Interpersonal Communication

Managers vs. Leaders

What’s the primary difference between managers and leaders? When leaders lose their authority, they retain their influence.

I worked at a company a few years back where I had five different bosses in five years. Two of these bosses were also my friends and rank as two of the best bosses I’ve ever had. Their secret? They were leaders not managers. Due to changes in upper management, both became individual contributors, but they still were able to motivate, inspire and influence those of us that used to work for them.

Communication Lessons from The Brady Bunch

Yesterday, I watched an episode of the Brady Bunch where Peter (the middle boy) saves a young girl from a collapsing shelf in a toy store. Now what wisdom could I have possibly found from that? Well, I noticed how interpersonal communication has changed drastically since the 1970’s.

Consider this:

  1. Alice, the maid (not “au pair”) that lives with the family refers to Mike and Carol as “Mr. & Mrs. Brady”.
  2. Mike, an experienced architect and father of six, calls his boss “Mr. Phillips.”
  3. Not only do the kids, but the parents and Alice address almost every adult they come into contact with (excluding relatives) formally (ex: Mr. Driscoll).

Getting to Yes: The Power of Persistence.

I received a call the other day from a fellow Bentley College alum. He was starting out as a financial advisor and was calling alums to see if they were interested in meeting with him so he could explain his services.

This isn’t the first time I’ve received calls from a fellow alum that was selling financial services, so I suspect someone connected with the school is advising these people. And whoever is advising them is advising them well, because they all understand how to be persistent when talking to a potential client. They won’t let you go (unless you hang up on them) until they get a “yes” from you.

How to master a skill quickly

In two simple words, “Teach it!” Reading something is nice, writing down notes to help you remember key points is better, but if you really want to commit what you’ve learned to memory, share it with someone else.

Taking notes reinforces what you’ve learned, especially if you think further about the subject or idea while doing so. But unless you decide to research the subject in more depth, you’ll only have limited knowledge.

That’s why if you really want to understand a subject, you need to teach it to at least one other person. Consider the following points:

Be Nice to EVERYONE

It always baffles me to see someone unnecessarily treating someone else bad. Sure, people sometimes really do deserve it, but what I’m talking about is when people let their ego take over.

Take this example:

A mid-level manager at a medium-sized company (700 employees) asks his MIS department to upgrade his word processor on his laptop. An hour later, an intern drops off the laptop, but the spreadsheet was updated instead. The manager, a perfectionist and a hot head, blasts the intern: “Can’t you read! The request clearly states to upgrade the word processor!”

Great networking site

I came across an interesting blog about business networking called BusinessNetworkingAdvice.com. The blog author, Josh Hinds, has interviewed several people to get their thoughts on Business Networking so it’s a good read. Josh asks two questions:

1. How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it is important?
2. Can you share a few ideas that someone could put into practice that would help them to improve their business networking skills?

The answers vary but some key elements include:

  • Networking is more than just trying to see what you can get from someone else.

The difference between clients and customers

There’s a great book by Jay Abraham called Getting Everything you can out of all you’ve got. Jay is a marketing expert and one of the things he discusses is how customers should be referred to as clients. This is because he believes that Customers are people who buy from you but clients are people that you provide some guidance to or who are under your protection.

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