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Communication is key! Do you know the difference between hearing and listening? This presentation offers information on how a little adjustment to your communication styles can have a huge impact.

Communication is key! Do you know the difference between hearing and listening? This presentation offers information on how a little adjustment to your communication styles can have a huge impact.



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  • 1. LISTEN MORE, WORRY LESSCamille StellDirector of Client ServicesLawyers Mutual
  • 2. AGENDA• Develop “active listening” skills to tune in tocoworkers and cultivate productive relationships• Use communication skills to build a teamapproach that motivates others and facilitateschange• Use questions to open thinking• Discuss effective methods of managing conflict
  • 3. ADVANTAGES OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION• Increase productivity• Better understand what others are saying• Better understand how to get your messageacross• Enhance relationships• Reduce work place stress• Save time and money
  • 4. WHAT IS EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION?• Is ease in communication a given?: Talking is easy. True communicationis an exchange with another and this requires greater skill.Communication demands that we listen and speak skillfully, not just talkmindlessly.• Challenges to effective communication: Interacting with fearful, angry,or frustrated people (whether our clients, our peers, or our bosses) canbe difficult, because were less skillful when caught up in such emotions.• Proven Success: Dont resign yourself to a lifetime of miscommunicationat work because of these challenges. Tips for success follow.• Result: Good communicators can be taught as well as born.
  • 5. YOUR ROLE AS COMMUNICATOR• Tone of voice• Body language• Key words• Style of speech
  • 6. THE POWER OF LISTENING• Prepare to listen - eliminate distractions• Set aside listening time• Concentrate on what others are saying• Use non-verbal signs to show you are listening, nod inagreement, maintain eye contact, lean in to show support• Avoid interruptions• Avoid making your decision while others are speaking• Avoid forming your argument while others are speaking• Avoid getting defensive• Avoid prejudice towards the message• Practice paraphrasing “is this what you mean?”• “Listen” for feelings• Ask questions• Establish eye contact (appropriately)
  • 7. ACTIVE LISTENING CAN…• reduce threat• clarify the speaker’s point of view• build trust
  • 8. USE ACTIVE LISTENING WHEN…• the other person becomes angry oragitated• there are arguments• you need a catalyst for dialogue
  • 9. ASKING VS. TELLING• Telling is parental• It breaks down rapport and creates a feelingof being pressured or pushed• Asking elicits thought and suggests acredible, thinking adult• It builds relationships and shows you careenough to show respect
  • 10. THE POWER OF QUESTIONSWhy ask questions:• Questions demand answers• Questions stimulate thinking• Questions provide valuable information• Questions allow you to start the dialogue• Questions get people to open up• Questions lead to effective listeningHelpful questions to ask:• Can you clarify that?• What specific results are you looking for?• What do you want to accomplish?• What are your priorities?• How can I help?
  • 11. NONVERBAL CUESVisual• Facial, eye contact, thebody, personal appearanceVocal cues• Volume, pitch, rate, tone, pausesSpatial• Personal, social, public
  • 12. TO IMPROVE YOUR PERCEPTION• Keep openness and skepticismbalanced• Listen and ask for feedback• Become an observer• Convey feelings as well as content• Be flexible
  • 13. THE POWER OF YOUR WORDS• Follow through on your promises and commitments• Manage conflict• Respond rather than react• Provide feedback and ask for feedback• Keep your team up-to-date• Deliver bad news when necessary
  • 14. LOST IN TRANSLATION – EMAILEmail has become our primary form of communication.Email makes it harder to build rapport - people hide behind e-mail.Until now, most complaints have focused e-mail overload or embarrassmentwhen sending to the wrong people. However, new research indicates thatover-reliance on e-mail can degrade an organizations interpersonalcommunications. If its not used properly, instead of making your companyquicker and more efficient, too much text-based communicating can work inthe reverse. One study by UCLA psychology professor Albert Mehrabianfound that 55% of meaning in an interaction comes from facial and bodylanguage, 38% comes from vocal inflection, and only 7% of an interactionsmeaning is derived from the words themselves. Yet, I’m sure all of you havebeen offended or have offended others by your email “tone”.
  • 15. EMAIL TIPS• Avoid communicating anything sensitive, important, orcomplicated in email.• Refrain from combining multiple themes and requests ina single e-mail, make sure the e-mail subject line clearlyreflects both the topic and urgency of the message.• Do not overburden colleagues with unnecessary e-mail,especially one word replies such as "Thanks!" or"Great!" and use "reply to all" only when absolutelynecessary.
  • 16. SURVEY SAYS . . .• Lack of Communication• Ability to air grievances without repercussions• Understand the role of paralegal (helps with dealing withissues related to them – billable hours, certification, CLErequirements, team assignments)• Administrators balance many different things – can anywork be shared during down times with staff not as busy• Communicate changes in firm such as hirings, firings, lay-offs, office moves, insurance, salaries, as well as proceduralchanges – balance with confidentiality• Technology (or lack of) and equipment issues• Clear expectations - evaluation process and jobdescriptions• Involve staff through staffmeetings, committees, discussions
  • 17. MANAGE CONFLICT THROUGHEFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION• Recognize that disagreements may result from differentperceptions• Recognize when someone disagrees with you, they are notinept• Discover the cause for the differing viewpoints• Understand the other person’s “frame of reference”• Recognize your own bias• Take into account your own emotions• Take into account other’s emotions and biases• Discuss observable behavior and performance• Use concrete words vs. abstract words• Use examples to enhance meaning
  • 18. MANAGE CONFLICT THROUGHEFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION• Avoid jumping to conclusions• Investigate the facts before making a conclusion• Ask yourself, “Fact or inference?” about anystatement• Be wary of generalizations• Ask yourself the specifics of your generalizations• Ask others to do the same• Avoid the “know-it-all” attitude. Check authenticityof second-hand accounts• Be aware of problems arising from: Bias Personal Motivations Emotional Style
  • 19. BUILD A TEAM: ESTABLISH COMMON GOALS• Think about the other person and his/her goals• Build the bridge from the other side• If you don’t know, ask. Then listen and sincerelycare• Help by asking questions to clarify their goals• Solve problems together
  • 20. ACTION PLAN• What are you going to take action on?• List specific behaviors• Be as systematic as possible• Break difficult behavior into several smallerbehaviors• Repeat specific behavior until mastered• Measure and evaluate• Keep records (preferably visual)• Use visual reminders (pictures, charts, etc.)• Remember: ("A small goal is enough!")
  • 21. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES• Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi• The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey• Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B.Cialdini, Ph.D.• Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High byRon McMillan, Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, and Al Switzer. Signup for email newsletter at www.vitalsmarts.com.• We Got Fired by Harvey Mackey• Famous Failures by Joey Green• Tough Choices: A Memoir by Carly Fiorina• Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath• 250 Job Interview Questions by Peter Veruki
  • 22. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES• NCBA Member Services - whitney@ncbar.org or call1-800-662-7407 or 919-657-1554• BarCARES Plus – Anne Arbert, Program Manager800.640.0735 (mental health counseling and careercounseling)• LinkedIn.com• Martindale-Hubbell Connected• Monster.com
  • 23. CONTACT INFORMATIONCamille StellDirector of Client ServicesLawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company Of North CarolinaP.O. Box 1929, Cary, NC 27512-1929Tele: 919.677.8900 | 800.662.8843camille@lawyersmutualnc.comwww.lawyersmutualnc.comFollow us on Twitter: @LawyersMutualNC, @CamilleStell,@MarkScruggsEsq, @ WarrenSavage1 and @Troy_Crawford