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: Wednesday, 01 December 2010 00:00
A simple communication can go a long way.
My new webmaster emailed to tell me he would be out of the office for the last two days of the week and wondered if I needed help with anything before he left.
There is so much involved in implementing a new site, that he knew I was likely to need him.
Vendors and consultants often disappear in the middle of projects without warning, so I don't know if I will get help from them or need to find other resources. Lack of follow-through and consistency are common barriers to effective communication. In fact, it's so common that when I told a friend what Al had done, he marveled. It's the kind of quality customer service you would hope would be customary, but isn't.
In fact, I didn't have any pressing questions, but the email told me he's on my team. It probably took him 30 seconds to write the email, and it resulted in not only my delight, but my kudos.
Created: Tuesday, 30 November 2010 22:46
Why were you late? Why didn't you get back to your caller? Why didn't you go home for Christmas? It's tempting to look for excuses. It's tempting to find a believable story or twist of the facts that will allow you to "get away" with something. But, of course we never really "get away" with anything. People usually can smell an excuse, and that kind of pretense undermines trust.
The irony is, often we look for excuses when we have very valid reasons for our choices. You may have been late because you were enjoying watching the sun set and you made a choice. You may not have returned a call because you needed to focus to get a project done and were afraid if you returned the call, you'd get so involved in the conversation you'd lose your focus. You may not have gone home for Christmas because you'd rather see your family at a less hectic time.
There really are no good excuses, but there are really good reasons. There are some bad reasons, too, but hey - don't decide a reason isn't good enough because someone else might not like your choice. They weren't there! They didn't see how really special that sunset was. You were, and you did, and you made a choice. Own your choices.
Character-based Communicators are honest. That's part of why people trust what they say. And that's part of why they are so effective.
Created: Tuesday, 30 November 2010 20:25
It's nice to know when someone is not available. But it's more useful to know when someone is. Roger responded to Joe's email with a question, and then proceeded to tell him the hours he would not be available to answer the phone.
Of course, letting someone know that you won't be able to answer the phone at certain times is far better than simply letting them try and fail to reach you during those hours. But speaking about unavailability is speaking about barriers. Informing of availability is speaking about openings. So instead of coming at it backwards and saying you can't take calls at certain times, come at it head on and say when you are likely to be available. It's a simple way to overcome a barrier to effective communication, and it's much warmer and fuzzier.
Created: Tuesday, 14 December 2010 00:00
One of my favorite teachers likes to remind people that when conflict occurs, the first person to make it to the heart wins. Of course, if you're jumping up and down shouting, "I made it to the heart! I won!" you didn't make it to the heart at all.
And if you're selling yourself out to avoid conflict, you're being unkind to yourself, and you didn't make it to the heart either.
The race to the heart is one of the greatest conflict resolutions techniques imaginable.
Oh, the ego is such a trickster! If you haven't downloaded my SpeakSTRONG Method Handbook, I invite you to. It makes some fine distinctions about ego and heart. It will help you win.
Created: Saturday, 27 November 2010 04:13
Steve was at a retreat with 20 other CEOs when the topic turned political. His colleagues were complaining about how the current administration raised taxes. Steve replied, "Why do you say that? What do you base your conclusions on? I don't believe that's accurate."
Instead of explaining, five of Steve's colleagues started screaming at him, three just stood and watched, and the rest left the room.
Steve commented, "The fact that you're yelling at me and won't let me talk is a real red flag for me." Kudos to Steve for talking about how they talk rather than trying to beat them at their own game.
Read more: A real communication red-flag
Created: Saturday, 27 November 2010 04:12
Why don't you SpeakStrong? Could you just be lazy?
The first step in The SpeakStrong Method is to seek significance. To find significance you need to stop doing what you're doing and see what is as is.
And for some of us, that means discovering a little laziness.
Since I use myself as a laboratory, I'll share some of my own discoveries.
Read more: Speaking Strong isn't for the lazy