This is a wonderful account of how one person can make a difference - even as young as 17. A high-school senior ended the online bullying in his school simply by creating a twitter account to praise his classmates. He kept his identity secret as he tweeted things like "She is so good at dancing, she gets more scholarships than D1 athletes," about a girl who was attacked by an anonymous account.
One SpeakStrong principle is: Praise in public, correct in private. And it goes without saying, bully nowhere.
It used to take Wanda days to center and get clear and muster the courage to set boundaries and to address issues. Now it takes minutes. The fascinating thing about it is that as she reaches the point where the words roll naturally off her tongue, she finds that people accept her assertions with little resistance. It's no big deal.
That's what she said to a coworker who tried to get her to do his work for him. He took an appointment off her calendar, and that was the end of it. She was happy to have the hour available for things that are her job. Practice SpeakingStrong. It gets easier and is so worth it.
Have you read about the 9-year-old who takes pictures of her school lunches every day and posts them on her blog? The title of her blog is "Never Seconds" and when you see the pictures you suspect even one helping is too much.
Speaking Strong isn't just about words. Sometimes the strongest messages are sent in non-verbal ways—for examples—by pictures. Like this one.
I received the following letter:
I came across your website, and I want to share an experience I had at a leadership conference.
The speaker had been teaching and coaching about leadership for over 20 years to small and large groups.
He comes on stage, and says, "Hi, I'm John, and I am your friend." Then he repeats this several times throughout his talk. When he says these remarks, he is sitting down in front of the audience with a glass of water at the table. In other words, he wants to look relaxed and comfortable.
I instantly recognize this as non-authentic communication and manipulation. Accordingly, he has broken your rules for effective communication.
Then he goes on to say that he forgot to bring the books that he sells which he would autograph if he had them available. But he reminds the audience that anyone can purchase these books on Amazon, and, of course, he says again, "I'm John, and I am your friend."
Maybe he should take your course.
I got a kick out of your email. The shift in leadership communication trends can be challenging for many! Trying to be authentic is like trying to relax. Announcing you're a friend is a lot like saying, "I'll be honest with you." Suddenly you doubt it. And I'm reading a book that observes that if you want to win at tennis, ask your opponent how she manages her great serves. Get her thinking about it, and her naturalness disappears. The call for authenticity can be like that, too. We become self-conscious and find it impossible to drop the act – although our act might be of not having an act.
Now, wouldn't it be ironic if someone had attended a presentation I gave and emailed John to tell him I needed to attend his seminar? Who knows – perhaps I do!
Anyway, thanks for passing this on,
I was listening to Lean Nation Radio when my name came up.
I loved it!
You won't have to guess why! Books buy the box are here:
Last April I had the pleasure of welcoming my parents back to their home after months in skilled nursing and assisted living. Many people thought they would never return home again. Harriet, my step mother knew she would. It was her absolute certainty and determination that bought them more time in their home.
Some things needed to change to make it possible. That meant a lot of challenging but necessary conversations about who could be counted on to do what. Old family patterns and games had to give way to straightforward dialog. But they made it home and they're still home, and contrary to many projections, my step mother is driving again.
She talked it and she walked it. It wasn't just positive thinking and bold declarations. It was positive thinking, bold declarations and concerted effort.
I salute her.
A reader wrote:
We had a win this morning. My wife was trying to understand how to buy a gift certificate and pay using a credit card, but debiting our checking account. I thought it was easy and kept trying to tell her the solution. Eventually she said “Don’t worry about it, you’re not understanding what I’m saying,” and the conversation ended.
This left her agitated and frustrated and me feeling bad and confused.
After a few minutes I went back and said “Could we try that again? This time I’ll try to listen and understand what you are saying.” We went through it again but this time I focused on making sure that she knew that I understood what she was describing and asking. At the end she said, “Is that right?” and I said, “That’s right”. Problem solved and we were both happy.
This is a pattern; my wife trying to ask something and me jumping in with the solution. This time I successfully listened and she felt understood.
From a reader:
All the very best to you for this festive season.
It is a few years back that I came across your "Power Phrases". With that in hand I started a journey which, so far, has included more books and courses, etc. Self-confidence, skills at handling situations, happiness, contentment, better relationships and a level of control of my life that I have not experienced previously, are the byproducts of this journey.
A daughter and her family are visiting. She was making a few digs and negative comments which I noticed. I had done something and she said, "Don't worry family, that's a Dad thing". So I considered if I would handle it, decided to do so and said, "Help me understand what just happened, were you cracking a joke or having a dig at me?" She said, "A bit of both". I replied OK, thanks I thought it was a dig and a joke. Since then there are more jokes and no digs.
I appreciate your decision to share your skills and knowledge. You have made a wonderful difference in the lives of thousands of people and made, in that way, the world a better place.
Speak STRONG, Inc. 4265 Outpost Road, Cascade, CO, 80809 Tel: (719) 684-2633
Collaborative communication skills for today's busy workplace