attentive listening

Listening is a key communication skill. It produces energy and understanding in all areas such as social gatherings, business events, and customer interactions. How well do you listen?

“We must stop talking about the American dream and start listening to the dreams of Americans.”

– Max Beerbohn

Why listening is important

Listening connects you to others and shows respect with your focused attention. When another person sees that you are listening attentively, they feel truly heard. Often the simple act of listening while someone talks through a problem or shares a concern will validate their thoughts and feelings. Their minds and emotions will be open to expand to solve problems, feel satisfied and ready to move forward.

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”

– Bryant H. McGill

Sometimes what isn’t said is the most important thing to hear

This may appear to be a contradiction. If you ‘read between the lines’ and sense that there is more to the story than what you are hearing, then listen harder. Make a strong connection, look them in the eye and nod your head to encourage trust. Offer to continue the conversation another time, perhaps in a more quiet setting. Always leave the door open for communication.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.”

– Stephen R. Covey

Hone your listening skills:

  • To understand
  • To focus and achieve clear communication
  • To build trust
  • To develop meaningful and long lasting relationships
  • To build your business as well as encouraging another person to build theirs

To increase and sharpen your listening skills, please contact me for valuable listening tips on why it’s important in developing your leadership role.

Click here to receive Free Leadership Tips from Shirlie based on her book: The Power of Exceptional Leadership


I hope the Shirlie Taylor, South Carolina business development and life coachinformation in this post is a helpful resource for you. If you are interested in taking your professional development a step further, I encourage you to learn more about our Mastermind Groups. These interactive, round table discussions for like-minded professionals are held once a month.  Or investigate our Seminar and Workshop topics.

Want to learn more about our services? I have posted many articles on topics critical for entrepreneurs and small business owners. You’re invited to read and share with others who may find insight from them.

value of influence

“One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value.”

– Jim Rohn

The recent blog zeroed in on assessing your priorities and defining and validating your values. A hot trend right now is influence marketing: how to use influencers to get your marketing message across to a wider audience. An influencer is a person who is well-connected and who is regarded as influential and in-the-know; someone who is looked to for advice, direction, knowledge and opinions. People like CEOs, CMOs, PR professionals, creative people, bloggers, journalists, and other experts.

Trending: The Value of Influence

The trend now is how to monetize influence. I prefer to think of it in a more altruistic way. To me, realizing that our presence and our actions have an effect on the lives of others, as well as ourselves, is what determines the value of influence. More importantly, buying influence is not congruent ethically with my values. I much rather inspire and be inspired by others by expanding my associations and building relationships with true meaning.

What role will you play in the world of influence?

  1. Take positive action that aligns with your values
  2. Be a leader in the growth of others
  3. Create and share your vision
  4. Show appreciation and gratitude
  5. Be an inspiration

“It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters.”

– Amit Ray

Challenge yourself in the role of influence. Which steps will you take? What results are you seeking? Begin today. Share your progress by adding a comment below.

Click here to receive Free Leadership Tips from Shirlie based on her book: The Power of Exceptional Leadership


I hope the Shirlie Taylor, South Carolina business development and life coachinformation in this post is a helpful resource for you. If you are interested in taking your professional development a step further, I encourage you to learn more about our Mastermind Groups. These interactive, round table discussions for like-minded professionals are held once a month.  Or investigate our Seminar and Workshop topics.

Want to learn more about our services? I have posted many articles on topics critical for entrepreneurs and small business owners. You’re invited to read and share with others who may find insight from them.

Control time and increase productivity.

Control Time, Gain Life.

Many people work very hard and feel they have little to show for it. They accept this as a fact of life. Don’t settle for this myth.  You can lead a much more productive and balanced life, both professionally and personally, by taking control of your time.

As a business and life coach, I work with individuals and executives to help them improve their work / life balance and feel more productive. Here are a few of my top tips to help you become more productive.

Eliminate Waste

Identify nonessential tasks and inefficient processes.  We are creatures of habit and have a natural tendency to repeat the same behavior, even if it’s unproductive. Keep notes about the inefficiencies of which you become aware. Create a NOT-to-do list. Eliminate anything that is on your NOT-to-do list, and use your regained time to address other priorities which increase your productivity.

Limit Distractions

De-clutter your desk or work space. Limit socializing and leisure Internet use during the day. Designate time blocks for certain activities (email, calls, meeting, etc). Consider turning off email notifications which can interrupt work flow throughout the day and sabotage your productivity. Group similar tasks together, and work through them in an organized fashion.

Improve Processes

Comfort zones can inhibit us both personally and professionally. Don’t let the fear of change keep you from exploring new (and potentially better) ways of doing things. Once you’ve noticed inefficient behavior, change it. Keep in mind that it is easy to fall prey to old patterns and habits. If this is something you struggle with, try working backwards. Start by defining the results you desire, and build a new process, step by step working backwards. You can make adjustments and potentially eliminate some steps all together. Remember that it is important not to over-complicate things.

Utilize Your Network

Your network (business associates/coworkers/employees and strategic partners) is one of your greatest assets. Relationships provide a way to work towards your goals. Frequently ask yourself, “Is this task something I can and should delegate or outsource?” If the answer is yes, pass that task along and move on to something that is a better use of your time. Remember that the most effective business relationships are those in which everyone contributes and has a potential to benefit. When you form strategic partnerships in this manner, the productivity benefits are twofold:

  • Exposure – A strategic partner can expose you to dozens of new contacts, if not more.  This maximizes gain (securing multiple new clients vs. one at a time) and maximizes your time investment.
  • Credibility – Your strategic partners have already established credibility with their clients.  Their transferred endorsement improves your credibility… And again this is with a minimal investment of time.

Evaluate Productivity Results

You’ve made a conscious effort to be more productive. Is it working? Track changes and corresponding data (sales, output, etc). Look for patterns and trends over time. Focus on the changes that achieve favorable results. Continue to evaluate productivity on a regular basis, and take a proactive approach to process improvement.


Shirlie Taylor, South Carolina business development and life coachI hope the information in this post is a helpful resource for you. If you are interested in taking your professional development a step further, I encourage you to learn more about our Mastermind Groups. These interactive, round table discussions for like-minded professionals are held once a month.  Or investigate our Seminar and Workshop topics.

Want to learn more about our services? I have posted many articles on topics critical for entrepreneurs and small business owners. You’re invited to read and share with others who may find insight from them.

Please contact me via email or phone  (843) 873-6769.