Strategies to Connect | Brian Benedict

6 Strategies to connect with others

Communicating with another firefighter while both wearing masks can sometimes be very difficult.  With sounds from engine companies, ventilation fans and radio traffic it’s a challenge to get your point across.   To speak clearer firefighters use a battery operated  amplification attachment to help with louder communications.  Even with advanced equipment communicating is still difficult.

Pictured above: Lt Tom Broyles and FF Chris Morris Richmond Fire Dept

Let’s skip past the emergency scenes and go right to contract negotiations, union meetings and city events.  How’s your communication skills?  Unlike a mask or amplifier we have little assistance unless we allow ourselves to learn better ways to connect.

How’s your tone?  How’s your facial expressions?  How’s your speed and volume?

I strongly believe that building relationships by communicating effectively enough to connect with others is vital to the future of our police and fire service.  Building long term relationships with decision makers depends on our ability to connect.  Here are six ways you can learn to build better communication with others.

1. Do you Know yourself.

How many times have you said something you shouldn’t have.  Maybe you felt bad after you said it or you may not have thought much about it at all.  I’ve said things to others through the years that I wish I could take back and some I didn’t even realize how if actually effected them.  It all starts with self-awareness. When you’re communicating with other people, you need to be aware your mood.  If you’re feeling upset, angry and disturbed you may, unintentionally take it out on someone else.

We have a bad habit of throwing cynical and sarcastic zingers at others without thinking how it effects them.  If you’re catching yourself doing this outside the fire department please remember they may not be use to this type of communication.  Know yourself.

2. Who are you speaking with.

The best communicators understanding whomever they’re speaking with. Knowing what motivates them, different learning styles and what common ground you can find, allows you to adapt your message and increase the odds of effective communication. Empathy builds personal connections.   It puts people at ease and builds trust.  Understanding the other perspective will help you connect.

3. Clear points and an open mind.

Making your point clear will allow you to connect quicker.  If you have a vision but can’t seem to get anyone to buy in then ask yourself why.  Do they have an investment in the idea.  Are you allowing them to help with it?  Are you allowing input, ideas or suggestions?  People will take action on what it is your asking from them if they feel they are part of it.  If your audience is more confused after a meeting than before you know you’ve got some work to do.   It’s better to be open, clear and ready for questions than to leave room misunderstood.

yelling

4. How’s your Nonverbal Communication.

Research suggests nonverbal communication is more important than verbal communications.  Facial expressions, hand gestures, posture and eye contact all play a major role in undermining your message.

If you’re an instructor you understand.  Looking out into a shift during a training evolution can be challenging.  Glazed eyes and yawns are their way of telling you something nonverbally.  If they look like this then how are you looking?   The next time you’re speaking with someone, look at your own body language.  Then look at the body language of whomever you’re speaking to. Does your body language match your words and tone?

5. People want others to listen to them

One of the best ways to encourage open and honest communication is learning to listen. When someone is speaking to you,  listen intentionally to what they’re saying. Ask  questions.  This will let the other person know that you are listening.  Keep an open mind and focus on thoughtfully responding to what they say.  Listening will build better long term relationships than speaking.

6. Badge thumping vs Ego-less attitudes

Don’t hold your rank over others or use coercion or fear as motivators. Instead, focus on bringing an honest, positive and ego-less attitude to every situation that arises. Serving as a cheerleader helps maintain morale and can even facilitate creativity and effective problem solving.

These communication skills take practice. You’re not going to master them in a day.  In fact even though I write about communications and connecting its an ongoing challenge.  Trying to learn from communication errors is important.  Try to practice these strategies in your day to day life.  Learn by reading books, attending seminars and becoming a student of connecting with others.   The more you implement these skills, the more they’ll start to feel normal. Ultimately the more your leadership abilities will benefit.

 

 

Brian JMT B&W 150  by BrianBenedict.com retired firefighter, army veteran and lifetime student of connecting with others.  Building the Business of “U”

Your Commercial: First Contact | KeyToSuccess.Blog

Your Commercial

by Brian Benedict
Entrepreneurs  differ on what they believe to be the most important element, although many professionals will argue that creating a solid business plan should definitely be the first step. A well-crafted business plan lays out all the details and strategies, includes projections for revenue and spending, and will be reviewed in detail by bankers and venture capitalists. But in fact, the most important document that should be created even before the business plan is your 30 second commercial.

The fact is, most people will not read a business plan unless they have been motivated to do so beforehand. Your personal commercial is that motivating factor. It’s the hook that gets them into the room. It’s the catchy jingle that gets people to pay attention to the ad. It’s the best parts of the business plan, without the boring details. Your commercial is the place for the excitement, not the place to include all the technology, buzzwords and explanations.

A personal commercial statement should be able to be condensed into a single-page presentation, short enough to be memorized, or read easily within a few minutes and short enough to be presented during the course of an elevator ride. The 30 second commercial condenses your profession into something that can be presented in about a minute or two. Essentially, the parts that really matter are the very essence of your confidence and non verbal skills.

The 30 second commercial skips the hard-core financials, and gets straight to the heart of what it is about the business that really gets you excited. That’s what this pitch is about.  You don’t need to prove yourself.  You just need to quickly give a power statement that connects easily and accurately as to what you want them to know about your profession.  The commercial that gets people interested.

Your personal commercial should be inspirational and creative, hitting the high points of your business or career, and should accomplish the following:

  • Hit the high points
  • Summarize the problem/solution aspect of your concept
  • Describe the business model and how is it going to make money?
  • Create excitement on the part of the reader/listener
  • Describe the profit potential without having to bring out charts and graphs
  • Tell why you/your company are well positioned to accomplish your goal
  • End with a call to action

The first couple sentences are the most critical, and should present your core concept. If you can’t tell what it is you want to do in two sentences or less, then you need to simplify your concept. There will be plenty of time to get into all the details later, once you’ve captured your audience’s interest.

more powerful blog articles at www.KeyToSuccess.Blog

 

6 Professional Voicemail Message Examples You Can Use – Blitz

Try out these voicemail message examples before you miss your next call!

In sales, immediate communication with your prospects and current customers is important. Being available to answer questions or further negotiate a deal allows your clients to feel secure and more apt to purchase from you. But what if you can’t answer the phone when they call? Make sure you have a voicemail system set up so your clients have the opportunity to leave you a message.

Reassuring the caller that they contacted the correct number or reached the person they intended helps reduce the number of hang-ups and wasted messages you’ll receive. Here are a few notes on how to leave the best greeting possible, along with some voicemail message examples you can use in your own company!

lead-managerWant more sales templates? Let our automated software simplify your sales process.  Sign up for a 30-day FREE trial of our lead management software and turn more leads into customers with less work!

Notes on creating a voicemail greeting:

Sound upbeat in your message. When recording, be sure to say your message with a smile on your face. It’s obvious when people aren’t happy in their message. Since your work revolves around keeping happy customers, do your part by keeping a happy-sounding voicemail message.

Don’t rush. It’s important to speak slowly and clearly when leaving your next voicemail greeting. Have you ever called someone and the message sounds like one big word? Don’t be that guy. Pronounce your words and take pauses between your sentences

Avoid background noise. Whether you have music playing in your office, or you’re sitting in a coffee shop, background noise can make it difficult for your customers to understand your greeting. Limit the noise around you when you leave your voicemail greeting.

Rehearse or write down your message before recording it. Remember that old saying “practice makes perfect?” It’s certainly true when it comes to creating an electronic greeting. The more you’ve rehearsed, the easier the message will be to restate. If you don’t have time to practice, writing down the greeting before recording it – and then reading it aloud from the paper – may help you stay focused on the correct wording.

Basic Voicemail Message Examples:

1. Share basic information:

“Hello! You’ve reached the voicemail of [your name], [your job title]. I’m currently either away from my desk or on the other line. Please leave your name, telephone number, and a short message after the beep, and I’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as I’m available.”

2. If you’re out of the office:

“Good afternoon. You have reached the office of [your name]. I will be out of the office beginning on [date] and will be returning on [date]. Please leave a brief message with your contact information, and I’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as I return on [date].  If this is an emergency or you need to speak with someone before I return, please contact [name of colleague/supervisor], [their job title], at [their phone number].”

3. Be courteous of your customers’ time:

“Hi! You have reached [your business].  All of our staff are currently busy helping other callers. We understand how valuable your time is, and rather than keeping you on hold, we will make sure to call you back.Be sure to leave us a detailed message with your name and number. We will return your call within two business hours. Thanks!”

 

Creative Voicemail Message Examples:

Here are a few voicemail message examples you can record if you have the opportunity to leave a professional sounding message, while still having a bit of fun. Before choosing one of these options, be sure your company allows for a little creativity. If you work in a strict professional position, theses options might not be the best for you.

4. Give them a realistic expectation:

“Congratulations! You’ve reached the right person! It’s [your name]. Unfortunately, you’ve called at the wrong time. Please leave a message with all your contact information, and I’ll call you back within 24 hours.”

5. Catch their attention:

“Hey, there! This is [your name]. Please leave me a message with your name, number, and the reason you’re calling. If you also tell me [insert random fact] I’ll be sure to move you to the top of my call list. Have a great day!”

Random facts could include their favorite movie, vacation spot, candy, or television show. Regardless of what you choose, it will surprise your caller and more than likely make them leave a message if they were considering hanging up.

6. Prove your attentiveness to voicemail:

“Good morning. You’ve reached the voicemail of [your name]. Today is [date]. Please leave me a message with your name and contact information. Oh, and here’s my motivational quote of the day: [read quote].”

We actually know a top insurance sales guy who did a sales motivational message every day just like this, and people used to call just to listen to his thoughts.

And remember, while you’re busy returning your calls, Blitz can be automating other parts of your sales process. We can assign leads to your staff or even send emails to your customers.

lead-managerWant more sales templates? Let our automated software simplify your sales process.  Sign up for a 30-day FREE trial of our lead management software and turn more leads into customers with less work!

Have you ever recorded something similar? Tell us what your favorite greeting was of the voicemail message examples in the comments section below!

via 6 Professional Voicemail Message Examples You Can Use – Blitz

Making the Most of Influence

The John Maxwell Company

As a leader, you’re already aware that your ability to positively influence another person is the central component of your leadership. So you understand that influence matters to leaders.

But how do you measure your influence? By the number of people who work for you? By the number of followers you have on Twitter? By the number of likes you get on Facebook?

While there is some validity to those numbers, chances are that you’re missing something if you measure influence only in that way. Because there are dozens of people – perhaps even hundreds – that you influence without ever knowing it. They help you bag your groceries. They pick up your trash. They might deliver your mail, or drive next to you on the road. They pass you in the halls at your child’s school, or ride the elevator with you on the way to the office.

And these possibly unnoticed individuals are impacted by you in ways you may never know.

One of my favorite quotes on influence comes from J.R. Miller. In fact, I use it in the first chapter of my book,Developing the Leader Within You: “There have been meetings of only a moment which have left impressions for life, for eternity. No one can understand that mysterious thing we call influence…yet…every one of us continually exerts influence, either to heal, to bless, to leave marks of beauty; or to wound, to hurt, to poison, to stain other lives.”

I love that line: meetings of only a moment which have left impressions for life, for eternity.

Have you ever taken time to think about your life in that way? You impact people on a daily basis by how you choose to live.

Your life is influence in motion.

I understand that anyone can have a bad day. It happens to all of us. But how many bad days might you cut out of a year if you recognized that you have the ability to make a difference to everyone you meet?

Your capacity to transform someone’s life every day is rooted in your choice to make a positive impact, even in the most fleeting of moments. When you make it your mission as a leader to value people and add value to them, you are planting the seeds for a harvest of positive change.

So how do you get started?

I recommend you begin with your family. Get up early and make the coffee. Prepare lunch for the kids. Pray over your spouse. Set the tone for them to influence others in a positive way, and you’ll be amazed at just how different the stories around the dinner table will be.

And then imagine what would happen if you expanded that positive influence from there. Imagine if you practiced courtesy during rush hour or were grateful to everyone who served you a meal. Imagine if you held doors, shared credit, and otherwise added value as often as you could, to every person you met. Your level of influence would be off the charts.

At a time when some leaders seem only to care about those who are “for” them, we need leaders who care about everyone. We need leaders who make valuing others a priority instead of a promise. We need leaders who make others better instead of bitter. Our society needs leaders who take special care to consider the unnoticed follower.

In short, we need leaders like you.

You can change the world if you choose to – and I believe you will.

Source: The John Maxwell Company

Turning Pressure into Production

The John Maxwell Company

Like most of the world, I’ve had my eye on the Olympics for the last week or so. While I’ve not caught every event, I’ve certainly enjoyed stealing as much time as I can to watch as the world’s greatest athletes take their place on the global stage. And as I watch each event, from swimming and gymnastics to basketball and judo, I can’t help thinking of one question:

How do these athletes handle the pressure?

Now, I’m no stranger to pressure. I live with it every day as a leader. I’m sure you do, too. But when I think about the margin between a gold medal and a silver medal – often just a few hundredths of a second – the pressure I deal with somehow feels a little… less.

You see, the Olympic Games place tremendous pressure on athletes to produce, on demand, for posterity. They train for years for that one moment, usually with coaches who are some of the best minds in their sport. These athletes must learn specific skills that help them not only master their sport, but take their performance to levels previously unachieved. Then they spend months or years prior to the Olympics participating in events to not only qualify for the Games, but also get a feel for their competition.

And the end result of all of this training is efficiency and effectiveness. These athletes do what they do with apparent ease because they have trained and prepared so well.

But I believe it’s only the pressure of the Olympics – of knowing that their place in the record books rests on what they do in that one moment – that makes them most effective. All of their training and ability only matters if they can execute in the “right now” of Olympic competition. Because once that moment is over, the only thing the world will have to judge these athletes by is how effective they were when the pressure was on.

How do you handle pressure? You may never be under the same scrutiny as an Olympic athlete, but you face pressure in your own way. It may be a deadline, a new venture, or just knowing that your family depends on you, but you know the feeling of “the weight of the world”.

A former Olympian once said, “Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.” That Olympian is Kobe Bryant, one of the most accomplished basketball players of the last 20 years. His dedication to developing his skills and talents is legendary. But what Kobe is also known for is his strong desire to have the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. He doesn’t shy away from the pressure; rather, he embraces it.

I want to encourage you, my friend, to not shy away from the high-pressure moments in your life. Instead, use the pressure to help you produce. Pressure is a sign that what you’re doing counts. It means that your leadership or your work or your life is meaningful. It means you can make a difference.

The eyes of the world may not be trained on you, but you have the ability to impact the world. Trust your training, embrace your pressure, and do your best. When you do, you’ll be amazed at just how many people you’ll find cheering you on.

Source: The John Maxwell Company

Brought to you by BattlefieldTraining.com

4 Reasons You Should Use a Business Coach | FreeUpWork.com

Brian Benedict, http://www.FreeUpWork.com

4 Reasons You Should Use a Business Coach to Get Results

by Brian Benedict, FreeUpWork.com

Business coaching is a modern day concept. Many businesses, especially those that think outside the box, are recognizing that having a business coach is a powerful tool that your business can take advantage of. Let’s look at 4 reasons you should use a business coach.

#1 A Business Coach Can Show You how to Get Greater Returns With Less Work
You work way too many hours and you believe if you were to leave even for a short vacation, things might fall apart, but boy, you are ready to work less! You can call the coaching by many names ñ executive coaching, small business coaching, business coaching and there are others ñ bottom line is that any one of these can help your company to become far more efficient. That means you will work less hours and make more money. A business coach can help you turn your old business model into a new business model that’s more powerful and profitable.

coach_mentor

#2 Business Coaching Can Create More Profits
Are you ready to make more money? If you aren’t making the profits you thought you would it’s time to change that and turn things around. A business coach can help you do that. He or she can help you to jump start your business. Your business coach isn’t there to make the decisions for you, but they are there to open you up and help you explore how you might reach the goals you have and make the profits you desire.

#3 Business Coaches Help You Develop Your Team
You are ready to build a team so that you can grow your business. That’s great news. A business coach can help you recruit, train, and keep the right team members. When you build a team, it can motivate everyone and allow you to create a powerful team with the help of your business coach. You can create passion among your team members.

#4 Business Coaches Can Help You Find Your Passion
If you need to fall back in love with your business, a business coach is just the tool to help you do that. Overtime every business can become a bit mundane and a bit boring. Motivation is key to maintaining and growing a vision and passion. Whether you are building a simple marketing plan or a full business your business coach is an excellent sounding board and can be an invaluable tool and sounding board to help you get your passion back!

A business coach is a service you have to pay for and that can sometimes stop people from making the call. Using a business coach is a great investment in your future.