Communication skills are great in theory, but how are they in practice? This Effective Communication Skill Blog shows you how to walk the SpeakStrong talk. I'm Meryl Runion Rose. Join our conversation about Communication Alchemy, and saying what you mean and meaning what you say... without being mean when you say it.
The Communication Alchemist is IN. Are you IN too?
Created: Tuesday, 10 December 2013 14:57
"I'm making this too complicated!" I Skyped to Cassia. "It's 1300 words and an eight minute recording!"
That's my tendency - to complexify. I'm working on the SpeakStrong Method Made Easy eCourse. In no way should that be complicated.
Cassia Skyped back:
- Write a brief intro, three points and a summary/call to action. Then write three sentences for each point.
Suddenly I was unblocked and things started flowing - simply. Okay, three sentences per point is a bit too simple, but I needed to take it to the other extreme to get back to balance.
I applauded Cassia for coaching me, the professional writer, in writng. She appauded me for listening. We applauded ourselves for being a good team.
Yay us! And yay for you when you get simple. Less is more - when I stop trying to do too much, I get way more done.
Created: Saturday, 07 December 2013 23:02
My son bought this permaculture property. This isn't him in the video, but it is his place now. I haven't seen it yet, and took my time to watch the video. Now that I have, I see why he was so excited about it. Pretty cool!
Created: Friday, 06 December 2013 22:17
Some real wisdom in this video - and entertainment, too. Cassia and I like the "I don't know" PowerPhrase.
Created: Friday, 06 December 2013 12:58
I got an email today asking about the correct order to read my books. I replied,
"If you think there's a 'correct' order, probably PowerPhrases. That's more for those who want to be given answers. But if you like finding answers yourself, I recommend SpeakStrong. Takes longer and goes deeper. On the other hand, if you want a simple beginning, How to Use PowerPhrases is a light, experiential start. Following my own nose always works best for me."
I appreciate the question, and don't intend for my response to diminish it. Sometimes there are good reasons to follow an intended order. It's just that this question along with other recent events remind me of how different it is to work from the inside out, the way I do, and to work from the outside in. I don't know if the questioner was looking for rules to read my books "correctly," or input to guide her in making her own decision. If I were to ask that question, that's what I'd be looking for.
The second slide of my "SpeakStrong Method Overview" Video illustrates the distinction I'm making here. We need science to tell us the obvious because we've lost our confidence and ability to see for ourselves...which is essential to being able to speak for ourselves. This is a tragic loss.
My work is about finding our own voices. Trusting our own experiences. Claiming what we know. It doesn't exclude inquiries like this one - as research. If it did, who would need me at all? I want to be a resource for you. I don't want to get in the way of your own brilliance.
Created: Friday, 06 December 2013 14:22
Someone who invited me to connect on LinkedIn told me her Styles Class uses my communication style work. I accepted her invitation, and then sent her a message asking her about her class. I realized after I hit send that my message was all business. My inner Achiever ran that whole show. I emailed her again, and since her message indicated that she was familiar with the styles, I told her my inner Achiever had hit the send button before my inner Harmonizer could say, "Hi" and "Thanks for the invitation." My Achiever message needed a little balance.
It's a trick to pause and ask how any message might need balance. It's not always necessary - all business messages aren't inherently bad and wrong. But it's a good practice just to give it a moment - an instant - to see if the voice you're using to communicate could use a bit of balance.
Created: Tuesday, 03 December 2013 21:52
It was more a nightmare than a dream, although I woke with insight rather than creeps. Someone I knew for many years was violating me. Rather than express my extreme discomfort, I searched my consciousness wondering if what he was doing was acceptable, and perhaps even expected. Did I have a right to object?
"There's a word for this," I thought. And when the word came to me, I knew immediately this was not okay. I was ready to set a boundary. Of course, that's when I woke up.
The man in the dream never violated me, and my relationship with him was good. The dream wasn't about that - it was about me finding my voice enough to set boundaries. I woke up wondering if all along, my SpeakStrong career has been about finding words to set boundaries. In many ways, I believe it has. I knew this wasn't acceptable to me in the dream, but it was only when I found the word for what was happening that I felt ready to assert myself.
The violation in the dream was egregious. Hopefully you have never experienced it. However, we have all betrayed and have been betrayed by people close to us to some degree or another. It can be crazy-making when the violation is mixed with love and blessings. That's when we need to name the violation the most. Naming empowers us to set boundaries. It's worth the trouble to get the words.
Created: Tuesday, 03 December 2013 02:27
Okay, think for a moment. Why would I title this post "Cartoon Irony"?
Because clearly the cartoon in this post is intended to make fun of surprising yourself by speaking without thinking, but sometimes it's a really good idea. Sometimes.
And the reader who sent it spoke with me today about "Morning Pages" (stream of consciousness writing) and noted the surprising power in stream of consciousness speaking.
Not something to try at an important meeting, but you might surprise yourself with great ideas if you try it alone or with people who respect what you're doing.
Go ahead. Surprise yourself.
Created: Monday, 02 December 2013 16:56
Sometimes I wonder why I do this. Why not retire and read, relax and play?
Sometimes I wonder who I am to do this. I'm not an enlightened being.
Sometimes I wonder if I should stop doing this.
That's usually when I get an inspiration from within.
That's usually when I read something that describes my process and reminds me why.
That's usually when I receive a card like I did last week from someone who shared the small humble steps that my work inspired.
Then I know.
Think your voice doesn't matter? I'm glad Karen knew hers does and that she expressed it in a card. A beautiful, well-written card. She is incredibly powerful and magnificent in her humility. Her inspiration is mine as well. I hope she keeps on Speaking Strong.
Created: Thursday, 28 November 2013 17:27
"Wanda" was blindsided this week when the promotion everyone thought would go to her went to someone else. The announcement was made at an online meeting. "WTF?" IMs were flying back and forth.
Wanda anxiously prepared to speak with the surprise winner. She told me her anxiety lessened when she remembered to "say what she meant and mean what she said without being mean when she said it." The conversation went well.
The betrayal came with realizations. Wanda was looking out for the team, but they weren't looking out for her in the same way. In fact, the whole team realized they dropped the ball for her when they discovered that they would now report to someone else, when they would rather report to her.
Suddenly, Wanda realized she couldn't go with the flow quite like she used to. There is a merger, which means there is nothing in her title that would tell the new owners she is a leader, although the entire team knows she is. Her boss takes public credit for her work. So while Wanda plans to continue to look out for the team, she is also becoming a more active advocate for her own interests moving forward.
I stood up for her last night. I dreamt that I publicly told a woman who was taking credit for someone else's work,
- Please give credit where credit is due.
Wouldn't it be great if magically, on Monday, Wanda's boss actually did that?
Well, dreams are a start. In this world, moving forward, Wanda will continue to say what she means and mean what she says without being mean when she says it. She will support the shared aspirations along with her critical role in it.
Created: Thursday, 28 November 2013 17:49
There is magic all around if you can see it. I am grateful for the times that I can.
Saturday, a gathering of wonderful women blessed me for my birthday. It wasn't a party, it was a rite of passage into elderhood. When my husband came home and asked me about it, I found it tough to describe what happened. The whole was greater than the sum of its parts, and the parts were pretty impressive!
Then, my friend Teryl sent me a poem about the event. It was perfect.
Teryl's writing inspired my voice. Not just for the celebration, but also for my journaling as a practice for my 52 SpeakStrong Empowerments.
If Teryl had critiqued my writing, it wouldn't have had nearly as much influence on me as reading her poem did. Hearing her poetic voice describe something so meaningful to me, inspired my authentic voice. My writing oozed depth, meaning and inspiration. You can read it if you join us once the Empowerment eAdventure launches.
Thanks to Teryl, to the women who came Saturday, and to you for being part of my increcible journey. Life is sooo good.
And thanks to my hubby who just now thanked ME when I told him I was going to do an extra meditation today. He says it helps us both. I know that, but isn't it fabulous that he knows it, too?
This picture is Pippi the SpeakStrong Giraffe. She became an elder this week, too. A wise one, she is!
Created: Wednesday, 27 November 2013 03:59
Hello everyone! Cassia here, with a story, PowerPhrases and a personal commitment.
I walked into my younger brother’s room and before I began my tirade I warned him I was about to put my foot down. Stomp! Stomp!
- There! Now that I have your attention, listen up!
My brother has been putting off a very important test for over a year and only has a month to complete it. I started out by telling him how important it was, why he needed to make it a priority, and that he needed to stop making excuses.
This is where he interrupted me and said, “Relax, I still have a month to do it.”
Slight bewilderment crossed his face and then I proceeded to explain,
- If you keep saying, I have more time to do this, then you’ll never get to it. This is what I mean by putting this on high priority.
- Treat this test as one that is due in a week, not a month. Then you’ll see it as being urgent and you’ll do something about it. And another thing!
Then I yelled (yes - PowerPhrases can be yelled at times)
- Pick a day, pick a time, pick a place and commit to studying. Don’t just say you’re going to get to it, schedule it. Do this for yourself. If you don’t, you and I both know you’ll regret it.
The next day, Meryl, Angela and I were talking together about the year-long Empowerments eLearning when Angela made a brilliant comment about making commitments to yourself. It fit in perfectly with my brother’s situation.
Getting things done is not just about others' expectations of you; it’s about you and what you want to give to yourself. For my brother, this test is really important to him, whether he really realizes it yet or not. For me, one of my most recent commitments is to write first thing every morning. This will help me get a grasp of my voice, my dreams, and my hopes for the days to come. I’ll only benefit from it, so what’s stopping me? Only old habits. What's empowering me? My new commitment.
I planned it, I'm committing to it, then I’m gifting myself with a healthy habit and will reap the benefits.
What about you? What healthy habit will you gift yourself with?
Created: Monday, 25 November 2013 20:23
I should have sold this house during the housing bubble in Florida, but I couldn't do that to my renter. She's too much fun!
Look at these pictures and guess what kind of dog she owns.
While you're pondering, let me tell you, she lives at the end of a dead-end street. It's not like she's doing this for the world. She's doing it for herself.
What kind of dog does she own?
If you guess poodle, you've got it.
I believe she's a Visionary style - an over-the-top Visionary. I'm Visionary too - but I'm mellowing with age. This is way too much for me. But I love it that she does it and she loves it. By the way, she painted the house herself. Even bought the paint. There's another reason I didn't sell.
Okay, Bev isn't an inspiration to me on taste. But she is an inspiration to me on staying alive and enthusiastic. My enthusiasm is one quality of mine that I treasure. Sometimes it wanes and I know I need to dive deep in myself and do a course correction.
I could be wrong, but I get the distinct impression Bev doesn't have that challenge.
May your style ooze out in it's own way - a way that gives you pleasure and helps you be your most authentic self. Or shall I say Selves? You are multi-dimensional, after all.