If you were a fly on the wall observing most dates, business conversations, or even
large social gatherings, you’d see people taking turns speaking and listening. However,
if you were a communication coach, you’d be observing something quite different
– people taking turns speaking and then waiting for their turn to speak again.
Guess what? Listening and waiting for your chance to chime in are not the same thing!
Research shows that more than 35% of companies think listening is a top skill for
business success. How many people think listening is a top skill for relationship
Does it matter how many -- or does it matter that your potential mate might?
Being an engaged listener isn’t a personality trait. Listening is a learnable skill
set that gives us the opportunity to:
- Avoid making assumptions
- Delay the impulse to evaluate
- Demonstrate interest
- Understand the other person’s point of view
- Clarify issues and ideas
- Build a trusting relationship
- And ultimately, determine goodness of fit!
Listening takes practice – so get into listening skill training right away. Here
are some tips for listening practice in your business and personal life:
- The next time your boss calls you into his or her office, resist the temptation
to craft your responses while your boss is speaking. Ask clarifying questions instead
to get more information that will lead to a more informed, relevant and focused
answer from you.
- The next time your mom calls, don’t speak to her while you are also putting away
the laundry, making sure the pasta doesn’t boil over, and sending Blackberry messages.
Give her your full attention – and your conversation may be more fulfilling, enjoyable
and even shorter!
- On your next date, rather than trying to impress your mate with your wit and intellect,
demonstrate your attentiveness, responsiveness, and genuine interest by really listening.
What a wonderful way to pave the path towards a possible lifetime of true connectedness
And do not fear – your turn to talk will still be waiting for you!
Is it My Turn Yet? Part II
Deborah Grayson Riegel, MSW, is the Head Coach of MyJewishCoach.com, and
helps Jewish organizations and individuals achieve personal and professional "Success
without the Tsuris" through coaching, training and speaking.
Deborah’s energetic workshops and speaking programs are in high demand with North
American Jewish organizations, Fortune 500 companies, national and local government
agencies, and small start-ups, and her one-on-one coaching has propelled Jewish
professionals across industries and interests to get farther, faster.
Deborah was the Director of Education and Training for the Mandel Center for Leadership
Excellence at United Jewish Communities (UJC), where she developed innovative training
programs for Federation professionals and lay-leaders, and co-authored an award-winning
interactive solicitation training website. Deborah also worked at the Jewish Association
for Services for the Aged (JASA) as the Director of the only program in North America
that trains senior citizens to be lobbyists. In addition, Deborah was a key player
in the development of New York’s Makor/Steinhardt Center for young Jewish professionals.
Deborah is on the faculty for both the Wexner Heritage Program and Yeshivat Chovevei
Torah Rabbinical school. A popular conference speaker for both the American Society
of Training and Development and Training Magazine’s Conference and Expo, Deborah
was awarded membership into the National Speakers Association in 2005. She is also
a member of the Association of Jewish Community Organization Professionals, the
Jewish Communal Service Association, and the International Coach Federation. Deborah
is a graduate of Coach U. and is a Certified DiSC® Practitioner.
Deborah’s expertise in developing training and coaching for professionals and lay
leaders in the Jewish communal world was highlighted when she authored “Corporate
Universities in the Non-Profit Sector”, a chapter in the book The Next Generation
of Corporate Universities (Allen, Ed, Wiley 2007).
Deborah earned a B.A. in Psychology at the University of Michigan, and her M.S.W.
at Columbia University, supporting her expensive school habit by performing improvisational
and stand-up comedy.
She and her husband Michael are the proud parents of twins, Jacob and Sophie, who
inspire her to choose naches over tsuris everyday.
For more information, visit
www.elevatedtraining.com or email Deborah at
Are you speed dating your way through potential