UpliftAnother1

Building Community Through Better Relationships

Who’s Driving This Car?

Concept 26

Organizations without real leaders are like a car with no one driving. Ordinary cars perform every function that they were built to do; yet they lack the ability to navigate challenges directly in front of them. Newer models are beginning to acquire that functionality. Likewise, successful leaders are developing the functionality to perform in more dynamic environments. And, with each success they develop people to accomplish more. These leaders intentionally develop others to help accomplish what is in everyone’s best interest. Better people contributing more effectively create more productive and satisfying environments. These leaders are who need to drive the car.

Lead As You Learn
Individuals who lead the same they were taught typically create more problems than they solve. Old paradigms helped organizations, but marginalized people. Eventually, that approach resulted in marginalized organizations. Realize that an organization is a group working toward a specific goal. Groups can be missionaries, sports teams, or corporate executives. To facilitate progress, leaders must get teams to move forward their joint interests. As team members grow and evolve, the leaders must meet their changing needs and priorities. Promising a gold watch after 40 years is no longer enough.

Leadership is dynamic. Old teachings no longer apply to modern workplaces. The solution is to lead as you learn. Conversely, success is realized when you learn as you lead. So, when the question arises whether learning or leading comes first, the answer is yes! By actively serving people under their watch, leaders can keep their needs as the focal point. Because everyone’s needs evolve quicker than ever before, effective leadership demands hitting multiple moving targets. Simultaneously, leading and learning offers the only fighting chance to compete and win.

Lead For Results
Because organizations’ objectives include winning, scoring systems must be established. Scoreboards make it easy for a sports team to identify winning. Publicly held corporations have stock markets as intrinsic metrics to identify winners. But what about individuals in the bowels of these organization? Or, what about professionals like educators or research teams? Scorecards are effective management tools to facilitate measurement over specific time horizons. SMART (Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Time-based) goals work well where quantifying outcomes gets tricky. Nevertheless, always measure results.

Leaders must tell their teams explicitly how they perform. These performance targets pave the road in front of the organization. They reveal where the organization is heading. Consequently, direction provides what followers require to determine their individual objectives. Then, the leader can channel their desire to deliver the team’s needs for mutual success. The team can now identify their desired results.

All of this sounds great, but it only works when the group knows who is driving. Where is the authority? That knowledge is necessary for the team to position itself to respond to ongoing directions. As teams gain alignment, productivity improves. Next, results improve. Then, all contributors benefit. Such awareness only occurs with clear direction and progressive leadership. “Because I said so”, may meet the quarterly numbers. But, it ultimately leads to short tenures for leaders. The leader who drives the car such that others understand how and why has a significant advantage. That leader and the team now both enjoy power. That power promotes encouragement, motivation, preparation and results which then leads teams to their rewards.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

August 16, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Permission to Fail

Enfante Terrible

Legendary college football coach, Bear Bryant, quipped, “The first time you quit, it’s hard. The second time, it gets easier. The third time, you don’t even have to think about it.” Why would a competitor give up when the thrill of victory is possible? Most likely, he did not quit because the desire to win was missing. That quitter accepted permission to fail! The offer may or may not have been extended. Regardless, quitting is the final step toward accepting responsibility for not contributing. But, why would anyone withhold their talents and gifts from a noble cause? Why give up on the team?

Authority
Typically, an authority figure is in position to grant permission. A parent permits a teenager to take the family car. However, a contributor, like the previously mentioned athlete who chooses to quit, has abandoned protocol. Their needs supersede the needs of the group. Essentially, a pompous act of selfishness leads to quitting. The act represents a total disregard for authority.

More importantly, the quitter is being selfish with their gifts. All teammates and participants have skills and talents to contribute. The individual that hijacks authority by withholding their gifts essentially limits the entire group. Authority weakens and all members are penalized. The selfish contributor has passively extended permission to fail for the rest of the team. Quitting becomes an option. The weakest element has now assumed authority. The group suffers because of one member’s selfishness.

Victory
Nevertheless, permission to fail is not a decision to fail! Strength in numbers still holds possibilities. Furthermore, superior leadership can reverse the trend toward defeat. Most importantly, cooperation by the group has the ability to rally success. Permission is not a proclamation. Failure is not final. No one needs to replace the quitter. Everyone else jointly contributing more to the cause will more than compensate. Simply rally the troops.

Besides, victory results from a process, not just an event. Because a selfish individual usurps authority to the detriment of the team, that does not guarantee sustained poor performance. Teamwork genuinely uplifts the group’s capability. Subtracting the selfish individual who undermined morale opens the opportunity for superior performance for the survivors. Better performance results from the group seizing the opportunity for excellence. The projected permission to fail has become stripped of its power.

Permission to fail is a singular decision in a long-suffering process. Successfully pursuing victory requires endurance. In fact, failure is part of the longer process. According to Winston Churchill, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” So, iterate and improve. Jettisoning dead weight is actually part of the bigger process. Persevering together is too. Let the loser claim permission to fail. His self-centeredness will comfort him in his loneliness. Conversely, champions are built on comrades uplifting each other toward a common goal. Dismiss the losers’ authority over very little. Kick him out quickly. Then, together accept authority over very much, resulting in permission for success.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

 

August 9, 2017 Posted by | Better Community | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Outwork The Next Guy

running uphill

Two hikers walking in the woods come across a large bear playing with her cubs. Mama bear roars at the hikers! While both hikers try to remain calm, one hiker reaches into his bag and slowly pulls out his sneakers. Mama bear roars again while deciding whether to maul the intruders or just scare the people. The second hiker whispers, “You will never outrun that bear.” As the first hiker finishes tying his second shoe he quietly responds, “I don’t have to outrun the bear; I only need to outrun you!” The first hiker clearly understood what many competitors miss. He does not have to defeat all competitors, he just needs to outwork the next guy.

Be Prepared
“Fortune favors the prepared mind”, according to Louis Pasteur. Preparation comes before success alphabetically and procedurally. Who really packs tennis shoes to go hiking? Preparation is not a singular event. It is a habit; a mindset! Obsessive preparation halts progress. Everything is planned and nothing happens. But, purposefully planning to win works.

Effective preparation begins with the end in mind. Defining goals is a great start. Defining success is another essential element. If the plan is weight loss, then identify a target amount. If the goal is to earn a million dollars annually, then personal results dictate earning $500 per hour for a plan to work 40 hours per week and enjoy two weeks vacation. Setting goals, creating a plan, and executing that plan is essential to success. Unfortunately, performance does not occur in a vacuum. Achieving lofty goals demands outworking others.

Get Started
“A journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step.”, according to Lao Tzu. So, what’s the first step? In academic settings, students receive a syllabus which outlines class expectations and guidance for how grades are calculated. Reading the syllabus is a great way to get started toward earning an A. Competitive athletes start preparing for the next season after a brief period of rest and healing, by targeting specific skills to improve. At that performance level, the competition is particularly fierce, leaving little room for backsliding.

But, preparation is just the start. Next, repetition becomes the focus. Identifying areas of improvement is useless without dedicated skill development working toward progress. High performance results from preparing, starting, and executing. Each step closes the gap toward the goal. Measure progress. Keep score. Tenaciously work toward specific metrics to stay ahead of the competition. And, if progress is unsatisfactory, then reevaluate preparation and the plan. Confirm that the stated target is the desired outcome. Changing routines for better results is allowed.

Back to the hikers, packing sneakers in the bag was a great idea. However, if the hiker was grossly out of shape, escaping the bear is futile. Good preparation without dedication toward improvement leads to being mauled by a bear. Prepare, start, execute! Regarding results, consistency applies equally to collegiate athletes and second grade students; the same for social workers and CEOs. Most importantly, collaborating with the other guy that you outrun, elevates both of your performance. Iron sharpens iron. And, if you are both prepared, then get started, and execute with excellence, you both may outrun the bear!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

July 26, 2017 Posted by | Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Run To The Battle

David_and_Goliath

“He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.” This is undoubtedly the most idiotic advice ever offered!! Never, is the point to reward cowards. To the contrary, in combat or conflict, preparation and bravery are typically rewarded. In the epic battle of David and Goliath confidence and belief won the fight. Whether the battle is physical, emotional, or spiritual, strength begins within each individual fighter before engagement starts. What happens before the battle is equally important to the results, as what happens in it. So, what happens when someone runs away?

Feel the Fear
Upon entering a conflict, fear, apprehension, and anxiety are normal emotions. Once the clash starts, managing those emotions are very important for success. When the choice is fight or flight, flight does not end the skirmish. Once you begin running, there is a good chance you will never stop. Very little keeps the aggressor from chasing.

The alternative is to acknowledge the fear, embrace the fear, feel the fear. Labelling FEAR as False Expectation Appearing Real is comforting. In the heat of battle when the aggressor is displaying superior firepower, “True” takes over “False” in the acronym! Nevertheless, proper preparation and training before engaging in the battle offers certain advantages, particularly mental advantages. Feel the fear is accepting the reality. Preparing ahead to be aggressive and to plan contingencies creates a competitive edge. “Fortune favors the prepared mind!” is legitimate advice during conflicts!

Do It Anyway
Regardless of the fear, the time for battle arrives. Another comforting thought is that the other party may be fearful, as well. Nevertheless, a better tactic is to assume the role of aggressor. In boxing, this approach is known as “a puncher’s chance”. In academia, the term is “lucky guess”. In all cases taking action at the point of conflict provides an opportunity for victory. If nothing else, try!

Most importantly, prepare for the possibility of competition. Have a plan just in case. The element of surprise is a powerful ally. Take a chance. Above all, take action! When the threat becomes imminent, attack.” Do it anyway”, naturally follows “feel the fear”. Prior preparation facilitates the courage necessary for winning. Preparation also strengthens the element of surprise. Doing it anyway quickly seizes the advantage and takes the fight to the opponent!

Running to the battle means the threat is in front. It demonstrates assumed confidence. It leads others to feed off that confidence. It does not guarantee victory. Chances are the other guy can fight, too. But, when running to the battle, a sudden, surprising show of courage can be disorienting. Opportunity emerges to dictate terms of the conflict. As Edgar Albert Guest’s poem, “See It Through” says, “When you’re up against a trouble, Meet it squarely face to face; Lift your chin and set your shoulders, Plant your feet and take a brace.” Seize the moment. Take the fight to the competition. More than clichés, these tactics are engrained in winners. Claim the victory before the battle starts. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

July 18, 2017 Posted by | Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Overcommunicate

Dysfunction Overcommunicate workplace-bullying-1

How many relationships turn for the worse because someone else does not communicate enough? Organizationally, romantically, relationship dynamics work the same. A listener checks out, then the speaker overcompensates. The opposite of overcommunicate is not under-communicate. Overcommunication’s opposite is disinterest! Considering that Dr. Albert Mehrabian’s legendary research states that up to 93% of emotional communication is non-verbal, overcommunicating requires two parties to be over-exposed to language, tone, and visual cues in a conversation. Consequently, in the time for a listener to roll their eyes, communication has smashed into a roadblock. One gas-face, or daydream, during a discussion and communication suffers. Overcommunication? How about at the beginning paying attention explicitly and implicitly to what is said?

Lack of Respect
Across groups and organizations too often co-workers suffer from self-absorption. Typical they feel that they are under-challenged and definitely under-paid. They do not respect their role, or their superiors in too many instances. According to comedian George Carlin, “Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.” Purpose is an afterthought.

Overcommunication typically occurs after the lack of communication has created an impasse. Lack of respect precedes the lack of communication. Regardless of the relationship’s structure, people pay attention to people whom they respect. No respect leads to minimal communication. Lips move. The other party nods during pauses. The verbal affirmation, meaningful response, or insightful questions that are signs that communication transpired is missing. Consequently, understanding is absent. Communication does not occur and respect is doomed!

Lack of Care
Unwillingness to care creates a similar dysfunction. Communication fails, then overcommunication seeks to fill the gap. The classic story of the aloof teenager being scolded in high school illustrates this point. The teacher accurately, but poorly worded, berates the disengaged teenager for not paying attention. “Child, what is wrong with you? Are you ignorant, or apathetic?” Then, the teenager makes eye contact with the teacher long enough to respond: “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

Not caring has deeper ramifications than lack of respect. Without respect, acknowledgment can still occur. Not caring creates an emotional vacuum. Overcoming the emotional void that leads to overcommunication is nearly impossible. Overcommunication results from an overcompensating mechanism from a prior lack of communication. Without caring, an individual will not even fake a relationship. Consequently, communication fails to launch. Overcompensation to enforce the point results. Overcommunication starts. It does not matter.

When poor communication fundamentals invade any relationship’s or organization’s culture, accountability falters and performance erodes. The following office sign summarizes this phenomenon: “Helen Waite takes care of such problems. If you have a problem go to Hell-En Wait!” But, to save this environment, communication has to be prioritized at every level of interaction. Fundamentals, like listening, seeking clarification, and acknowledging common understanding, have to be practiced repeatedly and routinely. Communication starts with respect and accelerates with caring. So, when does overcommunicating intercede? It does not! Overcommunication is a compensating behavior. Get it right the first time. Listen and seek understanding! Then cooperate. That is how functional people operate.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

July 5, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

They’re Following Me

Following Me

Consequences for children are the dreadful results they endure following bad decisions. The consequences may be spending time in their room without any electronic devices. Or, they may have to endure hard labor like loading the dish washer, or scrubbing the bathroom. However, what happens when a naughty parent exercises bad decisions? Worse yet, what happens to the adult when no evidence exists of their destructive decisions. The guilt from the crime exists and it has places to hide. Or, does it?

New Location
Poor behavior can be masked, covered, cleaned, even pardoned. But, it does not truly go away until it is released. While a child has authority figures that are positioned to dispense punishment, the authority figure can often conveniently pardon themselves without pain. Grown-up problems can be secretly masked with addictive substances, or intellectually justified with twisted logic. They can be compartmentalized by blaming extraordinary pressures, or unfair expectations. Unfortunately, the new psychological location for the problem does not really move the problem. The problem’s location is not the issue. It follows the perpetrator everywhere. Resolving guilt associated with the issue is the only available relief. Grown-up problems cannot be sent to their rooms. And, they definitely cannot be swept under the rug.

New Attitude
Promises to change behaviors regularly fall short. Internal promises to do better is merely a larger, well-organized trunk to hide the problem unsuccessfully. Relief only comes with a new attitude. Furthermore, the new attitude needs new behaviors to accompany it. Many grown-up missteps are addressed with therapy, or accountability. A new attitude targeting specific priorities and decisions are the only path to true relief. Whether the attitude now highlights forgiveness, regret, or rehabilitation, the change must occur at the point of individual decision. Grown-up problems are often hard to forgive; they are often harder to forget. But, new attitudes leading to better behaviors demonstrate pathways to problem ownership. Problems ranging from blatant lying to infidelity to substance abuse accompany incredibly deep wounds. But, an improved attitude coinciding with life-affirming behaviors uproot destructive problems from a bad location to an open environment. Then, they can be exposed, addressed and ultimately defeated.

Moving grown-up issues to a new location does not achieve resolution. They follow you. Only addressing the problem from an emotional level leads to resolution. Even without a conscience weighing down the individual following harmful decisions, the resultant cover-up comes with significant gravity. Nevertheless, a changed mind, or a new attitude, creates a mindset where genuine reform can happen. Then, healing has a chance. Better choices and behaviors reflect the next step. The process requires much more than surviving the night without video games or a smart phone. But, the longevity and productivity associated with emotional health lasts much longer. A new attitude resulting in better behavior clearly sets the example for genuine rehabilitation, particularly when a child chooses to break family rules. Furthermore, the corrected attitude happens earlier, as opposed to the problem growing into the next generation.

 
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

May 24, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better World | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Escape From Your Comfort Orbit

Spacecraft in Orbit

It is sickening how professional speakers pathetically encourage people that they can have success by “moving beyond your comfort zone.” These commentators are entitled to their limited world view. But extraordinary achievement requires an extraterrestrial grasp of reality. “Escape Your Comfort Orbit” suggests a greater effort and much greater results! But, what is a “Comfort Orbit” and how can someone escape it?

Create A Stronger Force
Any zone, including a comfort zone, is a place marked by boundaries. Rules forbid leaving the perimeter. An orbit literally has boundaries that are defined by gravitational force that restricts escaping. Still, a zone reflects limited territory in the sense that the area is clearly defined. Beyond the boundaries anyone who escapes can be relatively easily retrieved. But, upon escaping an orbit, the stars await. Success requires more than resisting this force. The ambitious adventurer must completely escape it.

Beyond the orbit’s restriction, freedom and adventure reign. Orbital forces are strong. But, resistance is not futile. Exerting exceptional energy leads to breaking free. The first scientists to launch a rocket to the moon had to learn to use Earth’s rotation and gravitational forces to help generate enough speed to escape the Earth’s orbital pull. Extraordinary achievement demands unique and creative solutions. Escaping social, personal, and professional boundaries require solutions with similar imagination. Seek additional solutions to launch your dream if the first one fails. Escaping the orbit is hard work. It is worth it!

Soar Beyond Constraints
Upon breaking the gravitational pull, progress benefits from suddenly lighter burdens. The force that allowed you to escape, is now unburdened, and effortlessly propels toward greater distances. It is simple physics. With the same mindset that escaped greatness-inhibiting burdens, identify and attain new heights. The weight that held you back is no longer a factor. All acquired knowledge and experiences are free to empower a new trajectory.

Embrace the new trajectory. Without the reality of gravity’s tug, prior constraints no longer apply. Continue to soar. Education, background, past mistakes have less authority in the new frontier than most people realize. Open your mind to dream bigger. Gather your tools. Learn the knowledge. Acquire the skills. Achieve your greatest ambitions. Mediocrity, like gravitational pull, only matters in close proximity to familiar terrain. In unchartered space, prior constraints no longer apply.

ULTIMATELY, the freedom to reach greater achievements does not mean they can be recklessly pursued. Specifically, be WISE to use the tools to launch a significant escape:
Work – Make the effort with an expectation of results.
Iterate – Try, fail and try again.
Service – Help someone; you may even create an ally.
Experiment – You were stuck in the orbit based on your prior habits; Get new habits.
Upon escaping your comfort orbit, success is available. But first, get started. Then, be WISE. From that point, create your own limits to pursue!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

April 27, 2017 Posted by | Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Accountability To What?

Buffalo Stampede

A herd of majestic buffalo rumble across the prairie creating a deafening roar. The ground literally shakes as they hurry in loosely orchestrated chaos. Upon reaching a cliff each one races beyond the edge and crashes into the rocks below. The insanity of the thundering group is catastrophic. At least, the group reached their tragic demise together. Buffalo herds, like traditional organizational structure, are built on blind loyalty to the larger group. Their success assumes higher collective intelligence. Sometimes, groups are wrong. People get hurt. Who was in charge?

Improving Performance
Leaders are established to help groups achieve specific results. Considering that such groups are collections of individuals seeking a common purpose or goal, leadership provides a structure facilitating that achievement. Particularly with time-sensitive goals, everyone running faster is a reasonable tactic. But, what about the individual? Is there contribution valued? Or, are they expected to be a component of some unknown, or loosely defined, plan?

Optimally, a group that unites for a specific goal features contributing members. By accessing more individual input, the group potentially benefits from increased output. A good plan is necessary. Additionally, it requires a leader taking responsibility for execution. By getting individuals to improve their input with better contributions, leaders coordinate and enhance results. In the absence of a leader, too often one emerges who will accept responsibility and the glory. But, does this truly meet the members’ of the body individual needs? Who is accountable?

Changing Behavior
Actually, leadership’s challenge is meeting the individual needs of the members of the body. The old saying, “If you want to be a leader, grab the baton and get in front of the parade.”, is both witty and frightening. Declaring a leader in the absence of one, does not mean the group’s needs are prioritized nor met. It definitely does not mean that individuals’ needs are prioritized and met. Yes, the leadership box is checked. Now, the herd is prepared to be led off the cliff, instead of randomly charging off it.

New and improved behavior requires individual accountability. To get behavior to change, every member must find individual benefit. When real leadership is applied effectively, processes and opportunities exist to develop individuals within the group’s framework. The body does not need four well developed arms to maximize performance. It needs two functional arms and two functional legs to perform in accordance with the established design. Sustainable results happen when individual components develop in alignment with the group’s success.

Essentially, the leader needs to equip group members to develop fully. The group members need to be equipped to fulfil their individual goals. Sounds like a lot of selfishness in the name of the team. However, individual self-interest is not selfishness. And anyone who claims that it is, secretly is unhappy that they do not have the group’s blind loyalty. Improving performance is easy. Changing behavior is hard. All members must contribute toward accountability to align behaviors. Otherwise, the result is ineffective leaders who essentially join the group in running off the nearest cliff.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

April 20, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better Community | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prepare to Win, Perform to Win

allen-iverson practice

“We’re talking about practice. Not a game!… We’re talking about practice.” Hard core professional basketball fans still love quoting Allen Iverson’s practice rant from 2002. Iverson was making a point about the importance of performing even at the risk of minimizing preparation. Despite being an exceptionally unique and productive performer, history argues that he may have benefited from better practice habits. Unsurprisingly, in other competitive arenas, like business or entertainment, that truth regularly faces performers. Yes, we are talking about practice!

Preparation
Preparation for superior performance is not a singular act. Musicians practice regularly regardless of immediate performance obligations. Likewise, highly accomplished business professionals routinely identify opportunities for additional training in their areas of expertise. In fact, over-achieving professionals, will take time to train others in order to sharpen their own mastery. The preparation involved in their presentations promotes peak performance. The process clarifies their best thinking so that they can effectively provide maximum value to their audience and marketplace.

School children learn that practice makes perfect. Athletic coaches are fond of saying, “Perfect practice make perfect.” The truth about preparation regardless of the field, is that it is a necessary part of the process toward excellence. The more repetition endured in preparation, the better prepared the competitor will be to maximize their performance when the stakes are highest. Undoubtedly, talent provides several advantages. Yet, skill can be developed and improved. Preparing to perform is a skill that in turn enhances skill. This two-step tactic delivers superior results.

Performance
So, what happens when it is time to perform? And, how important is experience? Simply put, more experience produces better performance. When stakes are highest, no professional performer really wants to be searching for a solution. More practice, more preparation, and more learning activities eventually result in better equipped opportunities for superior performance. “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.”

Skills and knowledge necessary for peak performance have typically already been explored. Perhaps a coach is available to share their experience in managing potential situations. Perhaps the repetition of intentional and intense practice included multiple scenarios expected to occur in competition. Successful sales professionals consistently rehearse and refine their pitch so that they can effortlessly overcome objections and conquer competitors. “Fortune favors the prepared mind.”, according Louis Pasteur. Take the time to prepare in your area of expertise so that your knowledge and discipline are engaged to propel you to targeted success.

The benefit of practice is that the prepared mind secures the advantage. In any competitive endeavor, the competition most likely expects to win, also. The nature of competition demands outperforming an opponent. Practice provides the edge. Structured and disciplined practice provides a bigger edge. Regardless, of the field, winning through competition produces rewards. Generate more sales, score more points, raise more money, discover a cure faster, save more souls. Winning is not an event; it is a process. Target the results. Prepare to win. Perform to win. Embrace the rewards.

 
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

April 13, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Building Relationship Is For Them

 

Hall Crowd

Who doesn’t want to be loved? Some people seem to attract strangers who are willing to share their life stories. Whether they have an empathetic ear or a trusting face, these lucky listeners have people approach them with personal details. The best of these folks embrace their abundant relationship trait. Patience is often a common characteristic. An electric smile emerges as a sure sign in other cases. Nevertheless, recently two friends laughed over really good coffee about how they manage the unusual attraction of people who willingly over-share.

Music
Friend One is a musician who has a full dose of the relationship trait. As a working musician, he finds himself in assorted halls, theaters, and churches where he encounters diverse fans. Invariably, after a set, fans and listeners are inclined to pull up a chair to share. Friend One believes his highly evolved ear makes him a gifted listener.

He receives their input by listening intently. Too often, people do not really want someone to solve their problems; they want someone to listen to them. They equate listening with caring. Because Friend One listens well, his audience believes he cares well. Consequently, they share well and in turn, experience relationship. Friend One’s gift is establishing connectivity with people who need it. The music is simply a vehicle.

Lecture
Friend Two on the other hand, is a lecturer. Whether teaching, presenting, or consulting, he dispenses knowledge for listeners to apply. Establishing rapport is a skill he has developed over time. But in order to personalize information, he has to understand his audience in as much detail as possible. His primary skill is questioning.

Great lecturers do not necessarily create knowledge. But realize that knowledge is more readily available now than at any time in history. A great lecturer personalizes the knowledge. They present information in ways that multiple individuals in the audience want to receive it. Consequently, asking the right questions, while sharing information to ensure understanding, is an exceptionally valuable attribute. And, as the audience responds, either by individual or as a crowd, the connection becomes more firmly established. And, whether the bold learners address him during Q & A, or the extremely bold learners approach as he packs his materials to leave, Friend Two reinforces connection by exchanging more information individually.

Fundamentally, connecting with people happens at an emotional level. President Theodore Roosevelt stated, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” The conversation is just the foundation. The listening and connecting is where the value happens. Relationship is the foundation of human and commercial value. Would you buy your morning coffee from someone if you do not believe it is going to be good (or at least dark & hot)? Whether the power comes from listening or questioning, it is the personalized dialogue that expresses caring. And caring is the foundation of relationship.

So, in building relationship, how do you express caring? When are you most receptive to connecting?

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter & Beyond

April 5, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment