Monday, November 22, 2021

Behavior and Insight: Listen and Watch More

One of the best ways to monitor your behavior and the behavior of others is to learn to listen and watch more than you participate. When listening to others talk, focus on their words, not necessarily the person saying them. Don’t get caught up in one or two things they say, and try to stay focused on the topic at hand. Even though you want to chime in, avoid making your own predictions and assumptions, and continue to listen until the end. By watching and listening more, we are able to better to monitor the behaviors of other as well as our own since we are not so focused on ourselves. By focusing on the other person and their actions, we can develop better listening skills and pick up more accurate information rather than making assumptions.

Tips for better listening:

  • Listen for verbal cues
  • Watch for nonverbal cues
  • Focus on what is being said, not the person
  • Be aware of your own behaviors and reactions

Until next time ...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, November 15, 2021

Behavior and Insight: Online Communication

Online communication can be a hard concept to conquer since it can cover a wide range of topics. In our ever-growing world of technology, online communication can include emails, instant messages, video calls, and text messages. While these forms of communication can be a quick and easy way to connect with someone and cut out the need to physically see them or pick up a telephone, the messages can be misinterpreted.

It is difficult to convey feeling, emotions, or even tone in online communications, so the use of particular words is important to remember. People may not be able to perceive the light-heartedness in our words or a stern tone. Additionally, online communication can often seem impersonal since you do not have to take the time to contact someone and speak to them personally.  This can cause people to feel insulted or even slighted. When possible, speak to the person face-to-face or by phone in order to get your message and feelings across. Save the electronic communications for quick and impersonal messages.

Popular forms of online communication:

• Texts

• Blogs

• Emails

• Instant messages

• Video calls

Until next time ...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, November 8, 2021

Behavior and Insight: Facts vs. Emotions

Facts vs. Emotions

The main difference between facts and emotions is that facts are objective while emotions are subjective. Both facts and emotions can affect our behaviors and change how we act toward others. Facts can drive a conversation and allow people to connect on a logical level. Emotions are involved in everything we do, but sometimes they can affect our behavior and the information we discuss. 

Any social situation is most likely driven with emotions.  Sometimes, these emotions can cause facts to be ignored or misconstrued. For example, a male speaker may not be taken seriously at a feminist rally, or a group of teachers may not listen to a group of school board members. When you recognize that emotions may be driving the situation, reflect back on the situation and rediscover the facts. You may have to be a leader in the group and remind everyone to focus on the facts and set the emotions aside.

Until next time ...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, November 1, 2021

Behavior and Insight: Perception

Behavior can be a complicated concept to try to master, much less understand. Every person is different and can interpret behaviors differently. In social groups, there is a wide range of behaviors occurring which can seem overwhelming at times, but by having a little insight on not only the behavior others but our own, we are able to better understand what is going on around us and how to navigate through the situation.


Perception can be a hard aspect to learn from since most of the time our perception can only be drawn from our own experiences, and we are pretty biased when it come to our own thoughts. Perception is an important tool in controlling behavior because it helps us determine how we can appear to others and how other people’s behaviors can influence us. Your belief in yourself can affect your perception and can in turn affect your outward behavior. 

We may not always know exactly how other people perceive us since many will not tell us, but we can make our own conclusions based on our perception of their behavior. Do they come close when they speak to us, or do they try to move away? Do they smile and interact with us, or do they seem withdrawn? Do you use these thoughts when you perceive people and their behaviors? It is likely that you form some of the same conclusions and determine how to respond to the behaviors. 

Until next time ...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Friday, October 22, 2021

Active Listening: Don’t Discount Feelings

One of the biggest faults many of us have is the need to fix things when we hear about something that has gone wrong. When we get some bad news or information about a bad situation, we often try to follow it up with, it’s not so bad,” or “it could be worse.” While this may seem like a helpful response, it can actually cause more damage than good because it makes the other person feel as though their feelings about the situation are invalid or void. 

This response gives the impression that you are not necessarily listening to the problem but trying to brush it aside and discount their feelings altogether. When a person is speaking about something for which they feel strongly, whether it is regarding work or personal situations, it is important to recognize that it is the way they feel and that they are entitled to feel that way. Instead of trying to smooth the problem over, listen to what the person is saying and how they are feeling, and offer support. Let them know you are there to help and can always lend an ear. They will appreciate the gesture much more than any half-hearted solution or smooth-over phrase.

Until next time ...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, October 11, 2021

Active Listening: Shift Your Focus

Naturally, we often think of ourselves as Number One. We’re the first person we try to take care of and try to guard ourselves when necessary. When it comes to active listening, however, the role is often reversed in order to focus on the other person. In order to actively listen, we must shift the focus from ourselves to the person speaking and become attuned to what they are saying.  Active listening steps should include turning to face the person and making eye contact with them. During the conversation, nod your head periodically as appropriate and give the speaker time to pause or rest before talking yourself. 

When the speaker has finished, stay focused by asking questions about what was said. Don’t be afraid to ask to clarify something you didn’t catch or something you may have missed. By shifting your focus to the speaker instead of on your thoughts, you should be able to remember and comprehend most of what was said. From there, you can offer suggestions or opinions and engage in open conversation. The speaker will be more likely to openly share with you if they feel as though you can focus on them as well as yourself.

Until next time ...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, September 27, 2021

Active Listening: Don’t Jump to Conclusions

It is common to hear something or witness someone do something and then jump to an immediate conclusion. Maybe you didn’t like what they said or heard something you didn’t think was appropriate, so you reach conclusions such as the person has poor speaking skills or doesn’t know how to communicate with others. These quick judgments only harm your business relationships and miss the chance to really listen to someone and make a connection. While you may believe you have all the facts and have reached a final decision, always remember that there is another side of the coin and most likely more information to learn.

Even if you do in fact have all of the information you need, you may still not be able to process your thoughts in a way that can be productive or helpful since the conclusion may be based on negativity.  If someone says something that makes you jump to a conclusion, ask them to repeat it or clarify what they said. Then take at least a few minutes to reflect on what was said or done, and then take enough time to form a logical conclusion. Taking a little extra time may seem like a chore at times, but it can save you from jumping to unnecessary conclusions and ruining the chance to build a relationship.

Until next time ...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP