to business success. Who in a leadership role is exempt from the need to prompt others to think, feel, and act as they desire? We all are engaged in the effort of persuasion from the moment we are born until we draw our last breath.

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Land Mine #7 – Confrontation Phobia

The number one gap for most leaders and managers is the inability to hold people accountable for excellence. Below is an excerpt from Marty Clarke’s Leadership Land Mines. 

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Servant Leadership

Servant Leadership is a values and relational-based approach to leadership. It involves identifying and meeting the legitimate needs (as opposed to wants) of those entrusted to the care of the leader. This means getting people involved from the “neck up” – not merely contributing their “hand and backs’ but also volunteering their “hearts and minds.” It is a model of developing leaders of character who lead with authority (influence) rather than simply relying upon power (coercion).

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Land Mine #2 – Managing to the Exception

Below is an excerpt from Marty Clarke’s Leadership Land Mines. 

The Managing to the Exception land mine gets triggered in two ways: 

  1. Any time a person, or group of people allow an idea to be shot down because it’s not perfect, this is “overt managing to the exception.”
  2. Any time a manager lets a matter of small consequences dictate decisions on matters of large consequences, this is “unconscious managing to the exception.” 

Managers who manage to the exception usually get a whole lot of nothing done and usually wind up being nothing but a drag on everyone else’s productivity. Managing to the exception is a productivity killer.

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The Importance of Reading the Signs

“An excited truck driver called to say that his truck had fallen through a bridge, and was now hanging precariously in the under-supports of that bridge, twenty feet above a scenic waterway. He asked what he should do.” 

The first response he heard was, “How in the world did your truck fall through a bridge?”

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The Secret Blend for Effective Leadership

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a magic pill for leaders to take to help them become better leaders? This pill would help them show integrity, build a culture of partnership and affirm people’s sense of self-worth by letting them know that what they do is important. It takes time to perfect the right blend of integrity, partnership and affirmation. Below is the secret blend for effective leadership over the long haul. These simple truths will help anyone become a more effective team leader:

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