For Day 5, I have asked the teams to focus back on the daily practice and following-up with people. To experience breakthroughs, we need to be excellent listeners, and so I shared a few thoughts about listening as well. Here is a portion of the email I sent to Teams J and K:
Are you still doing your Daily Practice? I know it is easy to let others things get in the way, but I would encourage you to do the daily practice, even on the weekend. You can do a shortened version if you need to. For example:
Send two quick emails sharing your goal and asking for input.
Go to the library or bookstore and get a book in the topic of your goal. Read at least one chapter.
Do one other action - work on your plan, write 1000 words, brainstorm a pitch/slant for your business idea or project, get wickedly organized for a full goal assault on Monday AM.
The Theme for Day 5 is Follow-up!
Get back to the people you have spoken with or emailed (if you have not already). Perhaps there is someone you would like to invite for a cup of coffee and chat? Thank them and expand on what they have said/offered. Follow-up with people in the email group who have offered to be a sounding board - we all need sounding board, so use him or her!
Are there other loose ends? Perhaps from before the program? People you have been meaning to get back to? Folks you met at a meeting but have never contacted.
Today is about making another connection with people you already have in your business card file or email list. Share fully and openly what you are up to and express sincere interest in their endeavors.
Stephen Covey has said that in every exchange we have with someone, we have the opportunity to either add to or subtract from the relationship. Make sure that all your communication today, even with friends and family, adds to the relationship. Be a great listener and show a desire to be engaged.
Here is a bit about Active Listening:
If we want to make BIG things happen, we need to listen well. the catalyst for most breakthroughs comes from OUT THERE, so we don’t want to miss the it!
Active listening is a way of listening and responding that improves mutual understanding. Many people are poor listeners. They get distracted, talk too much, and think about what they are going to say next when they should be listening. They assume that they know what the other person is going to say and tune them out. It can be difficult to take the time and energy to listen actively, but the rewards are worth the effort.
You are listening actively when you:
Demonstrate a sincere desire to pay attention to the other person (instead of mentally practicing what you are going to say next).
Are committed to being coachable and open with the information being received from the other person.
Are interested in relating to the other person’s perspective and empathizing with their point of view.
Are non-critical or judgmental, but seek to understand the other person.
Are attentive and not distracted by other things in the environment.
Feedback, confirm, restate, or paraphrase information to ensure you have interpreted it as intended.
Reflect on what the other person is saying.
Synthesize the information, emotion, and feelings to improve understanding.
Clarify the information by asking questions and probing down into additional layers of information as needed.
Validate perceptions and assumptions.
Let the other person talk.
How does this apply to email? We often get distracted when reading email, just like when someone is talking to us (looking around, thinking about what you need to get done, singing along with the radio, etc). For example, how many of you can honestly say you are focusing on the message in this email right now? If you are not really reading and considering the ideas, either choose to listen better as you read or come back later when you can fully take in the information.
What about the other emails you have received in the last couple days - have you really considered the information that might be there waiting to make a difference for you?
How's it going Y and Z?