Posts Tagged ‘ Emotion ’

Listening – Easy Right!?

Ever been in a really bad mood , you air some frustration and everyone wants to give you advice? You don’t want to hear about what ‘they would have done ‘or ‘in their experience’. Sometimes you just want to vent and be heard.


Not sure whether it is because I am an extrovert or that I love the sound of my own voice (probably a bit of both),  but I just can’t help but talk. When someone tells me a problem, I find a way of talking about myself and my experiences. I try so hard to stop myself but it just comes out. I am not alone I pick up on a lot of others doing exactly the same. I am not a natural listener,  but I do try and make a conscious effort when listening. I find the below help’s gear me in the right direction.

When you are listening

  • Listen intently and ask yourself what are they asking from you? Sometimes people just need to air their thoughts, sometimes they want some direction from you.
  • Make it about them not you! Ask questions to get a better understanding, show you are listening.
  • Only speak and share your experiences if it adds value to them. Think, is what you’re about to say going to add value or is it just a way for you to talk about yourself.

When you want to be listened to

  • Firstly no one is going to be able to listen attentively to someone who is highly emotional and talks all the time. Emotions can alter the way people listen to you. So if something has immediately annoyed you, take 10 minutes to gather your thoughts before talking about it.
  • What do you want to achieve from the conversation? – Tell the person you are speaking too ie.) ‘I just need to vent’, or ‘I need your advice’.
  • Ever been in a meeting , walked out and forgotten to say something really important. Write down a couple of key bullet points that you want to discuss to make sure you don’t miss something out.

One last tip – With the world at our fingertips it’s easy to get distracted and try and when someone is talking to you. Don’t do it. There is nothing worse than talking to someone and they are typing away or checking their phone. It’s just rude.

Listening isn’t easy, the first step is awareness: Ask yourself, colleagues, friends and family – Are you a good listener?

Sarah-Jane Kenny – Channel Solutions Consultant at The Ken Blanchard Companies

Remove Emotion From The Equation

A friend of mine recently came to me to vent about a conflict he was dealing with at work. He was at his wits end about how to resolve this conflict and needed an outsider’s perspective.

We sat down over lunch and he delivered his account of what was going on. As I suspected, his conflict was very similar to his onion rings…it was a rather small issue deep-fried in a thick batter of emotions.

On either side of most conflicts you’ll typically find an over-abundance of emotional attachment. If conflict was a steam engine, then emotion would be the coal being shoveled into the firebox.

My friend was smart enough to realize this. He knew that seeking guidance from someone who was not emotionally attached to the issue could help him peel away the layers and focus on the issue instead of the emotions he was experiencing. He knew that he had become so passionate about his position that he was interpreting every opposing opinion as a personal attack. He also suspected that his colleagues on the other side of the conflict were most likely feeling the same way, and he was probably right. They had reached a point where a change needed to occur so that the conflict could be resolved and also so the relationships didn’t suffer irreparable damage.

As he continued to talk, it became clear that all he really needed was a sounding board. He came to the conclusion on his own that the best course of action was to remove emotion from the equation.

He phoned me later in the week to let me know that the conflict had been resolved. He had reengaged his colleagues and influenced them all to refocus on the issue at hand by first acknowledging that the emotional element had been getting in the way of progress. As it turns out, everyone was feeling the same way. They too were ready to let go of their emotions and rediscover their common ground which would be the foundation for resolving their conflict. They let their shared vision and values be their guide and were finally able to focus on their equally shared desire to find a mutually beneficial resolution to their problem.

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