Month: November 2010

There are no good excuses, but there are good reasons.

 

Excuses for bad behaviorWhy 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. 

Coming at it backwards: Unavailability notice

Chain barrier to effective communicationIt’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. 

Reasonableness is Your Best Revenge: Conflict Resolution Techniques to TRANSFORM a Diffcult Conversation

What’s the difference between a reaction and a response? About 23 seconds. And a plethora of options. Conflict resolution techniques can help you defuse a potentially explosive situation, and give you time to tap into your effective communication skills. This article gives you eleven possible responses to a difficult situation and recommends reasonableness. 

How to write delete-proof subject lines in your emails

Your subject line can make the difference between getting your email read and having it deleted unnoticed. This article gives you do’s, don’t’s, PowerPhrases and Poison Phrases for email subject lines. Learn how to write the best email subject lines to get great results. 

Ask the Right Performance Question, Get the Right Answer: Performance Problem Solving

You know the importance of performance management in business. Your employee isn’t meeting standards and it’s up to you to fix the problem. But do you really know what the problem is? This article walks you through the steps of an essential managerial exercise for diagnosing employee performance problems.

Some Boats Need To Be Rocked: Master Crucial Conversations Before the Stakes Get High

Too often we don’t want to rock the boat. But some boats NEED to be rocked. This article tells my personal story of not being able to master crucial conversations when the stakes were high. It was the impetus to find my voice. I tell it to inspire you to find yours.