Rapport Leadership Reviews July 2013

Each month Rapport Leadership surveys its attendees. Here are some of the great things, Rapport Leadership graduates have to say

Rapport’s Leadership Breakthrough 1 helped me recognize areas where I block myself from succeeding not only in my professional career but in my personal life as well.  The   course gave me the tools and, more importantly, the motivation and enthusiasm   to break through those blocks so that I can be a better person, leader, son, husband and father.

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Rapport Leadership was the most  powerful and inspirational learning experience I have ever had.  I am sitting here three days after   graduating knowing that I will conquer all of my challenges and accomplish   all of my goal.  More importantly, I have a new sense of purpose in my personal life.  My family has always been a priority for me, but Leadership Breakthrough One taught me that saying they are a priority   and making them a priority are two different things.  I now have the confidence and conviction to live the life that I always hoped for but never gave myself the permission to   lead.

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This course was the best training   I have ever attended. It was a spiritual, emotional and motivating roller coaster ride. The course was truly a defining moment in my life, which will   never be forgotten. I will hold onto the life lessons learned, and proceed full speed ahead with passion and enthusiasm!

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 Rapport Leadership is life changing.  The training has given me the tools to unleash my passion for life.  Before entering the program, I hid behind the exterior walls of strength.  I now have the ability to show strength from within.  An amazing roller coaster!  A new journey has begun!  Thank you to the entire staff of Rapport Leadership!!

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I made the choice myself to attend  Rapport Leadership.  Looking at my   fellow colleagues who had previously completed Leadership Breakthrough 1, they all had something in   common; something I was seeking. I felt like I didn’t have control of my life   or my emotions.  I knew I had   weaknesses, but didn’t know how to deal with them, or better yet, eliminate   them.  Through Leadership Breakthrough 1, I was able to identify my weaknesses, and overcome them in a positive and supportive environment.  Upon completing the course, I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders.  I felt   like I was looking through a brand new, high definition perspective.  I discovered what was important to me, and I learned how to focus on those people and values. I can sum up what I took   from Rapport in 6 powerful words:

PASSION

FOCUS

ENTHUSIASM.

COURAGE

CONVICTION

HEART

These values define my core, and I thank Rapport Leadership every day for   reminding me of that!

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I have been through management and  leadership courses before and expected more of the same.  What I got was a life experience like no  other, an awakening and hunger to live life today.  I will be a better leader in life today thanks to Rapport Leadership.  I look   forward to continuing the process in LB2 and Power Communications.

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This is the most intense and   challenging experience I have ever been a part of.  One minute I am giving what I think is my all, the very next minute my trainer is telling me to do better, and surprisingly I do!

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 Everyone should experience this once in their lives.

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This was an incredible opportunity for me to acquire the tools to become the leader I want to become. I wish I had known about this course in my twenties it would have made the next 26   years much more productive.  This course is tough but worth the effort… you get exponential benefits from the   effort you put in.

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I was very pleased with the Leadership Breakthrough 1 training and what I personnally got out of it.  The processes and lessons learned are life changing ones driving me to be a better leader and person in all aspects of my life.

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Leadership Breakthrough One is a well-developed, quality program that creates awareness and growth. No matter what you’re level walking in the door, you will be more prepared to handle any of life’s challenges walking out.

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Rapport Leadership was definitely a life changing experience for me. I learned a lot about myself, including what my weaknesses and what my strengths are. I have already started applying what I have learned at work and I have a brand new outlook on life!

 

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The Rapport Leadership program was unbelievable. Although challenging, the learning modules transformed me and gave me heightened sense of confidence to lead no matter what the challenge.   I have come away from this experience more centered, stronger, and motivated   to change things in my life that have blocked me in being as successful in my   career.  I’ve learned to take time to do things that I enjoy and give joy and support to my coworkers/family. The team bonding experiences were phenomenal. Never before have I experienced the support and closeness of a truly connected team. This experience has opened up new doors for me and a willingness to explore more. I am filled with such   excitement to live every day to the fullest and help those around me achieve   the same success and happiness.

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Everyone that is in a position who needs to sharpen their communication skills should take the Power Communication class. It meant a lot to me I was able to reach into my inner   most feelings of caring and love which in combination with where I am spiritually in the world made it all worthwhile, took me to a higher plain.

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I have been in the management  field for over 28 years. I have attended several “leadership”  courses and have read many books on the subject. I have never came away from   a course with the empowerment and belief in myself, the way I did when I   graduated Rapport. I was looking for a balance between my work life and my   personal life when I went into the course. I came away with the empowerment   to create my own balance and so much more! My only wish at this point in my  life, is that I would have attended Rapport Leadership a long time ago. Thank  You for everything that you do!

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This training provides insight to the true Internal passions that drives us as individuals. It allows you to  look into your soul without judging you as a human being. You will become a   better person choosing more black then red in your professional and personal   life.

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This was the best challenging experience I have faced. It makes me excited and joyful!

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It’s a one of a kind experience.   And it worth going!

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I stepped into this training as   cynical and skeptical….But I jumped out with pride in myself and a new love   for myself that will change my family and I for the rest of our lives!!!

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The practical applications of the   course material applied to my personal and professional growth. I walked away   with a greater understanding of the Power Communication goals. It was high   energy, high impact and highly emotional. I find myself just a week later   consciously taking strides to incorporate the techniques and mindset to old   relationships as well as budding opportunities. Very powerful course!

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Amazing trainers and LTA’s!   Amazing staff! Amazing course!!!

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This experience sweep out all the garbage so the true me could come out and   play!!! I will get back with you on this one after a few weeks to make sure   that I have sustained and kept myself accountable for the agreements I made   with myself, my team and my trainers….All will be known in due time…. :)

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Rapport is an amazing program. LB2   took me farther then I thought I could go possible. I thought the same after   LB1 but again Rapport let me show myself that I have more!!!

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LB1 helped me on a personal level   to find my “happy” place again!    Sometimes we get too consumed in our daily lives, that we forget that   we are all human and that we all have the similar basic needs… life,   liberty and the pursuit of happiness in both our personal and professional   lives where we strive to reach a good balance.

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The Rapport training course has   opened my heart to unleash all of the barriers that was holding me back. I   feel reborn; I will carry forward all the teachings to be a leader, great communicator,   supportive husband and father to my children.

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I was presented with the   opportunity to realize that I have been holding myself back and I have made   the choice that I will hold myself accountable.

 

 

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I have completed Leadership   Breakthrough One as well as Power Communication.  Each class has been very rewarding for   myself and is helping me become a better leader and an all-around better   person.  I have read a countless number   of leadership books that I feel that have helped mold me as a leader.  When I was first introduced to Rapport   Leadership by my sponsor and listened to him speak about how the classes he   participated in had changed his life, I was skeptical on what it could do for   me.  I must say that I am glad that I   decided to trust his opinion and get involved.  Prior to Rapport, I have NEVER experienced   the feelings I felt during and after each class so far.  The information that I have learned and   re-learned about myself has helped change my life for the better.  I would and do encourage the people in my   circle of influence to take the time to experience the joy that awaits them   in their life’s journey.  Thank you for   ALL of your support in now being a part of my life’s journey!

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I was a little skeptical on the   outcome of this course even though many of my coworkers have changed their   approach in life after attending these courses. I was blown away by the   effectiveness of the methods used and very satisfied with the outcome. I am   hopeful I will be able to attend further training.

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Totally AWESOME Experience that   came at the right time for me. It will be life changing for me. A true investment in myself. Everyone should experience it.

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 I consider myself a confident,   driven, and social person.  I present   myself well.  I have held various   leadership positions in school, church, scouting, employment, and even   political circles.  I have been   recognized throughout my life as a leader and always seen myself as   such.  In light of all this, I have   come to understand myself, others around me, and the role of leadership   differently since attending the Rapport Leadership Breakthrough 1 training.

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I can see now that, though I have “given my all” in many ways   throughout my life, I have also limited myself by what I believed I was   capable of.  I recognized during the   training that I have had an underlying fear of rejection which revealed   itself in a variety of ways over the years. There are many more lessons that   I learned about myself, and really came to understand during the course.  The most important thing to me is that I   have found the courage and determination to make the commitment for myself to   change.

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Going into the course, I had the perception that I was about to enter a   boot-camp where I would essentially be “forced” to conform to a   certain mindset.  In the end, I   recognize that I have been empowered, given the tools and the knowledge that   will give me the opportunity to improve and succeed.  Ultimately, I make the decision where my   “ceiling” is, or whether to break through that ceiling and continue   to push my limits.  I CHOOSE to push   the limit!!!

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My mentor nominated me for LB#1,   and I’d have to say it was the best favor he ever did for me!  After 25 years of military experience, this   experience went far beyond the “canned” task-based leadership training   that I (and scores of others) have grown bored with.  This training helped me to refocus and   re-engage!!  I’m pumped!!  It’s time to start helping people get out   of their own way!

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It was a life changing experience.   I got confidence, I got vision and now after this weekend I can see better   opportunities in my present and in my future.

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My course was LB-1. I have been in   my profession for over 30 years and been a supervisor for 15 years, I have   been with my current company for just over 1 year and they send all there   managers to JFDI. In business I have been beat down by fear of failure, fear   of being rejected so in turn I did what I know to do. Just do good enough. It   seems I hardly made a mistake, I did not even know until now. I know now that   I was not pushing myself to 100%, I was in my comfort zone. With this course   I learned it is ok to make a mistake because when I do I am pushing myself to   be 100%, I also learned that I did not have faith in my crew by not letting   them have responsibility and be accountable in their work and that was not   fair to them. I was not giving them a chance to grow with the company and   with myself. With my wall being brought down it has made me a better   listener. I also have more pride, more enthusiasm. And I am more polite. I   have really found what I have also said, treat people the way you would like   to be treated, I really know the meaning now. This is the best thing that has   ever happen to me. My family can even see the change and my blood pressure   has even gone down. I feel outstanding. I am strong. I am a warrior. I will overcome.   I am a leader

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Rapport Leadership was amazing   course or perhaps I should say roller coaster ride. I will only use empowerment   words in my vocabulary. There is no more trying I either do or I do not. I   learned the importance of really listening to others. To be honest I’m so   exhausted that I’m still processing all the information that I was given in   the last three days.

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Rapport enabled me to improve my   self-esteem and self-worth.  It   increased my confidence level.  I have   a new appreciation for not judging people.    I realized every day is a choice to do something positive for myself,   my work and my family.

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The experience I will cherish for   a Lifetime! There is no other training out there such as this one.  No matter what, if you give of yourself,   you will advance to the next level in leadership both personally and   professionally.  Highly recommend for   those individuals who want to be better at life!

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Before I attended LB1, I thought I   was doing pretty well. I was already in “grow mode” wanting to dig   and discover and change, to be better for my family, my friends, and my   staff. But LB1 accelerated my process and I was thrilled! I realized some   things I did not know about myself, things I can start to work through. I   will also be applying what I know now to actual work situations and outside   of work situations. I loved each person in my group too…friends for life!

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Rapport Leadership amazed me. They   deliver a powerful series of modules that opened my eyes and allowed me to   face my fears and look in the mirror. I am forever grateful for the entire   staff taking time out of their lives to help better ours. This course was   about me making the change, not them changing me.

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Rapport is an amazing program that   helped me to better understand and acknowledge some of my personal walls and   barriers that I allow (or allowed) to prevent me from truly connecting with   people around me and those who work for me. By discovering these   “walls” I have now started to work through them and this process is   not only making me a better leader for my team but a better friend and   father.  I recommend this program to   everyone but as yet am not ready to nominate…

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The course was LIFECHANGING both   professionally and in my personal life.     Hit the ground running the minute I stepped off the coach after the   training.   Family noticed a difference   in my approach and handling of situations and when I walked into work Monday   morning not only did several team members noticed a content look on my face   but so do upper management.

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I plan on attending additional RAPPORT courses and wish to be allowed to be   On Team Coach.

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Rapport Leadership Breakthrough   One was the best training I’ve ever attended. Breakthrough One was the most   difficult training I’ve ever attended. Three words come to my mind when   reflecting on my experience: Inspiring, Challenging, and Life Changing!!!

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This training was a gift from God and I will never forget the training. I   will always remember to “Just Focus and Do It!”

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ENTHUSIASM, PASSION, AND DEDICATION will be engrained within my heart, mind,   body, and soul forever!

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Two words, Simply Amazing!  It was a great leadership class to get you   over the top professionally and personally.

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Rapport was the single greatest   accomplishment of my life.

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The training was amazing! It makes   you dig down deep and find your inner self and unleashes it!

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It was a very rewarding course for   me.  I learned how important is the   support of a team as well as the importance of letting loose, not be afraid,   be confident and most important, and be passionate.

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The power of teamwork, realizing   how much you can do when you are focused!

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I did not know what it meant to be   a part of a focused, encouraging, enthusiastic team until I made it through LB1.   Thanks Team 2516! We’re hungry, we’re mean, and we’re 2516! Jump on it!

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Learned my style of communication.   How to talk and act to the three different styles. Helped Steph & I   understand each other better. Now we can work together better & not get   mad at each other, we were just on vacation. Now we laugh about it.

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After going through Leadership   Breakthrough One and Two and now Power Communication, I was able to find my   true self deep inside, bring it out, be proud of who I was and let the world   have the best of me. I was able to breakthrough my hurts, my frustrations and   my walls to move toward the person I wanted and knew I could be. I have   learned so much about myself throughout this journey; where I want to go, who   I want to be and what I want to do and I wouldn’t have the focus or desire,   to achieve these goals, without Rapport. I am a girl on fire, to be the best   me, to give back to others, to accomplish the dreams I have and be a strong,   supportive leader for my family, my friends and my company. There is no more   trying, only DOING!

Leading yourself …

conga_line

The first step in articulating your leadership philosophy is determining how you’ll lead yourself. Nobody is going to follow you if you don’t know where you’re going (except out of curiosity).

This aspect of leadership is tricky. It requires introspection and a frank, honest conversation with yourself to understand where you’re headed and how you want to get there.

To start that discussion, there are four areas you must explore:

1. Finding your internal motivation

Why do you get out of bed every morning (alarm clocks, crying kids, or an overfull bladder are not  acceptable answers here)? Why are you excited to drive to the office? The answers to these two questions can help you articulate a leadership maxim.

2. Charting your path

What are your professional goals? What will your epitaph say? Grim, I know. But at the end of it all when you become worm food, what will you want the summation of your career to be?

Allow me to assist you in developing your maxim on this one Mad Libs style. Simply fill in the blanks for this sentence: “(Your name) stood for (BLANK) and we’ll never forget (BLANK) about him/her.” Imagine someone is reading that statement as your eulogy. Once you’ve reflected on that and filled it in, you have a good start on a maxim for this point.

3. Stating how you’ll move down your path

We’re human. We make mistakes. Having guardrails on the path of our lives helps keep us on track. Sure, we’ll run into those guardrails occasionally (and sometimes find ourselves crashing through them and ending up in the ravine on the side of the road). The important thing is to put those guardrails in place and adhere to them as much as we’re able.

4. Inspiring yourself

Life will knock you down. It’ll kick you in the teeth. It’ll spit on you and call you names. The big question is how will you pick yourself back up, dust yourself off, and get back in the fight?

As a leader, your team is looking to you in these situations. There won’t always be someone there to lift you back up. You sometimes have to find that inspiration within. This maxim is all about creating an anchor phrase for yourself that you can use to reignite the fire in your belly.

My maxim on this comes from Ernest Hemingway: “Man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” Every time I’ve had the wind knocked out of my sails, I find myself referring to that quote to remind myself that I don’t stop fighting and I need to get back up. What phrase, quote, or image will you use as your anchor?

That summarizes the leading yourself aspect of leadership. Is it holistic? No. Is it a great way to start articulating your leadership philosophy? Absolutely!

Disengaged … Disconnected … Unaware

disengaged-employee1

Leading a business in today’s economy takes more than just forecasting numbers, budgeting, setting goals and developing a long-range plan. It requires an understanding of the significance and integrity of the business and the people who make up the organization. The current economic climate will test the stability of many companies more than ever before. Businesses that understand the value of all the people it interfaces with are the most successful. Businesses that allow fear to dictate decisions are disengaged, disconnected and unaware, and are more susceptible to failure.

Disengaged – When a business is disengaged it is disconnected from its customers, clients and vendors. It is essential that business leaders are proactive in reaching out to client, customer and vendor bases, and that they establish a mutually beneficial partnership to see what can be done to help each other weather any challenges. Personal communication, feedback, support and guidance are critical when fostering long-term relationships with businesses and establishing trust.

Disconnected – A business operating in survival mode can become disconnected from its employees. It is important more now than ever before to connect with the members of the team. Solicit honest feedback and in return be direct with them on where the company stands and where it is headed in the future. An open dialogue of honest communication creates trust in the workplace and allows employees to feel supported and remain focused on their jobs and the company’s future success.

Unaware – A business will miss out on opportunities when it is operating from fear and is unaware of new possibilities when they present themselves. The reality of today’s economy is that some businesses will be unable to weather the storm and only the strong will emerge. Businesses that take this opportunity to focus on customer service and connect with their employees will not only survive, they have the opportunity to dominate in their industries.

At Rapport Leadership International, one of our favorite quotes about leadership came from John Quincy Adams. He said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” When he said this quote, John Quincy Adams was speaking of the types of leaders who are engaged, connected and aware and lead from integrity. And these are leaders who have a complete understanding of the significance of their business and value the people.

Power(ful) communication …

 Conversation

“It is the providence of wisdom to speak. It is the privilege of wisdom to listen” Oliver Wendell Holmes

Communication is commonly defined as, “The imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.”

 The word “communicate” is very much like the word “best.” Both words are both tossed around as if we know what they actually mean. While “best” carries a connotation of excellence or superiority, the reality is that the meaning varies widely based on the situation and the purveyor of the term. So it is also with the word “communicate”.

When we establish the meaning of leadership and examine its essence, we will conclude with the knowledge that leadership is communication. The application of every recognized leadership skill known to man is totally worthless without the ability to effectively communicate.

Effective leadership is effective communication. The potential to effectively communicate is predicated on my ability (or inability) to listen effectively. As a leader, I deem that I have a responsibility to hear the words being directed at me and to listen to what is being said.

A study involving over 8,000 people employed in businesses, hospitals, universities, military and government agencies found that virtually all of the respondents believed that they communicate as effectively as or even more effectively than their co-workers. Research, on the other hand, shows that the average person only listens with about 25% efficiency.

The most sobering part of this information is that in a 10 minute conversation with a boss, colleague, customer, spouse, or child, most people only listen to about 2 ½ minutes of what is being said!

While most people agree that listening effectively is a very important skill, most people do not feel a strong need to improve their own listening skill levels.

We send messages in a variety of ways other than with the words we use. (Our words only account for 7% of our overall communication.) Factors like voice tone, voice inflection, facial expressions, and body language convey more of the message than the words we actually use. We must look, listen, and feel for the meanings beyond the words.

Every communication is vulnerable to misunderstanding and misinterpretation and is challenging when we are aware of and can avail ourselves of all the tools we use in communicating with each other. The possibility of a lack of understanding presents itself even more as we increasingly rely on e-mailing and texting.

Effective listening is actively absorbing the information given to us by a speaker, showing that we are listening and interested and providing feedback to the speaker so that he or she knows the message has been received. In Rapport Leadership’s Power Communication course, many of the skill sets involved in becoming an effective listener are both explained and practiced.

 Since we think about six times faster than we speak, our brains have immeasurable capacity to do other things while we are engaged in a conversation. The vast majority of people fill this capacity with planning other tasks, thinking other thoughts, or formulating a response to the small portion of the conversation we actually choose to hear.

Effective listening requires practice at “active listening” techniques. This is where you make a conscious decision to hear the words another person is saying and listen to the entire message being sent.

“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” Peter Drucker

The most used and least effective style of listening is the act of listening to respond. Listening to respond happens when we are more interested in promoting our own point of view than in understanding or exploring someone else’s view. We either listen for openings to speak or for flaws or weak points we can attack. As we pretend to pay attention, we are impatiently waiting or an opening, or internally formulating our rebuttal and planning our eloquent or devastating comeback so that we may turn the topic of conversation toward us and/or destroy the other’s point of view and make us the victor.

The least used and most effective style of listening is the act of listening to understand. Listening to understand means we are genuinely interested in understanding what the other person is thinking, feeling, wanting, or what the entire message means.

•  When we are listening to understand, we want to give the speaker our undivided attention and acknowledge the message

•  We are conscious, aware, and we recognize that what is not being said also speaks loudly.

• We want to watch the person’s eyes for clues to both their communication style and the unspoken meanings.

• The better we are at matching and modeling someone’s primary neuro-linguistic modality, the better opportunity we have of establishing effective communication.

• We must put aside distracting thoughts and stay focused on the entire message the speaker is sending.

• We must avoid being distracted by environmental factors. (i.e. the computer screen, the TV, or other employees or activities)

• We must “listen” to the speaker’s body language. (50% of all communication is contained in our body language).

We can show someone we are listening and acknowledge the message in a variety of ways:

• We can use our own body language and gestures to convey our attention. (We can make sure our posture is open and inviting.)

• We can nod occasionally. (An affirmative nod indicates acceptance, agreement, or understanding, and it encourages the speaker to continue.)

• We can use facial expressions. (To relay understanding, concern, confusion, acceptance, etc.)

• We can encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal comments like “yes” or “uh-huh.”

Listening to understand also requires the ability to provide feedback. Feedback is the action portion of Active Listening. Our personal perceptions filter information based on our assumptions, judgments, experiences, and belief systems. As an effective listener, our role is to clarify understanding by our willingness to actively provide feedback:

• We can paraphrase the speakers’ words back to them (What I hear you saying is…” “Sounds like you said.”); these responses give the speaker a great opportunity to acknowledge your understanding or correct any misconceptions.

• We can ask questions to clarify points or explain meaning. (“What did you mean when you said…?” or “Is this what you mean?”)

As a general rule, avoid telling your own stories or giving advice. (This suggestion comes back to the speaker’s intent for the communication.) All too often we will listen intently to what someone has to say and then begin to tell our story with the intent of acknowledging their experience with a similar situation or to indicate “You’re not alone.” Too often, telling our own story runs the risk of turning a conversation away from the speaker and gives the impression of “I’ve got one up” on the speaker.

One of the tools we practice in Rapport’s Power Communication course is to raise someone’s awareness of when s/he is telling a story by having other team members say the word “story” as soon as someone heads down that path. The more aware we are of our own actions, the more opportunity we have to change our behaviors for the positive.

Unsolicited advice is also something to avoid as an effective listener. If no advice is solicited, then giving it is quite presumptuous and will actually undermine the opportunity to have effective communication. When someone is telling me about a problem s/he is having, I can barely resist the urge to tell him/her what they get to do to fix the problem. (Everybody likes being told what to do, right?) Once I have stopped listening and have started giving my advice, I dominate the conversation. My wife has become my greatest ally in helping me change this behavior. Her willingness to remind me when this behavior appears has really helped raise my awareness of how many times it happens! As I prompt myself to concentrate on what someone has said and to listen for the true meaning of their communication, I have the opportunity to ask questions like “Would you like my opinion?” or “Would you like some advice? It is amazing when I take the time to offer help how few people are willing to take it!

It takes a great deal of concentration and determination to become an active listener. Old habits are hard to break, and basic human nature is to fall back into our old behaviors and comfort zones relatively quickly. We must be deliberate with our listening skills and remind ourselves constantly that the goal is to truly hear the whole message someone is conveying. Listening to understand will demonstrate a genuine care and concern for those around you. It will improve relationships and trust levels, and it will ensure there is less opportunity for miscommunication. Effective communication skills will allow you to thrive rather than survive in every area of your life.

Dream a little dream of me …

dreams

When you are facing uncertainty or indecision – it is important to have a plan for our lives: to keep the dream and to look to the future.

Too often when we are faced with challenges we become indecisive; we are not able to envision where we will be tomorrow, let alone five or ten years from now. We end up sitting back, becoming complacent, and thinking that someone else will “fix” everything that is going wrong.

Yet, we have the choice to change that thought process so we may become part of the solution. We can begin to focus and dream again about all the possibilities.

In her book, The Soul of Money, Lynne Twist states it very eloquently: “A dream is a catalyst for change, first in the dreamer, and again and again in the dream shared.” With that thought, why wouldn’t we dream, why wouldn’t we look forward to the future, planning our lives to be what we want them to be? Studies show that successful people remember to dream, to make plans, and to set clear goals with a plan to achieve them.

As adults we get often get to the point where we stop dreaming or we may even forget how to dream. We become disappointed by life experiences that weren’t successful and we decide we aren’t going to dream about what could be anymore. We end up lowering the bar for ourselves and for our lives; we don’t know what we want, so what we get in return is nothing. We find ourselves in a rut, walking that safe line until the day we die.

One of the big objectives students get to work on in Rapport’s Power Communication and Life Mastery courses is identifying exactly what they want. A big “aha” moment for students of these course is when I share the insight that “either you will create your life or someone else will create it for you.” Why would I want someone else to dream for me and create the life I choose to live? I want to be the dreamer and the creator of my life; I want to choose the matters that are important to me and the people I want to be in my life.

The power of getting back in touch with our dreams is stated clearly by John C. Maxwell in his book, Put Your Dream to the Test. He offers this definition: “a dream is an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will, and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it.” When I read that definition I thought to myself, I know this! Whenever I take the time to dream and create the life I want now and in the future, everything just falls into place. I do create the life I choose to live. That is when I get passionate and enthusiastic about where I am in my life, regardless of what is going on around me.

In Rapport’s Leadership Breakthrough One course, the “3 Questions of a Leader” are covered and participants are encouraged to look at these questions often. The first question is “Where am I now?” It is essential that we are conscious, that we pay attention to where we are right now in all areas of our lives. Am I living all the areas of my life the way I want to, or are there elements being left out. Without answering this question, we can’t, or won’t, be able to answer the next two questions. The second question, “Where am I going?” involves having the opportunity to dream and create, waving that magic wand and knowing what we want our ultimate lifestyle to be. This focus gives us a chance to make sure we address all areas of our lives and that our lives are balanced. Once we know what our dreams are and what our ultimate desired lifestyle is, we then move to the final question. That question, “What will it take to get there and how long?” directs us to create the action plan, the specific steps we will take to bring our dreams to life, to live them, and to create the future we want. Rapport Leadership’s Life Mastery gives you the opportunity to spend time answering all these questions.

As Wayne Dyer states in his book, The Power of Intention, “Your imagination creates the inner picture that allows you to participate in the act of creation.” Imagine spending two and a half days answering these three questions, dreaming, and creating your ultimate lifestyle.

When I make the choice to get conscious in my daily life, to be in the now moment, this is when I make the choice to move forward and begin taking responsibility and saying “Yes, I am the one who created that.” This is when my passion and enthusiasm for my life allows me to create my path, to create my plan, and to be excited about looking to the future. In the words of Sir Laurence Olivier in an excerpt from the play, Time, “If you truly want to change your world, my friends, you must change your thinking.”

Change your thinking! What possibilities are waiting out there for all of us right now? What action will you take to make them happen?

10 Practices for Change and Success …

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Creating change may entail learning a new habit or skill. Yet simply learning something new generally does not correlate to a change in behavior or performance. In its training, Rapport Leadership applies proven practices for creating true performance change. Below are ten practices you can incorporate into your plan of action. Consistently applying these practices will result in immediate and ongoing impacts on your behavior and help you achieve successes.

1. Self Awareness

Learning begins when you become aware of your own strengths, opportunities for growth and self-limiting behaviors. In its training Rapport Leadership provides the opportunity for you to “look in the mirror” and assess your performance. Start by taking a one hundred percent honest look at yourself and assess your performance. Ask yourself, “How am I doing?” and “What will I do differently?” You must be self-aware in order to make meaningful and lasting changes.

2. Practice and Experience

Just as in sports, athletes practice skills and techniques in order to improve performance. Through practice and experience, performance is enhanced and continues to improve over time. Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Sometimes getting started may be the hardest part and once you get started, keep moving in a forward direction letting your experience enhance your performance and propel you toward your goal.

3. Feedback

Receiving feedback will provide insight into your behavior. Feedback will empower you and move you forward to your next level of performance. Great coaches in sports, business, and training have the power to unleash the potential of individuals by seeing traits or behaviors they may not see for themselves. It is not enough to rely on your own perspective. Assign an accountability partner to keep you motivated, help you stay on track, and provide you with honest feedback.

4. Motivation

The key to motivation is not necessarily to motivate someone, rather it is to allow him/her to discover, uncover and tap into his or her own internal motivations. It is necessary to find out what is important to you in order to achieve your goals.

5. Anchors

Anchors are words, phrases or movements used a prompt to recall a behavior, an emotion or past experience. At Rapport Leadership, anchors such as “Just Focus and Do It (JFDI)” are used so that after training, participants have quick easy ways to recall and apply specific leadership competencies. Use an anchor that will help keep you focused and motivated.

6. Focus on What You Have

In a CNBC television interview, actress Suzanne Somers was asked about the sequential successes of her books, made-for-TV movies, and array of wellness products. Her reply was that she shifted her focus from her what she did not have to what she did have. Many successful leaders achieved success by focusing on what they had and how they could leverage it—whether it was a certain talent, a particular type of knowledge or people within their circle of influence.

7. Believe in Yourself

Napoleon Hill, author of the classic Think and Grow Rich, said “You can be anything you want to be, if only you believe with sufficient conviction and act in accordance with your faith; for whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” Musicians, scientists, inventors and countless others have attributed their successes to the consistent application of this principle.

8. Work with a Coach

We know that successful leaders put their goals in writing. Another powerful strategy for achieving success is to participate in a coaching program. This strategy has been called a secret of the successful because personal or executive coaching will help you clarify your strengths and purpose; create action steps for achieving your goals; and keep you focused, to name a few benefits. Rapport Leadership provides coaching to its course graduates.

9. Acknowledge Your Successes

In his book The Success Principles, Jack Canfield references a management study which revealed that 46% of employees left their company because they felt unappreciated and 88% said they did not receive acknowledgement for the work they did. Like these employees, it is important for you to recognize your successes, no matter the scope or scale. Without acknowledging your successes and appreciating your strengths you will find a reason for not sticking with your plan.

10. Just Focus and Do It

According to Jack Canfield, “winners take action.” Action is what makes the difference between those who achieve success and those who do not. By taking steps toward achieving success, you will learn by doing; you will get feedback that will empower you to move forward; people around you will recognize that you are serious about your plans—you have decided to stop talking and start doing. Once you begin to take action you will realize you are no longer putting off your plans, you are actually doing it. JFDI!

Important Takeaways

Achieving success involves creating behavior change, staying focused on your successes, and taking action. Success also involves focusing on what you have instead of what you do not have.

Consider hiring a coach to help you determine your goals, visions, and action steps. In today’s competitive world a coach is as indispensable to you as he/she is to an athlete.  

Remember to always believe in yourself because whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it will achieve!

 

Sources:

Canfield, Jack. The Success Principles

Conversations with Michael Eisner, CNBC

Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich

5 Strategies for Thriving in Changing Times

Beautiful young woman jumping on  a green meadow with a colored tissue

Today’s leaders know a changing economy means taking action that moves them from surviving to thriving. Here are a few steps you can implement to start thriving now.

1. Write Your Own Rules for a Rebound.

That’s according to a Fortune Magazine article that asks, “When will the business climate improve? That’s exactly the wrong question to be asking. Top CEOs are ditching the waiting game and writing their own rules for a rebound.” These CEOs have decided that instead of waiting for normal to return, they will run their businesses as if “this is the new normal.”

2. Be a Leader, Not Just a Manager.

This lesson holds true during any business climate and more so in a challenging one. Rapport Leadership International graduates know being a leader is about much more than possessing management skills, it is about focusing on people, unleashing others’ potential, being innovative, and inspiring trust to create profitable outcomes for your company.

3. Soar Like an Eagle.

In a tough economy, it is easy to pressure your team into doing better or blaming them for not working hard enough to impact the bottom line. Leaders who swoop in, make noise, and dump negativity on their employees and then leave, are like seagulls. Leaders who provide support, listen to feedback, and empower their teams to take charge, soar above the competition like eagles.

4. Become the CEO of what you do.

Regardless of your title in a company, you are the leader of what you do. Taking complete ownership of your role as if you were the CEO of sales, marketing, or human resources causes you to look deeper for ways to earn revenue, cut costs, or make systems and processes more efficient.

5. Be at Cause, not in effect.

The difference between being at cause versus being in effect as a leader is simple. When you worry, are being a victim, are angry, or resentful you are in effect. When you are willing to be responsible, joyful, at peace, or be free, you are living at cause.

By implementing these strategies and remembering that, “It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do with it,” you will begin to shift your attitude from surviving in a challenging climate to thriving in changing times.

Start Thriving!