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Is This Really a Problem to be Solved?

I was in a meeting with two senior leaders a few weeks ago where they were trying to determine if they could come to terms on merging their two companies.


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The thought all along has been that if the two organizations, each with their own unique strengths and assets, could pull it off, they would be stronger together. Combined they would be able to add tremendous value to their respective clients.

They had worked through quite a number of issues over the previous three months as we met to discuss the risks and concerns of each leader. A number of roadblocks had been overcome and put behind them, many with relative ease.

But, that day there was a problem. Or was there?

It certainly felt like a problem. They had been going back and forth on an issue, each sharing their point of view. The discussion had been very amicable, but there seemed to be a growing, albeit subtle, tension in the room.

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How to Raise the Level of Your Listening

Do your meetings or conversations ever get disrupted by an incoming text, phone call or notification? But, it was somebody else’s phone, right?


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I was just in a meeting last night with a Board of Directors group and there were a few times that the buzzing noise from someone’s phone (very politely set on “vibrate”) was so loud that you couldn’t help but be distracted. The person talking never missed a beat, but I can assure you most of us missed a chunk of what they had to say.

Listening is hard work. As I wrote to you last week it takes a definite level of intentionality to press through the myriad of distractions that come at us. There are actually three different levels of listening we engage in and only one of them is the kind that will result in greater leadership impact with the people that matter to you.

Let’s take a quick look at the three levels, how you can recognize which one you are in, and how to get to the right place in your listening quickly.

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THE Best Way to Get Someone’s Attention

I can’t remember the last time someone listened to me like that. I have never felt more believed in.” Many years ago I remember hearing a client utter those words, and the emotion that surrounded them. It made quite an impression on me.


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I have also seen the difference active listening has made in my relationship with my wife, my children and my team members.

In a world full of noise, there is one sure way of getting someone’s attention. Listen to them. I mean really listen to them. The person I referred to above went on to talk about the enormous difference that this conversation made in her engagement with her goals and dreams.

People today are starved for authentic relationships. Because of this, and with the introduction of the millennial generation into the labor force, I am convinced that being a highly skilled listener has risen to the top of the list of skills required to be a truly great leader.

Here are five, simple aspects of listening that will take your skills to a new level of influence with others.

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Four Ways to Keep Your Best People From Jumping Ship

How do I keep my best people?



For many leaders like you this is a constant anxiety. Many small businesses, which are the economic engine in this country, are dependent on a few key human resources to make them run and be successful. These are people who have been with you, possibly since the beginning, and in whom you have invested amazing amounts of time, energy and money.

You are probably asking, “But, how do I encourage them to stay? How do I make it worth their while and still turn a decent profit?”

According to the Gallup organization, who has done extensive research on the subject, money is not the answer. Employee engagement is the key. I define employee engagement as a person who is fully invested, both mentally and emotionally in your company. They are all in.

And, you, the leader, have the ability to create the kind of environment that will make them want to stay. Here are the four most important things you can do.

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Four Reasons Powerful Questions Are So…Powerful!

There are three questions that still stick out in my mind that were significant in the original formation of my business. One of my coaches asked me, “What are you passionate about?” One of my mentors asked me, “What are the 10-15 most significant accomplishments in your life?” and “What made them significant to you?”



These, and other questions like them, have been essential in helping my business ideas take shape and produce overwhelmingly positive results. You can create these kinds of results for your own team (and family) by learning how to master this skill.

Over the last month I have communicated to you: 1) the importance of your ordinary, daily conversations, 2) some important do’s and don’ts in formulating powerful questions, and 3) the types of questions that can actually damage your leadership. Today we wrap up this short series on powerful questions by looking at four reasons they pack such power.

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