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Communicating with “Those Idiots”

I was on the phone with someone the other day and found myself getting more and  more annoyed the longer the conversation went on.  Does that ever happen to you?

I had to catch myself, take a deep breath and allow myself to hear the message the person was trying to communicate. Our communication styles weren’t synching up and I was falling into the trap of not listening because the person’s words weren’t landing on my ears in the way I needed to hear them.

When that happens, we tend to initially judge the other person as ‘an idiot’.  We may think cruel things like “What’s wrong with them?”, “Why are they so cold?”, “Why don’t they get to the point?”, “Why are they so flighty?”

In reality, they’re probably just different than us.  If you’ve ever had any of those thoughts, here are some tips to help you understand and deal with people who think, communicate and behave differently from you.

1. Recognize that not everyone is wired the same way you are.
Our diversity is what allows us to solve problems and stay entertained by the human race.  Imagine how boring it would be if everyone were all the same.  How happy does Seven of Nine really look here?

2.  Take a deep breath and be patient.
We’re almost all in a hurry these days. If you are under a real time limit, politely let them know.  If not and it seems like they’re rambling, gently ask them questions to help them stay on point.

3.  Listen for the underlying message.
The person is telling you something for a reason – even if it’s not apparent to you. Repeat back what you’re hearing to make sure you’re tracking with them.

4.  Ask for what you want.
If you need more or less information, let the speaker know that.  We have varying needs regarding levels of information, relationship orientation, social interaction and pace.

Also, if you are the speaker, recognize that the way you are comfortable communicating might not be effective for the person you’re talking to.  It’s just as important that you be cognizant of the perspective into which you speak, especially if you’re trying to get something out of them.  Stay tuned for how you can be more effective in getting your message across and getting more of what you want.

Bike Week in Arizona: Honoring Isaiah Mays, a Buffalo Soldier

Here’s a side of me many people don’t know.

My husband, Dr. Karl Anthony Huff, rides a motorcycle and is a member of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club. As a rider, I’m in the Buffalo Soldiers MC Social Club.

Karl & Loretta for Buffalo Soldier Isaiah Mays
Karl & Loretta for Buffalo Soldier Isaiah Mays

Here we are Friday, March 27 at the kickoff of Arizona Bike Week at Chester’s Harley Davidson shop in Mesa.  Charlie Daniels Band was the headline act.  About 15 other Buffalo Soldiers MC club members were present as well staffing our booth to raise awareness and funds for Isaiah Mays.

In 2001, Isaiah Mays was finally awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.  Until recently, however his remains were buried near a hospital’s historic grave site, “All Souls Cemetery” but alone, close to a trash dumpster locked behind a chain link fence.

Mays and Sergeant Benjamin Brown, of the 24th Infantry, were awarded the Medal of Honor in 1890 for “gallantry and meritorious conduct” while defending an Army pay wagon against masked bandits near Tucson.

In a fierce battle with the robbers, several soldiers were seriously wounded. Mays, shot in both legs, walked and crawled two miles to a nearby ranch to sound the alarm.

Continue reading Bike Week in Arizona: Honoring Isaiah Mays, a Buffalo Soldier

Goal Setting and New Year’s Resolutions

Goal setting and New Year’s Resolutions: how are they connected?

In my Fox10 interview, I spoke with Rick D’Amico about how to give New Year’s resolutions staying power so they (and your resolve) last longer than a New York minute.

Here are a few tips from the video, but I encourage you to watch the 5-minute clip.

1.  Use SMART goals.  Be clear and specific. Quantify the end result (lose 10 pounds by March 15)

2.  Be realistic – Start with something you believe you could achieve.  Don’t set your sights so high that your subconscious mind says “no way”.

3.  Be in action – Rita Mae Brown said the definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing expecting a different result”. Start consistently doing the behaviors that support the goal you have set.

4.  Be connected – Get an accountability partner or coach; take a class.  Surround yourself with people who will encourage you to stay on task and on track.

Check out these goal setting resources.  They’re on sale **50% off** through Saturday Jan 3. (Enter code NYRBO at check-out time.)

Also, take time to reward yourself when you hit milestones that let you know you’re on your way to that Big, Bold Goal you set.

Getting known as an expert

There are many ways that you can position yourself as an expert.  And being an expert is critical because (I’m sure you’re heard), people do business with (and hire) people that they know, like and trust.

If you’re not known, not liked and not trusted, it’s highly unlikely that people will hire you to provide a service for them or to work for them.

Here are some things you can do to heighten your expert status.

  1. If you’re just getting started and aren’t sure what you’re an expert in, take some time to review your career and resume.  If you’ve worked at all, there has got to be something you can say you’re an expert at. Don’t be shy or modest.  Don’t underestimate your knowledge.  Many people discount their expertise thinking that if they know it, everybody does.  Or even if everybody doesn’t know what they know, it still must not be that important if they know it.  Not true.
  2. Write a book.  This will increase your credibility as an expert almost immediately and it’s not as hard to do as you think.
  3. If you can’t muster an entire book, write articles and publish them on the internet.  Submit them to article directories, put them on your blog.  Submit them to some of the ‘expert’ sites like www.selfgrowth.com.  I’m registered as a business coach expert on  at www.selfgrowth.com/experts/loretta_love_huff.html
  4. Make a list of topics that you could speak on for 20 minutes and then contact local business networking groups and offer your services as a speaker.  You don’t have to be eloquent.  Just knowledgeable about something people are interested in and able to communicate in an organized and interesting manner.

Writing and speaking are some of the easiest ways to show off your expertise and build your credibility.  The hardest part is often just getting started.