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Is “Busy” Good?

Written by Pam Chambers Be first to comment on this post.

When I bump into people I haven’t seen in awhile, they most often ask, “Are you busy?” This presumes that “busy” is good. A better question might be, “Are you productive?” But no one asks that. And anyway, who would want to say, “No, I’m not productive”?

I’ve come up with a response I’m comfortable with: “I’m as busy as I want to be. And you?”

Busy. What does that mean? Most people I know are too “busy.” They overload their schedules. They pack too much in. They rush about, hair and briefcases flying.

That’s not how I want to live. And I don’t. That is one of the many joys of being self-employed. But sometimes my boss doesn’t give me a reliable paycheck on time! She must have been too busy.

Lecture or Engage?

Written by Pam Chambers Be first to comment on this post.

A few weeks ago I conducted a two-hour “Train the Trainer” workshop for 30 managers of a retail chain. When the owners and I debriefed afterwards, one of them chided me for “calling on people.” “They don’t like to be singled out.” I said, “Managers shouldn’t expect to be called on?” His answer was vague and evasive.

I, Pam Chambers, can’t imagine giving a presentation during which my voice is the only one heard. The concept seems totally unnatural. Is this not a relationship between you and your audience?

I’ve attended many presentations during which the speaker is the only one who talks. That would be classified as a lecture.

In my case, I needed to know what the managers’ challenges are, how they resolve certain problems, what they believe their next step is, etc. This requires interaction.

To please my client, I suppose I could throw out questions and wait for someone to volunteer a response. But I still believe that people in the role of managers should be able to deal with being called on.

Talk about what you WANT!

Written by Pam Chambers Be first to comment on this post.

Many speakers are too eager to please and they accommodate the wrong thing.

1. “Oh, you have chips! Do you have enough to share?”

2. “You seem to know a lot about this. Would you like to come to the stage?”

3. “Why don’t you and I talk about this after my presentation?”

Here’s why these responses should be avoided:

1. Why did you offer that option? You don’t WANT a bag of chips going around the room! Ask for what you want. “My mistake, everyone! I forgot to say that we should save snacking for the break.”

2. Do you really want to hand over your power (and your microphone and stage) to a know-it-all? Instead, say, “Audrey is correct when she says . . . ” Interrupt the know-it-all with praise.

3. When you offer to talk with an audience member after your presentation, many people will check to see if you followed up on that. Do you really want to talk with that person? If not, don’t offer.

In summary, talk about what you WANT instead of what you don’t want!