It’s a new year, and if you are in the habit of making resolutions, there are two changes you can make that will help those resolutions stick. Research has shown that resolution

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success comes because most of your mindset actions, whether personal or professional, are supported by a psychological foundation. Secure the foundation and building on it becomes easier. This podcast episode shows you how to effectively build one.

Decide to actively listen more:
While we think of listening as something quite simple, it is actually very complex. Complex because we listen on three levels which involves various types of behavior based on how we are hearing what is being said. The most effective is the level 1 where you are totally engaged, in the moment, and paying attention to the speaker’s total communication which includes body language and facial expressions. At this level verbal and nonverbal feedback is provided which opens the door for understanding even if you disagree with what’s being said. Level two listening involves a little more distance Listening 2because you are only superficially analyzing the content and slightly involved in what is being said. This type of listening often leads to misunderstandings because only a part of what was said is truly heard. And finally level three where there is complete distance because you are secretly or even openly, pretending to listen while preparing a response regardless of what is being said. Most people avoid talking with this type of person because nothing gets through.

Pointing out the three levels of listening does not mean every encounter needs to be at level 1, which is asking for information overload, but does mean that you are consciously aware of how you shift or remain at each level. Make a point of paying attention to if you are using levels 2 and 3 for situations that may require level 1 listening. A coaching client recently reported that during sales calls he began to employ a level 1 strategy of repeating back something said to him during a conversation or simply acknowledged a situation by saying “I’m sorry that happened to you”. He found his encounters more dynamic and people more receptive. This approach insures that you get maximum understanding from situations that require a response or action on your part.

Break each goal into manageable parts:
You pick a goal and begin working on it, but things begin to conspire pursuing-goalsagainst your plan and you gradually return to the old habit. Sound familiar? Instead, take a moment and ask yourself if this is what I want, then what are the parts or steps to getting there? Using this step by step approach makes doing what you set out to do appear possible because you are no longer standing in front of a mountain but a series of hurdles that you can take one at a time. Each hurdle you get over makes the next one more mentally possible because you have established a trail of success. Simple as that.

You are now ready to go out and tackle those resolutions with clearer understanding and greater resolve.

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