Listen to This!
➔ Here’s another one of those concepts that is based on communication but really isn’t anything new. And with the avalanche of communications options at our fingertips today, you would think that our communication skills have improved. Or not.
So much goes into effective communication. Surprise, surprise. Very little of it is new. Surprise, surprise. Refine your message. Choose the right channel, etc., etc. But do you practice what you preach?
One aspect of communication, however, that receives nary enough attention today is another one of the basics. It’s known as listening. And there is a lot more there than what meets the eye… or ear.
It’s so much more than just hearing what the other person says. Remember Simon & Garfunkel, “People hearing without listening.” There was a reason that song was called “The Sounds of Silence.” It harkens to one of our favorite concepts: pay attention!
Pay attention to what the other people are saying, how they’re saying it (verbally and otherwise) and pay attention to what they’re not saying. That could be just as important.
This is especially true in business. One of the cornerstones of successful business is to “listen to the customer.” Do that and they will tell you each and every time what they’re looking for and what they’re willing to pay for.
Effective communication goes far beyond simply avoiding misunderstanding. Are you as focused on listening to what they’re saying as they are on saying it? Are you constantly interrupting, or do you give them a chance to speak their minds? Could you paraphrase or summarize what they just said? If you can’t, you weren’t listening.
Contemplating the importance of listening is a very deep well to be sure. You can stick your toe in the water here if you’re interested. (And if you don’t have the time to listen to the full 15 minutes, skip ahead to roughly the 13-minute mark.) There’s a lot there to hear.
“Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.”
— Stephen Covey,
American educator, author, businessman and speaker
Skirt lengths, lipstick, men’s underwear and champagne sales are all recession indicators. Paying attention to what people do instead of what they say is a smart way to know what will happen next.
Our Favorite Four-Letter Word
➔ Yes, our favorite four-letter word does begin with “F.” And that word, of course, is free. Who can argue with free? Especially considering our economy’s current battle with inflation.
There may not be any such thing as a “free” lunch, but we’re not talking about food (for a change.) There are freebies out there that may have a great deal of appeal to a great many people.
While the prices of computer hardware have moderated over the past years, buyers of software cannot necessarily share that joy. However, there is a great deal of software out there that is, in fact, free – or at least there is a free version of the paid product.
Most business people today have grown up with Microsoft Office – which includes a broad suite of products not limited to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, OneNote and more – depending how, when and where you buy. It could cost you a $6.99/month for a minimum 12-month subscription or as much as $150.00 or more straight up.
Or you can use the Google suite of comparable products (Google Docs, Sheets, et.al.) for free with your gmail account – also free. Or, you can download LibreOffice or OnlyOffice for free. And, you can get Bitdefender or MalwareBytes free for anit-virus and internet security.
The list goes on. And, we have a very thorough list of alternatives to paid software that are free for the taking. You can peruse 68 Free Software Alternatives That Can Easily Replace Them for gratis versions of software for photography, video editing, streaming, productivity, utilities and more. Also, allowing for some overlap, you can view 55 Most Useful Free Software Everyone Should Know!
And that’s just the beginning.
“I need not sell my soul to buy bliss.”
– Charlotte Brontë,
English novelist and poet
Till fries do us part. McDonald’s restaurants in Indonesia can be rented for wedding receptions for about $233.
— Fox News
Early exit. An Oklahoma gas-station clerk asked a friend to rob the station so he could go home early.
— The Week
MBA or TCB. A group of ferrets is called a business.
— Mental Floss
Being nosey. A British man brought legal action against a woman who had bitten off the left half of his nose after he attempted to kiss her without consent. He lost.
Possibly possible. 68 Percent of U.S. workers say it’s “impossible” not to do at least some work-related tasks while on vacation.
Tastes like chicken. A mayor in Mexico has married a female alligator in a “traditional” ceremony.
It’s in the mail. More than three-fourths (77.8 percent) of users check their email inbox more than five times a day.
Transgender moos. Boanthropy is a psychological disorder where people think they're cows.
Hold the mayo. Painesville police recently rescued a raccoon who had a mayonnaise jar stuck on its head.
— Fox News
Hey, good lookin’. A recent UK study found that more than 50 percent of single men would use chatbots to help chat up potential dates.
— Morning Brew
The Month of August
Month of the Month
Opposites attract. August is National Dog Month as well as National Catfish Month. Regardless, cheer up! It’s also National Happiness Happens Month.
You deserve a break today, August 15. You deserve it. It’s National Relaxation Day.
Question of the Month
How do you tell the difference between male and female shrimp?
Deciding which shrimp is male or female is sometimes difficult because at first glance they look so similar. However there are some useful clues we can use.
Quote of the Month
“Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.”
— Barry Switzer,
former American football coach
A Gridiron MBA?
Maybe that’s not possible, but there is much you can learn about business from football in the book, Hard Hitting Lessons. The subtitle says it all, “Some not-so-obvious business lessons learned from playing football.”
Get your copy here!