Creating new behaviors at the beginning of a new year is a bit arbitrary, isn’t it? After all, why do we need to wait until January 1st to start doing things differently? Change and improved behaviors can happen on any day, at any time. Why wait?
But since we are at the new year now, we can bow to convention and use the turning of the calendar to think about some positive improvements we should make. I am doing the same thing for myself right now, and here are a few things I will be working on in 2017, and these will perhaps be helpful to you:
- Listen better. I think I listen well. I also know I can listen better. We all can.
- Think first, react second. Once the listening has happened, then I want to work on considering what I just heard before I begin reacting. I want to absorb better. Most of us listen to respond. I want to listen to understand, which means I need to postpone my reaction a little bit.
- Reduce distraction. We all can improve on this, myself included. I am going to make a conscious effort to put the mobile device down this year. I made good progress in 2016, but there is more progress to be made. I will be turning it off at certain times, keeping it out of reach more often, and will be making a real effort to be present for the people right in front of me.
- Know the audience. If I learned anything in the 2016 election cycle, it is that it is far too easy to get wrapped up in our own beliefs and convictions, and turn off any interest in other perspectives. This resolution is not just about my own behaviors. I witnessed a sadly toxic level of poor behavior here, from so many people. But I am going to focus on my own behaviors, and am going to work on being even better at trying to understand other perspectives, and not cloud my communication with my own needs and ideas.
I want to communicate even better in 2017. And my path towards better communication will be listen, try to understand, reduce distraction, and really embrace the effort to know my audience.
What are your goals for the new year? We would love to hear about them.
My colleagues and I at The Latimer Group are excited for 2017, and the opportunity to work with our client companies in even more meaningful ways.
Happy new year!