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Talk Less, Say More: Three Habits to Influence Others and Make Things Happen by Connie Dieken

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Chapter 2. Stay in Their Moment: Be Fully Present

Staying in their moment means fully focusing on the needs of the people with whom you're communicating. It means first managing your own attention in order to win other people's interest. This triggers a positive gut reaction that engages people and keeps their attention focused on you and your message. Use this strategy and you'll attract, not distract.

Fully Focus on Their Needs

Linda, an up-and-coming corporate executive, learned to stay in their moment after her self-absorption led to disastrous results. It happened at 7:30 on a Monday morning. As Linda was checking e-mail and reviewing her schedule of wall-to-wall meetings, her phone rang. It was the CEO of another organization. "I've heard great things about you and I'd like to explore having you join our leadership team," he said. However, as the conversation unfolded, the CEO didn't like what he was hearing. Linda came across as distracted and rushed. She interrupted him and talked over him. The CEO got the impression that Linda was self-absorbed and too unfocused to be an effective leader on his executive team. He quickly crossed her name off his short list of prospects.

Linda learned her lesson. What specifically did she change about her communication approach in order to stay in the moment? She stopped reading e-mail when she was on the telephone and disciplined herself to focus on the conversation at hand.

John, a sales executive at a large consumer goods company, saved his ...

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