Category Archives: Communications

Active Listening

Active listening skills and how to use them

Category : Communications

What is Active Listening?

Active listening is a more attentive listening style. It is mindfully hearing what the talker is saying. Then attempting to comprehend what the talker is saying.

So what does active listening involve? You want to acknowledge, clarify and confirming, understanding and removing barriers that affect your comprehension.

How to improve your active listening

  1. Be attentive.
    Face the person speaking to you. Focus on them, their body language and what they are saying. Keep eye contact with the speaker so your attention is on them.
  2. Avoid distractions.
    Put your phone away, I know this should go without saying but it happens every day in our world. We are glued to our phones. If you are speaking with someone in your office, turn off your monitor if you can’t keep your focus. Remove distractions that prevent you from listening and hearing what the talker is saying.
  3. Don’t interrupt or allow your mind to wonder.
    Do not interrupt the person communicating with you. Allow them to finish their thoughts and communicate them thoroughly. Do not allow your mind to begin thinking about how you will respond before they have finished. This is key. I believe most humans naturally do this. This takes some mental training.
  4. Acknowledge.
    Give the talker cues that you are listening, agreeing or giving a motion (nod or smiling) that shows you are listening and understanding what they are saying.
  5. Clarify.
    If you do not understand, ask questions. Repeat back to the person, what you heard and how you are understanding what they are saying for clarification.
  6. Last but not least, relax.
    Some of these tips may take some time, you don’t want to be thinking about these key tips while trying to listen, so relax your body and mind. However, be mindful of your posture. Folding your arms makes you unapproachable and sends signals of disagreement. Remain relaxed and allow the conversation to naturally flow.

Difference between hearing and listening

Hearing is collecting the data being delivered. Simply stated, hearing is receiving the words being delivered. Listening is an active response. This is when you are paying attention to what is said.

Hearing and listening go hand in hand. However, comprehension is important when talking about active listening. It is important to understand what the person is conveying to you.

How does this help improve your business communications?

Regardless of your position in an organization, active listening skills are a positive quality. Whether you are an entry-level employee or an executive, active listening is a great business tool. It can improve your problem-solving skills, help you manage a team easier, avoid conflict, and can be used to persuade others.

Check out a previous post about Setting Goals and Obtaining Success.


Let’s Talk Cloud Computing

The basics of Cloud Computing

What is the Cloud? The Cloud is a metaphor for the Internet.  But, very specific use of the Internet.  Cloud computing usually refers to meeting the computing needs of a business, organization, municipality, and governmental entities by way of Internet-based computing.

Internet-based computing is composed of services offered through the Internet. Services like servers, data storage and applications (software).  These services are delivered from the Internet to an organization’s Internet-connected devices.

Non-technical explanation about cloud computing

Would you like more basic information about what the cloud means? Here is a good video to help explain the basics in a non-technical way. Click Here

Utilizing the benefits of the Cloud an I.T. department can remove the burden of equipment purchases, equipment maintenance, data storage and application maintenance from their workload by passing the things off to Cloud Computing providers.

A business’s workforce could be completely mobile, relying on the Cloud to provide the applications and their associated data through a simple Internet connection. In a future-thinking way, the meaning of all this to business and government is huge.  Think about the IT overhead of a company being drastically reduced or eliminated or the savings we as taxpayers in the USA would realize if most of our Federal and State computing services and data services were Cloud-based.

At Codepal we take advantage of many of the services offered through the Cloud.  Our Cloud vendor of choice is Microsoft’s Azure.  In a future article, I’ll discuss Azure and how Codepal uses it to make your workload easier so you can provide more services and safety to the public.

Would you like more information about what we do? Check out our about us page and send us a message.

Permit Folder

Permitting doesn’t have to be troublesome

Issuing permits can be time consuming. Not to mention keeping up on the inspections and follow-up of those permits. Code Enforcement officers tell us that before Codepal, they had to call the office when they noticed various permitting violations to see if permits were issued and tracking permit inspections was a nightmare. Now they are able to quickly determine if a stop is necessary and schedule their inspections with ease. Codepal allows a complete history tracking of a property, with quick scheduling features.

Food Truck Permitting

Food trucks are making their way to fairs, markets, and outside events, firework stands have taken over empty lots and burn permits are being requested daily.

Building and Fire are inundated with these types of temporary permit applications and inspections every summer. How do you prepare for the added workload? Were you receiving bad press over last-minute firework permit delays?

The Food Truck industry has boomed in recent years and expects to generate $2.7 billion in revenue this year alone. Spurred by low startup costs and consumer demand Food Trucks are here to stay. But keeping these trucks safe is a huge challenge for city officials and the Codepal staff has been listening.

Links to interesting food truck articles:

Firework Permitting

In addition to commercial Fireworks displays a growing number of states are relaxing regulation of personal fireworks. Iowa is the most recent state to allow Fireworks creating a lot of work for fire prevention professionals and city officials. Permits and inspections need to be done where the fireworks are stored, sold and used to ensure everyone’s safety!

Links to interesting fireworks articles:

Burn Permitting

Not every citizen understands or follows local burn laws. On top of permits and inspections, many AHJs must conduct, city officials must be on the lookout for unauthorized and illegal burning as well.

Links to interesting articles:

Let us Help!

  • ISSUE: Quickly issue permits from your desk or on site.
  • TRACK: Easily track all permits
  • INSPECT: Schedule and inspect from the field
  • COMPLAINT MANAGEMENT: Follow up on safety complaints with ease


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