Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Two ears and one mouth ....

(This is a re-release post from this blog .....TferThomas, from January 2009, and for me, both personally and professionally, remains very relevant today).
Recently this old saying has surfaced in a number of conversations and presentations that I have been privileged to be a part of. I thought I should share my thoughts here, and share the love of this age old saying.
You have two ears and one mouth, and that's the proportion you should use them.
How many times in the past have you been in an important meeting, and when concluded, only to find that you appear to have missed some key, critical information? It has certainly happened to me on a number of occasions. Until, that is, someone shared the love of this old saying to me.
If you can actually resist opening your mouth, and therefore not talk, but more importantly, concentrate on what the other party is discussing, the chances of you absorbing what they are trying to say (whether directly, or indirectly) increases exponentially... to your favour.
And this is the point, by gaining the direct and indirect insights (ie. the world according to the other party), you are leaps and bounds of someone else (perhaps your competitor).
But this doesn't just apply to business dealings.... again, how many times have you had a conversation with your loved one, and later, could not recall what he / she was really drilling down to from within the conversation? Its happened to us all, and will continue to do so, if you don't zip it.
Of course, verbal acknowledgments do assist the non verbal signs, confirming the simple fact you are listening, but that's just the point.... two ears and one mouth.
So the next time you are sitting with someone (business or pleasure), give it a go, and let me know what the outcomes were.
My thoughts,

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What my Beagle can teach me about recruitment

So it is now almost the end of my 5th week in my new career path as a Recruitment Consultant with a niche recruitment consultancy, Electus Recruitment, and it got me thinking as to what my Beagle Rahi can teach me about recruitment. After all, he has given me some valuable lessons around networking (see: What my Beagle can teach me about networking), so let's see what the little fellow with the big nose and floppy ears has to add here.
Greet (happy to talk): no matter what type of day you're having (busy, frustrating, problematic), greet someone in a warm and friendly manner, and focus just on them, and not on whatever else is happening in your little part of the world. Rahi is always eagerly friendly with greeting friends; new or old, and everyone needs to be greeted.
Pay attention: don't just hear, listen, really listen and take in as much as you can. A dog handler once told me not to bother speaking to Rahi as he won't understand the spoken word ... ah, wrong. Rahi knows "walk", "drive", "bathroom", "sit", "bed", "dog park", plus a few more. Someone's been paying attention, big time!
Get to know you: okay, a Beagle uses his big black nose (normally wet) to really get to know you, and once he knows you, he never seems to forget. While I don't condone the use of a wet nose and smell, do take the time to get to know the person you are speaking to, and find out how you may be able to assist them.
Be positive: always interact in a positive manner, regardless what sort of day you're having, or what sort of news you have to deliver. If it is bad news, stand in the other person's shoes and work out how you would like to receive the news (especially if it is bad news). Rahi is pretty adept now at judging moods, and he leans in and cuddles in a bit closer, if he senses your day has gone to pot.
Feedback: Rahi thrives on feedback, and learns from it. He cannot read your mind, and relies on body language and other signals. Same with me ... if you don't tell me, and we are not sitting face to face, chances are I'll miss something important (and I cannot mind read). But, if you tell me, like Rahi, I can work on the feedback; good, bad, indifferent ... it's all very important to me.
Follow up: My Beagle is really rather clever at remembering people, places and things, and isn't backwards in coming forwards to follow up on these opportunities when he has the chance to (although it must be said, there are other things that he should not be doing (sitting on a bed perhaps?) and he blissfully chooses to be ignorant. And so it is with recruitment ... when a course of action is taken, follow up is an integral part of the work flow. I have been complimented on my follow up processes in the past, and it's one skill I was pleased to bring with me to the recruitment industry.
Be persistent: Beagles are known in the dog world as one of the most stubborn breeds, and a breed that doesn't normally just take "no" for an answer. Rahi is certainly no different. But thinking about it, neither do I, and I am known to be patient and persistent, when there is a task that I know has a conclusion that just has to be reached, and more importantly, I know it will add value to the other party, I will be persistent and follow through (Rahi on the other only thinks of himself with some of his wants *wink*).
Now to print this article off and tape it to the wall near my desk, so I am continually reminded of my Beagle's lesson about recruitment.
I hope you have a productive week.