1. Weak that result in misunderstandings and botched opportunities.
2. Haphazard that waste time and undermine productivity.
Here are some techniques to upgrade your skills and clean up bad habits:
Listening. Rather than tell yourself that you’re a bad listener, think, “I’m an excellent listener, and here’s why.” Then commit to following certain rules, such as allowing for at least two seconds of silence before you address a speaker’s comments or summarizing what you hear before you dive in with a response. Also remember that the brain can process what you hear about four times faster than the average rate of speech; this means you need to harness all that extra mental energy and concentrate 100 percent on a speaker’s remarks.
Organizing. Poorly organized managers merely react to events. Crises overtake them, and they rarely have time to prioritize. Sharpen your organizational ability by devoting at least 15 uninterrupted minutes a day to thinking through the past-present-future status of projects. Divide a piece of paper into three columns and assign priorities to old assignments that require follow-up, current tasks that demand your attention and upcoming events or deadlines that involve preparation. Beware of equating a sloppy desk with a sloppy mind: Some of the most organized executives maintain perpetually messy desks. They know exactly where to find what they need.
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