month 1

Your Words are Just Part of the Communication

A number of you wrote describing your efforts over the past years to communicate effectively and clearly—and how, despite your efforts, others didn’t hear you accurately, got reactive before you even finished, or just didn’t get it. Communication can be frustrating. No matter how thoughtful and clear you are there are times when others will not hear the message you intend to send. If we take a moment to think about what we know about humans, you might begin to understand…

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Our Insides and Their Outsides

A number of years ago, a thoughtful and talented business owner, Andrea, was bumping into some old anxieties about the sustainability of her business and the decisions she was making. We spent a couple of meetings teasing out the data behind her anxiety. We explored what she needed to be genuinely concerned about as the industry changed and the economy floundered. We also explored the various old messages, which were rooted in her family, that were grabbing her by the…

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Do You Know What You are Really Saying?

We have all been in situations where we are trying to communicate something clearly and effectively and we don’t get the response we expected. While there is a chance that the person you are dealing with is having a bad day, there is also a chance that your communication is not as clear and clean as you’d hoped. When you are in an interaction that is not going as you’d hoped, take a moment to: 1. Listen to the tone…

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Three Ingredients of a Great Conversation

A great conversation is a powerful way to build relationships at work, at home, and in your community. Great conversations happen when both parties have an equal opportunity to participate and to be heard. Remember, all humans desire to be seen and heard. It’s hardwired into our beings to engage with other beings and nothing satisfies that need nearly as well as conversation. We’ve been asked over the years by our executive coaching clients to describe for them the ingredients of…

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Influence vs. Manipulation

In our coaching work with executives and managers, we often run into individuals who are uncomfortable with the idea of learning to be more influential because they equate influence with manipulation. Influencing others requires building a shared vision for the future (that future may be three years out, or it may be how to handle a personnel crisis today). When you build a shared vision, each person shares in the excitement about the future because they each stand to benefit…

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Silence is a Communication

One of the things we regularly remind our clients is that everything is a communication. And by that we mean, everything. What you wear, how you stand, how fast you talk, what your eyes do as you listen, how quickly you return a call or email, how you set up your office… you get the picture. And, that means that if everything is a communication, so is silence even though you may have believed it is a lack of communication.  As…

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If You Could See It, It Wouldn’t Be A Blind Spot

This summer an interesting commercial ran on television: There was a guy (named Mayhem) who was riding on the outside of the driver’s side of the car and became the driver’s blind spot. When the driver looked into the outside mirror to change lanes, Mayhem gave the A-Okay. So, the driver changed lanes (not seeing the car that was in her blind spot) and a huge crash ensued. During the collision, Mayhem was shouting with delight as the driver screamed…

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Effectively Communicating One-to One

One question we often receive about communication is, “How do I get people to communicate with me one-on-one?” Many people are confident in their ability to facilitate communication in meetings, but in one-on-one meetings they struggle to shift from a “talking to” conversation to a “talking with” conversation. Many leaders fall into this dilemma, believing it is their job to be the authority, know the “truth,” and have all the answers. Therefore, they often have little practice genuinely engaging with…

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The Best Time to Plant a Tree

While many of us are committed to ongoing personal and professional growth, often when we learn something new or become aware of new ways of moving in the world, there is a bit of sadness. Over and over, we have heard people say with a longing or even an anger toward themselves, “Gee, I wish I had known this 20 years ago!” or “What is wrong with me, I should have known this already!” We have had that feeling as…

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Stop Talking! Now, Communicate.

As executive coaches and management consultants, we have worked with hundreds of individuals and organizations in our combined 35+ years of experience. As such, people often ask us what makes some organizations successful and others less so—despite similar conditions. We recently sat down to mull this one over—and came back to what we have seen over and over again. The secret to success comes down to one thing: a leader’s willingness to influence and to be influenced by every member…

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