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The Life-Changing Power of “Thank You”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 April 2019 06:40 Written by Pam Chambers Tuesday, 16 April 2019 06:40

People who earn black belts in karate get there by being grateful for each kick that lands them on the floor. They scramble to their feet, bow, and say, “Thank you!” to the person who knocked them down.

When I first witnessed that, I knew I had to make an immediate change in how my public speaking students responded to feedback. Instead of explanation, defensiveness, or justification, gratitude was in order.

When you simply say, “Thank you” to feedback, the feedback has a chance to be absorbed. You then have three choices: Keep it, analyze it, or throw it away. But you can do none of these if the feedback doesn’t get in.

You might benefit by implementing feedback about your volume, rate of speech, duration of eye contact, willingness to think before responding to questions, and much, much more.

Feedback is the breakfast of champions.

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Waiting for People who are Tardy

Last Updated on Thursday, 4 April 2019 03:44 Written by Pam Chambers Thursday, 4 April 2019 03:43

“Josh” asked me to observe his financial planning workshop and later give him feedback. At the front of the room was a registration table with 15 name tags. The workshop was to begin at 6:00, but at 6:10 Josh was standing around, chatting with some of the participants.

During our feedback session I asked, “Why did you not start the workshop at 6:00?”

“Because several people weren’t there yet.”

“Oh, so you made the people who were late more important than the people who were on time.”

He said his boss always does that. I said that he needed to change this practice right now. Start on time (but not with your most important point!) and those who arrive late will see that you mean business about starting at 6:00.

Equally important is to show respect by ending on time. You don’t get to go over by ten minutes because you started ten minutes late!

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Giving Too Much Eye Contact

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 March 2019 08:22 Written by Pam Chambers Tuesday, 19 March 2019 08:22

Imagine that you are speaking to a group of people and Mr. Lau raises his hand to ask a question. If you were trained, as I was, to give eye contact to the person with whom you are speaking, you will likely make this mistake: You will give too much eye contact to Mr. Lau.

Mr. Lau will become uncomfortable with all of this attention, and may glance away. You should notice this and spread your eye contact among others in the group.

If you don’t, people may conclude two things:

1) This topic involves only Mr. Lau.

2) Therefore, I can tune out, look at my phone, or chat with my neighbor.

Here is the proper procedure for answering questions:

  1. Repeat the question for all to hear.
  2. Respond by making eye contact with several people in the room.
  3. Thank the person for his/her question, being specific about how the question added value.
  4. Know exactly how you will move on.

 

 

 

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