Am I A Good Listener?

Steven Ash, “The Career Doctor” developed this listening test. It is a great way to see where you rate as a listener. Good luck! Give yourself 4 points if the answer to the following questions is Always; three points for Usually; two points for Rarely; and one point for Never.   __ Do I allow the speaker to finish without interrupting? __ Do I listen “between the lines”; that is for the subtext? __ When writing a message, do I listen for and set down the key facts and phrases? __ Do I repeat what the person just said to clarify the meaning? __ Do I avoid getting hostile and/or agitated when I disagree with the speaker? __ Do I tune out distractions when listening? __Do I make an effort to seem interested in what the other person is saying?   Scoring 26 or higher – You are an excellent
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The Little Things Can Make A Big Difference

  On the slopes of Long’s Peak in Colorado lay the ruins of a gigantic tree. Naturalists tell us that it stood for some 400 years. It was a seedling when Columbus landed at San Salvador, and half grown when the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth. During the course of its long life, it was struck by lightning 14 times and the innumerable avalanches and storms of four centuries thundered past it. It survived them all. In the end, however, an army of beetles attacked the tree and leveled it to the ground. The insects ate their way throughout the bark and gradually destroyed the inner strength of the tree by their tiny, but incessant attacks. A forest giant which age had not withered, nor lightning blasted, nor storms subdued, fell at last before beetles so small that a man could crush them between his forefinger and his thumb. Just as
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How Does A Person Become Legendary?

I have thought a lot about the word legendary. How would you describe it? When I think about legendary people – they come from all walks of life; they lead families, countries, businesses, movements & religions. They leave their mark. They are legendary. So I developed a set of 5 questions that I am asking myself & I want to invite you to ask yourself if you want to live legendary lives. Are you focused on being important or focused on doing important work? Are you focused on how much you make or are you focused on how much impact you make? Are you worried about fitting in or focused on standing out? Are you seeking popularity or are you seeking mastery? Do you concern yourself with being served or with serving others? Save
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The Lost Art of Handwritten Notes

A few weeks ago I was boarding a Delta flight from San Antonio, Texas to Salt Lake City, UT. I am a loyal Delta flyer and am often upgraded to first class as I was on this flight. When I got to my seat I found a handwritten note on my seat with two chocolates. It read: Mr. Bennett, Thank you for your continued business and loyalty as a Diamond Medallion with us! We truly appreciate you here in SAT!! Each of the first class seats had a handwritten note and some chocolate. The guy next to me was amazed at the fact that they were personalized (his talked about how he has flown over 2 million miles with Delta). It reminded me of the power of a handwritten note. It stands out. It is meaningful. It shows that you took time. That you really care. As technology makes communication
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The Power of a Name

There’s a new dry cleaner in my neighborhood. I went there a couple of times and then I’ve been out of town for the past month or so and I just went for the third time and as I walked in the guy working said “Ty Bennett, right?” And it surprised me.  I told him I was impressed with his ability to remember names.  He played off the complement, but was very interactive and personable during my visit. It reminded me how powerful a name was and where I learned that lesson. A few years ago I had a speech in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  I flew in late and got to the hotel.  I asked if the restaurant at the hotel was open and they said that it wasn’t. They said that there was a Panera Bread down the street that I could walk to that would still be open. So
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Are You Suffering From This Deadly Disease?

Atherosclerosis is the progressive build up of plaque, fatty deposits, and other cells in the walls of your arteries causing them to harden. This horrible disease is the leading cause of coronary heart disease and stroke, which were responsible for 602,000 deaths in 2004 — more than 25% of all deaths in the United States. Each year about 1.2 million Americans are diagnosed with coronary heart disease and about 700,000 people suffer a stroke.   As staggering as these statistics are, I believe that an even greater percentage of people around the world suffer from a cousin disease called Psychosclerosis. Psychosclerosis is the hardening of the attitude, which causes a person to cease dreaming, seeing, thinking, and leading. It is the hardening of the mind so that we become unteachable: we stop learning and we stop growing. It is the hardening of the heart, which takes away our ability to
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Be An Optimist

As I have studied successful people, one of the common traits I find is optimism. Not naive or overdone – just a positive approach to life, leadership, challenges, and what is possible. Those who believe in positive results think the world looks bright.  They see the good in things and not just the bad. They carry a smile on their face instead of a frown. Author John Maxwell said, “A pessimist is a person who regardless of the present is disappointed in the future.” An optimist then is a person who regardless of the present is excited about the future. The world is full of pessimists. We are conditioned to be negative and cynical. I find it interesting that very few people would admit to being negative. They use the excuse that they are “realists” not “pessimists”. The problem with that is reality is based on perception. We create our
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People Do Business With People They Know, Like, Trust and Value

There’s a fundamental rule of business that states: “People do business with people they know, like and trust.” We’ve all heard that, and even repeated it, but ultimately it is wrong. Ok, maybe wrong is not the right word. But the rule is incomplete. The truth is, people do business with people they know, like, trust and VALUE. Honesty and likeability are important, but if people don’t see you as valuable, they will never do business with you. If you don’t come across as professional, knowledgeable, and credible with the right skill set to get the job done, you will never be as influential and successful as you would like. So what do we do about it? How do we make ourselves more valuable? By constantly developing our knowledge, our skills and continually striving to get better. The fundamental rule of Business should read: “People do business with people they
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Great Leadership Is Driven By Passion

If the Number One thing we want is committed people, we need to start by looking in the mirror. Leaders who lack passion will have followers who lack commitment. You’ve heard it said that the speed of the leader is the speed of the pack. That is especially true when we look at the attitude, the work ethic, the energy, and commitment of the leader. Pure passion will permeate your team, it will rub off on them, and it will inspire them. The word passion originated at the time of Jesus Christ and was used to describe Christ’s suffering. Knowing the etymology of the word gives us a unique insight into its meaning. Passion means being willing to suffer for something that you love. The kind of passion that inspires commitment shows up early, stays late, finds solutions, engages the team, and gets the job done. Save Save
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Create Great Experiences & They Will Come Back

Last week I took my family to try a new pizza place by our house – Blaze Pizza. When we went to pay, the cashier told us that the man at the back of the line was covering our meal and the other family in line as well. I told him it wasn’t necessary but he insisted and so we thanked him for his kindness. Then as I waited for our pizza I talked to our generous new friend and he shared one of the best marketing ideas I have ever heard. He is friends with the franchisee who owns the restaurant and his friend often sends him gift cards to his restaurant and asks him when he comes to buy lunch or dinner for everyone in line. The owners philosophy is, ‘if you create great experiences they will talk about it to others and they will come back.” He’s
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