Welcome to my How to SpeakSTRONG collection of articles. You will find information about how to eliminate victim language, how to overcome barriers to effective communication, and how to speak with graceful power. You will learn how to differentiate Character-based Communication from ego or personality-based communication, and you will get the steps to SpeakSTRONG at work and at home.
I invite you to use these articles in your publications with the credits listed to the right. You can edit them as you like.
Speaking STRONG is well worth the journey, so let's start now!
Communication tips, phrases and pointers for office professionals - and anyone who has a boss
The SpeakSTRONG Method is a six-step approach to effective Character-based Communication. These articles tell you how to use each step to overcome barriers to effective communication and empower your words.
Some approaches to Leadership Development actually create dependency. Learn how to develop and empower dynamic leaders.
How to use the SpeakSTRONG Method in email, social media, web aps and in websites.
Alchemy transforms lead into gold. Well, that's a metaphor. It takes what we don't value and purifies and elevates it to it's higher level. Mistakes become opportunities, negativity reveals it's deepest intent, and the things we try to overcome become fodder for our greatness.
I have to think that people who downplay the importance of synergy haven’t experienced its magic. I hope that’s not you.
Synergy says everyone is smarter than any one. It makes sense. You know things I don’t. I know things you don’t. Together we cover more bases. Likewise, you know things your exec doesn’t. Your exec knows things you don’t. You have different perceptions, skills and focal points. That can be a recipe for synergy.
In The Marshmallow Challenge, Ted Wujek explains that CEOs did much better on the exercise when their admins were on their teams. He suggests the characteristic admin focus on process augments the CEO planning bias. The combined styles create synergy.
It was rush hour, but I made great time driving from Bellingham to Seattle anyway. I was ready, oh so ready, to sink into sleep. My hotel was visible from the exit ramp. I allowed myself to feel my weariness and anticipated surrendering to my fatigue after what had been a very long day. My hotel was a short block away.
But it took me 45 minutes, literally, to get there. By then, I was beyond sleepy. I was exhausted in Seattle.
I’m sure, like me, you know from experience that too many cars in too small a space lead to gridlock. And, according to Personal Kanban author Jim Benson, the same is true of too many tasks crammed in to too little time.
Is your exec or manager a brilliant shining star? Do you ever feel small or invisible next to him or her? What if you sometimes seem smaller than you are, because actually you’re bigger than people can see?
On a recent hike to catch the last fall leaves, my friend and I chatted about a celebrity entrepreneur who sold his company and lived and taught personal development in our area. You’d know him if I named him. But this article isn’t really about him – it’s about you and your boss. So I’ll call our celebrity friend “Rich,” which fits (but not as well as it once did).
I set my computer to open to the desktop when it wakes. Clicking the locked button only took a moment, but it was an unnecessary step that I took several times a day. This is what Lean Manufacturer Paul Akers calls a two-second improvement. You probably need your computer password protected, so that’s likely not an improvement you would make. But I suspect there are a thousand things like that that you could do that would eliminate unnecessary steps in your work.
I love to hear feedback after I speak. This recent comment really struck me:
"During your talk, I turned to the gal sitting next to me and told her: 'Meryl just said the opposite of what the speaker before her said.'"
"Thanks for noticing!" I replied smiling. "From the moment I heard the title of the keynote that I would follow, I expected we would say different things.” The keynote I followed was called “Cultivating a Leadership Persona.”
“I've spent most of my adult years working to drop persona and be the real deal," I explained. My new friends nodded approvingly and knowingly.
It used to bother me that my perspective often is very different from others'. It doesn't bother me anymore. I’ve become more at home with myself. I see things differently without needing to discredit how others view then. The speaker before me made some important points and offered useful tools. I offered some alterative views.
"Please, just take it all!" Caroline implored. I walked away from her yard sale with hundreds of dollars’ worth of fine items, and she wouldn't take a dime. But it wasn't just me. It was an extravaganza for the entire neighborhood. Caroline and Wally were lightening their load for a move. Their driveway and yard and garage contained box after box of unsorted tawdry trash mixed with thrilling treasure. They took great pleasure in essentially giving it all away to come who may.
"How does it feel to watch us all walk away with your stuff?" I asked.
"Like barnacles off a ship," Caroline replied.
They got the job done. Caroline and Wally's decluttering plan was a good plan for them.
Linda’s home looked like you would expect during a DIY (do-it-yourself) kitchen remodel. The contents of her kitchen were strewn asunder. But the cabinet stain showed great promise. I OOOHED and I AWWWWED with sincere admiration.
However, Linda’s earnest sharing of her cabinet WIP (work-in-progress) did not extend to my husband. She wanted him to wait to see it until it was showroom-ready.
I get it. I love to share my unfinished work with some people, and I prefer to wait for completion with others. I’m sure you can relate. Some people see the beauty in a process where others just see chaos. Inviting the wrong person into your process can feel like a bucket of cold water.
Yay me! I set my computer to bypass the welcome screen open to the desktop when it wakes. Sure, clicking the picture of the cute kitten on the locked button to get to my desktop only took a moment, but it was an unnecessary step that I performed several times a day. Those moments add up.
That change is what Lean Manufacturer Paul Akers calls a two-second improvement. He advocates making an improvement each day that saves you two seconds. Saving two seconds doesn’t sound like much, but the time savings adds up. You probably need your computer to be password protected, so my improvement isn’t one you’re likely to copy. But there are a thousand things like that that you can do that will eliminate unnecessary steps in your work.
I am blessed with a devoted and competent sister in Cincinnati, where my parents live. For years, she sandwiched caring for their needs between being a mother to her five kids and a wife. When mom recently had a medical crisis, that role suddenly became undoable. I flew in to help them transition into assisted-living.
Since I live a thousand miles away, I can’t do everything for them in the way my sister did. Instead, during my visit, I did a lot, but I mainly got a lot done.
If you’re really good at “admining”, you’re a Guerrilla Admin. What does that mean?
Just as Guerrilla Marketing uses unconventional methods to promote a product, the Guerrilla Admin uses unconventional methods to be resourceful on behalf of the organization, the person he (she) supports and the mission. (And himself, of course.)