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June 12, 2019

"Most people do not listen with the intent to understand;

they listen with the intent to reply.

- Stephen R. Covey

Mujeres y Allies,

We pride ourselves at being excellent multi-taskers.  Cleaning up the kitchen table, while participating on an early morning conference call. Checking email while in a meeting. Sorting mail or papers while binge watching our favorite series. You know it, right?  Despite the real limits and hazards to multitasking, it's not going away and if anything the distractions keep growing that make multitasking the norm.  It was back in 2002 that the book The Attention Economy  first suggested the information overload everyone faces was changing the demands on businesses and life styles.  It made a strong case that success would come only to those businesses that can harness and capture the attention of consumers.  

This week’s #3LVCareerHacks is about harnessing your ability to focus, listen and tune in to the key conversations that matter in your career. There are indeed many distractions out there and some are built into social media to be more addictive than nicotine!  Your ability to tune out all the noise and truly listen during key conversations is your competitive advantage.

Uno, dos y tres. Let’s do this con ganas!

Tip #1  Know Which Conversations Matter the Most

There are conversations or events that demand our attention and those typically stand out when we have to be fully present.  Your boss is making a decision based on your remarks. Your child is looking for your approval with your every word. Those conversations are easy to give our undivided attention.  But some pivotal moments in your career may happen without any clear signals that you need to be on the alert. Broadly stated, three key situations need your absolute full attention:  a conversation that is linked to your professional reputation or brand, a discussion about your future role or responsibility or conversations aimed at repairing or rebuilding a key relationship in the face of conflict. These kinds of  conversations require your very best listening skills. Even if your boss has asked for an informal chat and you start out talking about the weather, your team, or your favorite restaurant---be on the alert for questions about your work progress, your views about the project or your team.  

Tip #2  Develop Your Listening Skills

Listening is a skill.  If you are listening well, it means you are able to reflect back to the speaker what’s been said, summarizing the key points that were made. The ability to hear the person’s words without simultaneously planning your response is key. During difficult conversations, a really great listener is also able to set the tone for a safe conversation and tunes out any distractions so that they can fully engage and reflect on the feelings that are being shared.  Effective listening involves observing both what’s being said and the nonverbal cues. Ultimately, it creates understanding, awareness, and appreciation for different points of view.  

Tip #3  Keep Notes and Track Your Observations

If it's appropriate, you may want to take notes to help you listen during key conversations and keep a workplace journal to track what happens as an issue evolves. These notes can be a great way to follow your perceptions about a situation or the direction of key relationships.  Your notes can also be used to summarize your understanding of a situation in a follow up email that you send to your boss or team member--an important way to summarize ideas, issues, or concerns that impact your brand and your career.

That’s it. #3LVCareerHacks on developing your listening skills.  

Got a comment for us? Give us a shout at @SavvyLatinaInfo @LatinaVIDA360 or on our Facebook Group. We’d love to hear from you!  If you’ve made one of the CareerHack tips work for you, we may feature you in the next LatinaVIDA360 Career Power Hacks Podcast!

Live Your VIDA with Intention! 


Your LV Familia!


P. S. Remember, here are the other LatinaVIDA resources for you:

  • Evernote Notebook of Curated Work-Life Resources, Readings and Tips

  • Join our Private Facebook Group

  • LatinaVIDA360 Podcast Latina Leaders in Conversation and NEW Career Power Hacks

  • Our #Slack Community to Share Experiences with LatinaVIDA Circle Guide

  • Past #3LVCareerHacks Newsletters (please share with friends and family)

  • Latina Cubicle Confidential: A Personal Blog from our Co-Founders


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