My brain is basically a 1 year old

Let’s do a little compare-contrast.

Conversation with my 1 year old:

Me: “It’s nap time.”

Her: [Insert the “No” of your choice…]

  • “No.”

  • “I did.” (Lie)

  • “I’m not going to.” (Defiance)

  • “Read book.” (Distraction)

  • “Daniel Tiger.” (Distraction)

  • Or, just ignore it. (Denial)

Compared to conversation within my own brain:

My Prefrontal Cortex (higher brain, executive planning center): “It’s [hard work/ workout/ dishes] time.”

Me: [Insert one of my preferred “No’s”…]

  • “No.”

  • “I don’t need to.” (Lie)

  • “I’m not going to.” (Defiance)

  • “Read book.” (Distraction)

  • “Instagram.” (Distraction)

  • Or, just ignore it. (Denial)

You see the trend, right?

So what’s a well-intentioned woman to do?!

Counter with the affirmative…

My Prefrontal Cortex, to myself: “It’s [hard work] time.”

Me, in response: “No.”

Countering with the affirmative: “It is [hard work] time. I am getting up and doing [the hard thing] now.”

How this works

This does not magically disappear the resistance entirely but it does diffuse the clash of conflict.

It eases the transition into forward action, respectfully. No trickery, bribery, bartering, hostility or deception. It’s transparent and inclusive.

  • You reinforce the next step as inevitable.

  • Do not engage in argument - it is a statement of fact.

  • BONUS: Also works with 1 year olds. ;)

If you’re stuck, dreading all the things you have to do but don’t want to, wishing your days away - then, dear heart, you are likely burnt out.

Take heart, there is a way to heal from burnout - and it starts with Whole Self-Care.

The BOSS Group (stands for BurnOut Survivors Support Group) is currently accepting applications for new members.

It’s an immersive burnout recovery and revitalization program that gives you tools, skills, coaching and support to get over burnout once and for all.

To learn more

Click HERE to learn more and take the first step in booking a discovery call.

With love, joy and gratitude!
Tarah Keech | hello@therealcrew.com
To book calendar time: http://bit.ly/letstalk1-on-1




P.S. For weekly live streamed shows, like and follow my FB business page: https://www.facebook.com/tarahkeech.therealcrew/


P.P.S. Are you in our FB group? If not, why not!? That’s crazy talk. Come on in and join us. We’re awesome and you belong here. And it’s free. Click >> here << to request to join.

What you find FUN matters

This week is the FIRST week of my full beta course… Burnout Survival: Whole Self-Care for Professional Women. (If you’re not in this round, fear not, we’re launching in a few weeks - reply and let me know if you want in or put your email in here.)

We are just digging into what burnout looks and feels and sounds like.
Next, we’re going to talk about the shocking root cause.
Then, what does healing look like? In real life. (Way, WAY beyond and better than spa days.)

I’ll give you a small piece of the Whole Self-Care model right now…

Pay attention to the things you like.

Not “pay attention” in the sense of active listening, eye contact and head nodding.

But PAY attention. Pay with attention.

Honor those things with your time, your focus and your energy.

Invest in what you like. Learn more about it. Spend time thinking about it. Play with it. Talk about it.

I was remembering the other day, being a kiddo, playing with my dolls on the floor and tracing their bodies onto fabric - making patterns. As a six year old, playing with neighbor friends, I loved the way Barbie’s clothes could give her basically an entirely different lease on life. I spent all my play time just changing doll clothes.

Because I like clothes. 
I always have. I like looking through a store even when I don’t want to buy anything because it feels like creative inspiration. Any other spatial reasoning and visual learners out there?

Then…

Life happens. 
Bodies change. Tastes evolve. Priorities shift. And less and less attention was paid to that creative part of “me” that likes clothes. Then, one day, clothes don’t make sense the way they used to.

Life changes:

  • Non-profit to corporate

  • Corporate to work-at-home

  • Single to married

  • No kids to kids (and breastfeeding) (and machine washable is a necessity) (and why are kids always kind of grimey?)

  • And I’m not in my 20’s anymore

  • And I need to talk in front of an audience?! Of executives?! Who control my career?!
     

And then I met Bridgette Raes. I remember finding her through another blog post that was talking about closet curation - “shop your closet.”

All of the simplicity and practicality PLUS psychology of style - Bridgette’s got it.

Her color theory (base + accent + pop) made my brain & heart light up! It’s still bookmarked on my laptop and phone. (If you like that, check out her packingand capsule posts!)

I devoured all of her posts and had to meet with her. She is a wardrobe whisperer for REAL women, in REAL life, in REAL bodies. And she pulls no punches.
 

Now! I’m so excited!

Bridgette's offering all of her brilliance via super-affordable monthly membership in her uber-positive and vibrant Facebook group!

Listen, if you’ve ever felt stuck with what to wear in the mornings - join the club. No really - join the group (it’s FREE the first month) - Stuck planning what to wear? Post your choices and she’ll help you out.
 

YOU NEED THIS.

$5/mo. FIVE DOLLARS A MONTH to do away with your “What am I supposed to wear?!” panic? 

I mean, COME ON.

Sign up HERE

This is not sponsored. I’m a paying member. I LOVE Bridgette and her group.

I know because I’m friends with you that you deal with THE EXACT same questions that Bridgette answers every.day. Imagine getting custom, tailored answers for your exact life / body / budget situation... 

  • "What the heck can I wear to look more....??"

  • Or "Less..."

  • "On a budget..."

  • "While traveling...?"

  • "While mom-ing....?"

  • "Why do I only have black everything?!"

  • "How can I freshen up my look without throwing everything out?"

Having a trusted, expert buddy in your corner is SUCH a relief.

And it’s fun!

 Nourish the fun!

With that, I adore you!
Go forth with all my love and gratitude!
Tarah Keech | hello@therealcrew.com
therealcrewgroup.com


P.S. I am still star-struck-stoked that Bridgette did two mastermind conversations with us :: HERE and HERE

P.P.S. Are you in our FB group? If not, why not!? That’s crazy talk. Come on in and join us. We’re awesome and you belong here. And it’s free. Click here to request to join >> therealcrewgroup.com.  

Let's call him "Dan"

“All my burned out ladies, put your hands up, up!”

I had a weird, left-field “wake up” moment today. Karmic recycling. You see, a ways back, I was burnt out.

“How do I know if I’m burnt out?” you ask?

See if any of these resonate for you…

  • The Sunday blues.

  • Nausea when you get certain emails, from certain people.

  • You feel either constant irritability/ fury/ fear, or…

  • You’re completely blasé - just not giving a damn the point of just not doing anything.

  • Resentment. You’re under-appreciated, undervalued, unseen and unheard.

  • Squirrel syndrome but only about work stuff. All. Day. Long.

  • You feel So. Darn. Tired. Yawwwwwn.

  • Just to name a few.

therealcrewgroup.com

Things were getting worse…

As they tend to do when you’re burnt out.

(Ahem, especially when you know it’s time for a change and yet you’re not making it.)

These “pain” points are road signs

I imagine that I’m on a gigantic road trip of life and these “pain” points were road signs or GPS instructions that tell me an exit’s coming up that I need to take. The signs get bigger, bolder, brighter and less avoidable in order to get our attention - especially if we’ve made a wrong turn or stayed on the old road too long.

There I was, on the “road” and I kept getting these signs. More responsibility but less of a thrill. Everything started to feel like an obligation and I felt like a different person - someone I didn’t recognize and definitely didn’t like.

Rage AND indifference

Those same burnout symptoms we talked about above: Oscillations between irritability, rage and indifference. Resentment - big time - “I’m spending my life doing what?! For who?!” Procrastinating on important work. And frankly, a little salty.

I worked for “Dan” - let’s use that name to protect the innocent. “Dan” was an easy target to blame - as bosses usually are. All that work you resent? It comes from your boss. All those political dynamics that make you sick? Your boss drives those.

GIANT, FLASHING, FLARING ROAD SIGN

Dan, for better and worse, was a messenger in my life. He literally told me, “I’m never going to promote you. You’re too good at what you do.”

CLARITY.

It’s not your job’s job to give you purpose. It’s not your boss’s job to make you happy. You are the ONLY one who can heal your burnout. Surviving burnout and thriving afterwards is on you.

Dan wasn’t my GPS. He wasn’t driving the car or making the decisions - I was the one who had been acting, reacting and taking in-action.

So I made a change

It wasn’t overnight but it was rapid. I dove into self-coaching, visualization and failing forward on a strategic plan with mentors and training. I made decisions and pattern-busting changes that brought me back to my-self in new and better ways. Healthier. Whole. And joyful. My relationships got better. My career skyrocketed. I felt time, financial and emotional freedom. I was able to give, liberally in ways that lit me up.

My life was Whole Self-Care’s beta launch and it ROCKED.

I was hooked. I knew I was onto something BIG.

Now, today, I’m not “burnt” out but there are constantly new little fires kindled that could take me there again.

So today, when I called my client “Dan” (his name is NOT Dan), I felt a check in my spirit.

  • Am I letting the old patterns I lived in my “Dan” chapter be my default?

  • Am I neglecting road signs?

  • Am I relying on someone else to give me purpose or joy?

There are many exciting things percolating in my current “road trip” planning but in the meantime…

Here are two super small, super doable right-this-very-minute steps of my personal Burnout Survival Protocol - the Whole Self-Care program - that I’m doing TODAY to make sure “Dan” is not driving my thoughts and decisions.

I included my actual examples but encourage you to answer these for yourself too.

What 3 things can I do (realistically) today that help me LIVE my dream and my purpose?

  1. Email my new friend and share what I can do for her organization

  2. Get coached on mindset around business growth and development

  3. Write this here bloggy post

What 3 things can I do today to take care of myself physically, mentally, emotionally?

  1. Drink enough water that I have to get up and pee at least 4 times while I’m at work

  2. Stop eating at 7 PM (including snacks and wine)

  3. Tell Brian I love him in 3 different ways - face to face, email and text (awwww, I know)


With so much love, joy and gratitude,
Tarah Keech | hello@therealcrew.com
therealcrewgroup.com



P.S. What are your 3 things?


P.P.S. Are you in our FB group? If not, why not!? That’s crazy talk. Come on in and join us. We’re awesome and you belong here. And it’s free. Click here to request to join >> therealcrewgroup.com.  


Yoga's Not Really My Thing

Hello you beautiful CREW woman!

What’s one thing you’ve done this year, so far, that’s been a stretch for you - something outside of your comfort zone? Reply right here and share.

This past weekend I did yoga. I didn’t really want to. I was co-hosting an event - the other co-host was leading a yoga session. It was an open space, the kind that’s not conducive to lurkers.

I bit the bullet and got a mat.

It wasn’t pretty.

I rolled around on the floor. I balanced on one leg. I vinyasa’d. It wasn’t easy. None - NOT ONE - of the movements was intuitive for me. It wasn’t comfortable.

But there was a moment - at the end - when I laid flat out on my back - that felt gooooood.

Then, there was a moment the next day when I felt that twinge of muscle soreness where I knew I had done my body good.

I love that feeling

It’s one of the ways I feel most alive - and I haven’t felt that in more than a little while.

To wrap up her session, the teacher, a genuinely lovely and grounded human, led us through a gratitude exercise and gifted us journals to use going forward. I’m so glad she did because…

Journaling has been a powerful, transformative tool in my life

That’s why I created this (free) 5-Day 5-Minute Journal Challenge.

You can use the book (The 5-Minute Journal) or follow along with just a notebook on your own but I urge you to give it a whirl.

You can sign up for the 5-Minute Journal Challenge right >> HERE <<

I’ll be doing it right along with you and would love to know in a comment below: Are you going to join?  


With so much love, joy and gratitude,
Tarah Keech | hello@therealcrew.com

therealcrewgroup.com


P.S. When’s the last time you did yoga? Do you like it? Comment and tell me why / how you grew to love it or if it’s just intuitive for you.


P.P.S. Are you in our FB group? It’s your space, our space, to get really, really real with each other about all the things that help us be our best selves at work and in all areas of our lives - even when we’re sweaty and rolling around all uncoordinated on a yoga mat.

Really quick, 1 question and a contest

The feeling of burnout is real. It happens, happened or is happening to all of us.

What does burnout feel like?

CLOSED :: Click HERE and share your best 1-sentence description of how burnout feels.

You’ve got nothing to lose! All responses will get a special thank you and one response will get a very nifty little gifty.

With so much love, joy and gratitude,
Tarah Keech | hello@therealcrew.com
therealcrewgroup.com


P.S. Do you have a friend who might be feeling burnt out right now? Please invite her to join us here. Add her to the FB group and then tag her in a welcome note (b/c it’s so much easier when someone else brags for you and this just might be the ray of sunshine she needs today).



P.P.S Not in the (free) FB group? Lady! Get on it! You can request to join right here. It’s awesome and exactly the kind of encouraging lady squad you’ve been hoping to find.

XYZ File

Mine is labeled, “XYZ” and categorized with the color purple

I had the joy and privilege of volunteering to help high schoolers practice mock interviews.

First, I’m profoundly encouraged about the state of our youth and the future of the universe. These kids are awesome.

Second, the basic interview skills they needed were all simple, solvable things:

  • Practice more.

  • Follow up your “biggest weakness” statement immediately with what you’re doing to address it.

  • Make all your answers all about the person who you’re talking with.

  • Use stories.

And then there was this girl.

She was warm but reserved. Great eye contact. Adorably relatable in her mild self-consciousness. She loves sports. She’s proud that she’s gotten as far as she has academically since she doesn’t really like school but she has grit. You can see it. You can feel it.

I felt this strange nurture / cheerleading instinct. I wanted her to know that she was capable of achieving her next steps. I wanted her to see what I’m certain her teachers, coaches and family must see in her.

BUT it’s just not enough for me as a stranger to look her in the eye and say, “You’re doing great. You’re able to do amazing things - Set your sights high because I believe in you.”

So, instead, I shared this weird thing that I do… (and you’re gonna want to do it too)

I told her: Create a note in your phone, a folder in your email or put a literal notebook in the back of your bag and write down every single time you get a compliment on what you do or recognized for the way you do something; every time you’re thanked for your help or feel proud of what you’ve achieved.

  • What did you do?

  • Why?

  • What did they say?

  • What difference did it make?

See, for her, these will give her specific illustrations of her awesomeness she can use in interviews. AND - it’ll boost her confidence as she’s getting ready for any next big thing.

Start yours today. Right now. I’ll wait.

For you, you amazing woman, your XYZ file is proof that you are capable. Of big, scary things. Of new things. Of failing and surviving, learning and trying again.

Whole Self-Care includes recognizing and celebrating wins and what you learn. This is one super easy, super fast, super free way to do that - start today.

Read it before your interview. Read it on blue days. Read it when you’re writing your annual review. Read it on Wednesdays every single week just for the sake of reading it. Because you’re amazing.

Celebrating you,
Tarah Keech | hello@therealcrew.com
therealcrewgroup.com

PS - What is your most recent win or lesson learned? Hit the comments right here and let me know.

PPS - Or, better yet, hop into our completely free and private FB group to read what others are sharing and share yours: therealcrewgroup.com.

I was a B* over Christmas

This is a stream of consciousness that no one asked for.

I was a B* (capital-B) over Christmas. Horrible. Really, really.

 
 

Necessary disclaimer

If you read through, know this - I am grateful for these pain points and for all of the reasons, privilege and ability that underwrites all of the opportunities for these frustrations. This is a peek into my own thought models and proof that even brats can have breakthroughs and that even burnout can be a tool for healing and progress.

Excuses

I was tired.
There were 4 AM mornings - many of them, in a row. We had been staying up a little later in an effort to “create” time as a couple and “Santa” together.

I was working. And I didn’t want to.
Man, I love getting paid. I also like being needed. My job hits both of those nails squarely on the head. BUT. I felt resentment that I was working Christmas Eve and the 26th.

We had protected Christmas Day for just our little 5-some (including our baby dog) but that meant all of our visits were front loaded in the Holiday weekend and it amped up the stress and time constraints.

Miscellaneous life stuff.
We had a mouse. We had plumbing issues. We hosted parties. We cycled through various stages of snotty sickness, coughs and stiff necks.

Learning curve.
I majored in Communication. I love psychology. I study human relationships and still - STILL - I am learning how to communicate.

How do I communicate with a 4 year old in the ways that build trust and foster all the good things you want another human to know and experience - while keeping them alive? Ditto that but for a 1 year old? And with my husband? While not sounding stern and short and loud all.the.damn.time.

Oh, what a brat I was.

I am ashamed that I was such an ingrate.

I received a gift. A thoughtful and generous gift that I’d actually previously commented on and yet - I hated it. I thought it was a “family” gift and not a “me” gift. Because I’m entitled to a “me” gift and they weren’t a mind-reader? Please. Self-pity. Is there anything as distasteful and ingratitude? Not in my book.

On top of that
I was hateful at myself. There’s no need to sugar coat it. I know better. I knew better. I felt like I just couldn’t shake it.

Here’s the crack in the foundation and the first step to fixing it.

Like a Maslow’s hierarchy, there is a hierarchy of self-care. To be your whole best self, you have to care for your whole self.

The largest, most fundamental need is physical. I had stepped away from my routines and my rituals and flat out stopped eating well, drinking enough water, intention setting, journaling, even my skincare. I neglected the basics in the throws of frenzy and sickness.

The best medicine for me, in that week, was sleep. Now, hear me, sleep is not always a choice but it can be a priority.

Next time you feel behind or out of sync, consider your quality of sleep and your sleep hygiene. This is not my area of expertise but these resources have recommendations that worked for me:  

Next come the other major puzzle pieces. Hydrate. Move. Green food. Wash my face. Stretch.

The next level up on the Whole Self-Care pyramid are emotional and mental needs.

With my weary mind and body, I didn’t put up much of a fight as my wits made their escape and I defaulted into letting my reactive thoughts and emotions dictate my behavior. The truth is, I don’t need to be taken care of. I am responsible - solely responsible - for my experiences. My emotions are not dependent on anyone else’s behavior or any circumstance and in fact, I was generating the result that I thought I would.

See, there are:

  • Circumstances: Facts that are provable in court. Circumstances can trigger thoughts.

  • Thoughts: Are CHOICES. One sentence interpretations about the circumstances. Thoughts drive emotions.

  • Emotions: Are physical vibrations in our body caused by our thoughts. Emotions determine our actions.

  • Actions: Can include reactions, actions and inaction. Actions determine our results.

  • Results: What we wind up with. Results ALWAYS PROVE OUR THOUGHTS.

These are the universal truths that underlie Whole Self-Care.

Aligning with what you want - your intention - with what you choose to think and do is not ever automatic. Which means it takes effort and time. The good news is, it’s possible and it gets easier with practice.

Answer me this:

Are you into self-care? Have you ever tried self-care on an emotional level? Send me an email or post in our group (therealcrewgroup.com).

With love, joy & gratitude,
Tarah Keech
hello@therealcrew.com | therealcrewgroup.com



PS - If you’ve ever been a brat and had to do this kind of soul-searching, hit our private FB group and let me know what worked? How did it turn out?

What's Your Superpower of Choice?

Imagine waking up and feeling… different. Sure. Certain. Ready.

This day is different. This day, you’re ready for. Your instinct and intuition are LIT up. You’re capable. Amazing. Prepared.

You. Have. A SUPERPOWER.

You are tapped into exactly what you want and you are able to GET.IT.DONE. You’re strutting with swagger.

If you could wake up tomorrow with any superpower to use at work and any superpower to use at home - what would they be?

What would you use them for?

I would love to hear what your superpower of choice would be! Hop on into my private Facebook group and tell us. Be sure to tag with #superpower.

Click here to request access: therealcrewgroup.com and then say hello and let us know. I can’t wait to see you inside!

With love, joy & gratitude,

Tarah | hello@therealcrew.com
Join us: therealcrewgroup.com

Get Attention & Be Heard

Can you hear me now? No. Really. Getting attention and being heard in this noisy world can be exhausting and discouraging.

You know the scenes in movies when the Army yells, “HOOAH!”?

It means H. U. A. = Heard, Understood and Acknowledged.

“HOOAH!” lets their Commanding Officer know that the instructions have been received and that they’re gonna get.it.done.

Can I get a virtual raise of hands - like, right now, raise your hand wherever you are - If…

You can think of a time in the last week when you WISH you could have gotten a “HUA!” back from someone?

Like, say an SO? Or a toddler? Or coworker? Just as a for-instance ;)

Heard, understood and acknowledged - are distinct actions. Deliberate, separate responses.

When we say we want to be heard, what we really want is to be understood and acknowledged.

Unless you’re a Commanding Officer, how do you get attention for what you’re saying?

Let’s talk about how to make sure your points are understood and you get the acknowledgement and action you need, in a way that creates respect and can help your reputation, so you don’t seem needy. How do you get a HUA holler back the right way?

 
 

The pre-game. THINK IT THROUGH.

(If you want the short cut, here’s a checklist for all of these steps. You can download it instantly here.)

1. What do you want to get across?

Distill your point down to as simple a statement as possible. Then cut out all of the unnecessary words. Get rid of the fluff. You may add some fluff back later. You’re going to be restating the same thing a few ways a few different times but having a “headline” version of what you need them to understand and acknowledge will help you drive it home.

2. How will you sharing that information make a difference?

Thinking through your ideal result - describe  the best possible outcome once you have their attention.

  • How will it impact the other person? Will that other person take action and do the thing? Change their mind? Are you hoping it will trigger an emotional connection like joy, guilt, shame, caution?

  • How will it impact you? What feeling do you hope you’ll have afterward? How’s it going to make a difference for you?

3. AND… Is it worth it?

Is it worth the time and energy to fight for attention air time?

:: Touchy subject disclaimer ::

Here’s what I deeply internalized with my Alzheimer’s grandmother. Most of the stuff we talk about in our day-to-day lives does not matter.

For dementia patients to key into their diminishing focus ability, it takes EFFORT. Is small talk worth it? Not really. But what is worth it is really, really valuable. It’s totally worth the investment of effort to tell her I love her. To make sure she eats.

She would never remember what I said but she would always remember how I made her feel. She would smile at me. She scowled at others - like family who fought with her about the fact that no, there weren’t cows in the trees.

What’s the point of arguing about cows in the trees? Does it matter? To what end?

Which brings us to…

4. If your answer’s “Yes, it’s worth it,” then you need to tailor your message to the person whose attention you want.

Here’s how…

Woo Woo-Hoo

Knowing your audience gives you an unseen advantage. Compassion is powerful - as humans, we’re wired to connect. The more we can authentically demonstrate that we’re aligned to someone else’s best interest, the easier it is for them to give us what we need and want.

Start by imagining the other person’s wants, needs, priorities, and motivation. You’ll weave these points in to support your statements and add weight and urgency to your requests.

What are they currently working towards? What risks are they mitigating?

For even more in-depth examples of how to build heartfelt connections and relationships with those you work with, to get attention at work, positive professional caliber inter-personal PR with those who can sponsor you in some way, like your client or mentor, check out this (free) e-course > Sponsor Woo.

Say it

Because this is worth the effort and your relationship with the other person matters, here’s a proven formula for saying whatever it is you need them to hear:

Tell them there will be a test. When you start by telling them you want to hear back what questions they have or their opinion you’re priming them to dial in their focus in advance.

  • You can say, “I’m about to go over XYZ. Can you do me a favor please and after I’m done, let me know if it generates any questions or if you see any impacts I need to consider further?”

Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, tell them again, remind them of what you just told them. Attention spans aside, a healthy dose of repetition, emotional triggers and our own individual mental dot-connecting for humans to really learn something. This may feel redundant but this hand-holding can be as simple and straightforward as a few sentences, depending on your topic.

To recap

Check out this quick reference guide that you can use as a reminder the next time you’re having to intentionally get attention: Your Checklist & Cheat Sheet to Get Attention & Be Heard (the RIGHT way)

  1. State the topic: Hit the bullet points of what you want to say in as few words as possible.

    • “I’m about to go over XYZ.”

  2. Why does it matter to them? Woo, baby, woo.

    • “You’re gonna love it because it will help relieve ABC and boost your DEF.”

  3. Remember to test prep.

    • “Can you do me a favor please and after I’m done, let me know if it generates any questions or if you see any impacts I need to consider further?”

  4. One at a time, tick through your bullet points of what you want to have heard. State the bullet point. Elaborate if you must.

  5. Set a follow up: If they need time to respond or if you want to make sure they take certain steps, propose a circle-up.

    • “Let’s plan to touch base on this tomorrow afternoon?”

  6. Send notes.

    • For notes tips, check out this post >> Listen like you mean it.

    • “Here’s what I captured from our conversation including your action items and my next steps. I welcome your edits and thoughts.”

  7. Repeat! The whole process is a cycle and every conversation is a chance to refine their understanding and continuously reinforce their acknowledgement.

  8. Before the follow up, start by stating the topic again plus the action items you’re expecting to have updated by then.

Sometimes, getting attention and responses from some people can feel like you’re beating your head against a wall.

If you want feedback with how you’re positioning your ideas or just a sounding board of other amazing professional women, you’ve gotta join The Real CREW’s Facebook community. Click here to request access: therealcrewgroup.com

With love, joy & gratitude,
Tarah Keech
hello@therealcrew.com

Listening is Hard: Three Ways to Improve Listening Skills

I work with a large number of colleagues who have English as their second language.

Sometimes, to give my eardrums a break, because I work from home, I leave my conference calls on speaker. This past week, my husband passed through and paused, tilted his head and said, “That is a well-educated guy.”

He was right. That’s not new - my husband’s a wicked smart, intuitive guy. He’s usually right about almost everything.

Here’s what’s interesting - the guy he was listening to, speaks English as a second language.

In every meeting, this guy often gets over-talked and is almost always asked to repeat himself a few times during calls. On a regular basis, he has to restate previously made points in follow up emails and redundant meetings. He knows his stuff at an expert level. He’s professional and entirely credible.

But to be HEARD, he has to repeat. ALL.THE.TIME.

Why?

 
 

Because LISTENING is hard.

Why listening skills are difficult

Hearing happens to us. It’s a circumstance.

Listening takes effort. It’s hard. It’s a discipline; a skill that only gets better with practice.

Can listening skills be improved?
Yes, yes they can.

Why listening skills are important

How can listening skills help you? When you listen you gain…  

  • Your time back: You don’t have to ask for repeats.

  • Stress relief: Multitasking is killing your brain and makes us feel like we’re behind.

    Like, right now. How many windows do you have open? Are you on your phone and at work? STOP it. Next time you have the chance to listen - STOP EVERYTHING ELSE and LISTEN.

  • Protect your energy: If needed, when you’re really dialed in and listening, you can get any needed answers or clarification right away instead after-the-fact, without having to waste energy spinning around hypothetical interpretations of partially caught meaning.

  • Results: Want to get more done? Quicker? Better? Tune in to one thing at a time. LISTEN, with your whole self.

BONUS TIP: Sometimes, my four year old acts out for attention (shocking, I know) by increasing her volume or doing behavior that she knows I’ll react to (pull on curtains, push her younger sister, etc.).

When I have the presence of mind to recognize that’s what’s going on, I respond with this amazing little ninja move: “Alright, I can tell you want some attention. Right now, you’ve got both of my eyes and both of my ears.”

Like 95% of the time, this shuts down the inappropriate behavior, gives me the chance to be present with my daughter and experience her moment that she desperately wanted to share.

It’s a beautiful thing, being present with the ones we love. At the end of the day, don’t we all want to be seen and heard?

Which brings me to what you want to know now… How to be HEARD. We’ll be talking about that next week. Meanwhile, drop me a line and let me know what about being HEARD do you have the hardest time with?

How listening skills can be improved

For three ways to LISTEN like you mean it, I created this guide for you >> GET IT HERE.

Now, let’s go exercise those ear muscles!

With love, joy, gratitude and my full attention,

Tarah Keech | hello@therealcrew.com
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