July 2012

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McCartney – the “Polite Perfectionist,” and Grace

McCartneyI love it when I learn about celebrities expressing grace and kindness, not self-importance and arrogance. That’s the main point of an article by Colorado Springs Journalist David Ramsey called “Following the Voice of Paul McCartney.” Ramsey happened on McCartney’s Olympic performance sound-check and had a grand old time. No rankism there! 


burn-area-smThere’s an interesting piece on Science Friday tonight about resilience. Why do some of us bounce back and others struggle after a disruptive event—like having your stomping grounds on fire? Or people who were in the building on 9/11?

I found it particularly interesting to hear what he said about disruption being less for those who have the belief that everything teaches you something. I don’t consider that a belief as much as I do an experience and/or a choice. But I liked his point anyway.

Friday’s Beyond-Busy Webinar is Already Proving to be Powerful

testing meetingIt’s 16 hours away, but my How to Communicate in a Beyond-Busy World is already having a powerful effect–at least on me. For me, information has to be lived to matter. Somehow, every time I schedule a presentation, life arranges to put me on the hot seat of the topic. I need to be careful what I schedule myself for!

Preparing for the technical aspects of this presentation was and is a higher learning curve than I had anticipated. I was busy testing, selecting and learning a new webinar service. Well, actually, several new services. So I was later than planned in deciding which to use, and in a rush to get the information out. And guess what rushing meant. Mistakes. Redos. And not doing one of the things I emphasize in the webinar—taking enough time to have your first communication be clear and correct.

Communication in a Beyond-Busy World

Thanks for regisering! Scroll down for instructions. The slides and handouts are posted here for your convenience. 

Communicate to Cut Through the Noise of Excessive Busy-ness

Friday, July 27, 2012
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Mountain Time  (That’s 1 PM on the east coast, noon central and 10:00 am on the west coast.)
Price: Free 

Slides: (Click on the slideshare icon to be able to download and print.) (They will be on screen during the webianr)

 Download Beyond-Busy Worksheet

Download Beyond-Busy PowerPhrases Doc


Title: Communication in a Beyond-Busy World

Description: Tips and techniques for clarity and effective communication in a Beyond-Busy World.

Date & Time: Friday, July 27th, 2012 at 11:00 am MDT  (That’s 1 PM on the east coast, noon central and 10:00 am on the west coast.)

Presentation instructions
At the time listed above, click the following link to join: http://Meryl.enterthemeeting.com/m/SQ6PIX7U

Or join the meeting from your iPhone or iPad by downloading the MeetingBurner mobile app and using the meeting ID SQ6PIX7U.

Audio instructions
Dial-in to the following conference line:

Number:(949) 202-4265

Audio Pin:3943577#

See you then!

SpeakStrong Summer School Intensive

SpeakStrong Summer School Intensive Starts Thursday August 2nd at 11 AM Mountain time

This webinar is closed. 

speaking smMy SpeakStrong Summer School Web Intensive will launch soon. Registration is limited to 8 participants, so let me know right away if you’re interested. Cost is $225 and that includes assessments, unlimited email support, optional between session private coaching calls and five 1 – 1 1/2 hour small group conference/web sessions.
Email questions.


Learn how to really say what you mean and mean what you say without being mean when you say it.


Session 1. Thursday August 2nd: 11 AM Mountain Time
SpeakStrong Summer School Launch, 
Your SpeakStrong Communication Reality and Possibility:
Assessments and Vision 

Session 2. Monday August 6th: 11 AM Mountain Time 
Say What You Mean: How to Find and Empower Your Individual Voice

Session 3. Thursday August 9th: 11 AM Mountain Time 
Mean What You Say: Protect the Power of Your Voice Through Verbal
Precision, Intention and Commitment

Session 4. Monday August 13th: 11 AM Mountain Time 
Don’t Be Mean When You Say It: Influence Through Grace, Not
Persuasion, Manipulation or Power

 Session 5. Thursday August 16th: 11 AM Mountain Time 
Success From Finesse: How to Polish Your Life and Career by Polishing Your

Newsletter July 25, 2012 Webinar and Fun Blog Discussion

Header-pyramid-6.77 2

GPS Phrases for Super-Sensitive People

Here’s a fun one for you. Imagine you were tasked with creating GPS phrases for sensitive people. What kinds of things would your GPS guide say when the driver ignored your advice, took a wrong turn…that kind of thing?

I posted this yesterday and already have several really creative and entertaining contributions. When I have enough and I’m ready—I’m thinking by next Wednesday—I’ll post them in a survey for you to vote.  There’s even a prize.

Here’s one I like. When someone turns left when the GPS says to go right:

  • I meant the other left.

Visit my blog to read the current offerings and get a great laugh. Wanna play? Just post. (My site ws hyjacked a few montha ago, and a lot of things went awry, even after it was fixed. I disicovered last week my blog post option didn’t work – but now it does!)



 While you’re there, follow my blog. I post more often than I email. Thanks!


Beyond Busy communication – Free Webinar

“When people get too busy, it changes how they communicate.” Jill Konrath.

Ever since I heard Jill say that, I’ve been noticing how true it is. I’ve also been collecting ideas about how to SpeakStrong in a beyond-busy world. I’ve observed how people talk with one foot out the door, answer emails without having read them (if they answer at all), and listen while texting their friends. I’ve noticed people ask questions I answered already, answer questions I didn’t ask, and make assumptions that don’t apply.
But mostly, I’ve noticed how much time is wasted correcting errors that would not have happened if people knew how to communicate in a beyond-busy world.

It takes a lot more time to correct errors due to hasty communication than it does to say it right the first time.

Busy-ness changes the rules and requirements of successful business communication.

In this free webinar you will discover:


  • What going on? How busy-ness has changed the way people communicate
  • What five assumptions you can no longer make in a beyond-busy world
  • One very counter-intuitive tip that will increase the effectiveness of your communication
  • What you can do up front to minimize the fall-out from “gotta-go-communication”
  • The top ten PowerPhrases you can use to cut through the noise of your busy-ness world
  • Where you need to be assertive and where you need to cut people some slack in this new world

Lots of practical tips in this one, so register now. 

SpeakStrong Summer School Intensive Starts Thursday August 2nd

My SpeakStrong Summer School Web Intensive will launch next week. Registration is limited to 8 participants, so let me know right away if you’re interested. Cost is $225 and that includes assessments, unlimited email support, optional between session private coaching calls and five 1 to 1 1/2 hour small group conference/web sessions. 

Learn how to really say what you mean and mean what you say without being mean when you say it. Email questions.

www.speakstrong.com/webinars (scroll down.) 


Opportunitynowhere webinar slides and handouts

If you missed the webinar Friday, you didn’t miss much. No, I’m not being modest. I had technical difficulties and had to abort the mission. The good news is I recorded an audio and sent the link out to people who registered. I got some great feedback about it, so clearly all was not lost. More good news is the fact that I’m much more excited about my new webianr alternative.

But I didn’t stop there. I wanted to keep improving the presentation, so I reworked it and reworked it. It’s on my site and on SlideShare (where you can download it). Mike, one of my mentors, and I will be discussing it later today, so I expect  the presentation will keep evolving.


Scroll on through the OpportunityNOW here SlideShare where you can see the PowerPoint notes, or on my site, where you can also download the audio and handout. 


www.speakstrong.com/webinars (Scroll down). 

Know your “why”, trust your why

heart brain“Why didn’t you put the coconut back in the cabinet?” Bob asked.

My old knee-jerk response to his “why” questions was to look for an answer he would buy. My current knee-jerk response is to resist his inquiry. So I said something like, “Does it matter?”

But after I sat down to eat, I asked myself the question he had asked me. Why didn’t I put the coconut back in the cabinet? The answer was, I wanted to get out of his way in the kitchen. It wasn’t a reason I needed to defend. 

It’s a small observation about an insignificant exchange with huge ramifications. I don’t always know why I do things. But I don’t have to be afraid to ask – or be asked – why. I don’t know if Bob was completely neutral in his questioning or not. I do know that if I can ask myself why I do what I do and want what I want, I can learn more about who I am, grow myself into new levels of maturity and achievement, and communicate what I know more effectively.

Hans Reichenbach says, “If you can’t say it, then you don’t know it. Michael Polayani says, “I know more than I can say.”

I say there are many ways of knowing. Learning to be able to speak what you know intuitively can bring unconscious wisdom to the conscious level. That helps others understand you. That’s a useful skill.

But here’s what I learned. This is HUGE. Just because I can’t offer a good reason for my choices doesn’t mean I don’t have a good reason. I might not always KNOW my why, but I usually can TRUST my why. And that trust makes me want to get to know myself better. 

So, a message to Bob: here’s what I have to say about you asking me why I do what I do. Bring it on. 

GPS Phrases for Sensitive People

drivingSome of the most competent and confident people I know joke about how their GPS system scolds them when they miss a directive. I don’t hear a scolding, I hear a “recalculating” followed by a revised instruction. But it happens often enough to demonstrate that even feedback that is clearly not personal – like a computer voice telling you that you missed your turn – can bring up shame and defensiveness.

I smell a business opportunity. Someone needs to create a GPS system for people with low self-esteem. It will affirm the driver, counter negative self-talk, and shine a light on the positive.

The Cascade Waldo Canyon Fire Chronicles

Our fate was in the hands of people we didn’t know, and the winds. 

I’t has taken many of us a while to get back to “normalcy” since the fire. Part of this for me, is I’ll never bypass an opportunity to swap stories with others about experiences. This is a revision of my previously posted accounting in a slide format. Click on through the slides here. Or, view these chronicles on SlideShare by clicking the SlideShare button, it will allow you to read the notes for each page. You’ll find them just to the right of the comments button by my picture.

Don’t Waste My Time, and I Won’t Waste Yours

The Value of YOUR Time

Lean Certified 200I just discovered that my comment function isn’t working correctly on my blog. It will probably take until Monday for me to get it fixed. I care about it because I want the comments, and I also care about it because I don’t want to waste my readers’ valuable time composing a comment that doesn’t go through. So I’m taking care of it as quickly as I can.

The Value of My Time

I just got off the phone with a client about a three-month-old unpaid invoice. My contact told me slow pay is normal for them, but not that slow. She gave me the book keeper’s direct number. I left a voice mail.

On my end, the delay required me to check my records for payment and then check with my book keeper. It then cost me the time to call my contact (who is a delight and always nice to talk with, but still…) and then the time to follow up with their book keeper. I’m estimating roughly that I have about a half-hour invested in this so far, plus ten minutes on my book keeper’s clock. My contact has ten minutes of time invested in it, and the client book keeper now will have to deal with my voicemail and email.

That is a waste of my time. it’s also a waste of theirs. 

Don’t Ask Me to do Your Job For You

We’re having a volunteer fire fighter come out to our house to help us know how to prepare for post fire flash flooding today. He asked me to call to remind him about it. I don’t mind at all, because he’s doing me a favor. But needing to remind clients and service providers to do their jobs unfairly adds an item to someone else’s already overloaded to-do-list and already over-stretched organizational systems. 

What’s the Big Deal, You Ask?

One of the very striking things I learned from my Lean Office Certification at The University of Michigan is just how much time do-overs and out-of cycle work takes. It doesn’t just take twice as long to go back for missed items, correcting errors and remedying incomplete information. The amount of time it wastes is exponential because it stops the flow of work. 

I once worked with a web developer who made a lot of errors, didn’t ready emails carefully and often didn’t respond to my messages. I sat beside him as he worked with me, and his phone rang constantly. Why? I’d say largely because he doesn’t get it right the first time. He doesn’t respond to the first call. The fact that he fights fires continually keeps him so busy he just can’t get a system in place that will help him work efficiently. So a fix that should have taken five minutes of both of our time took probably 40 minutes of my time and 20 minutes of his. Is it any wonder I’ve replaced him?

Lean Office is great for identifying and minimizing time wasters. And Lean is about seeing the world through the customer’s eyes. That’s why saying what you mean and meaning – and doing what you say – is such an important lean communication principle. If I knew just when to expect my payment, and if I had received the payment in that amount of time, I wouldn’t have had to waste my time to make sure I got paid. And my client wouldn’t have had their time wasted either. 

Registration is open for my Communication Skills in a Beyond Busy World Webinar. It will be Friday July 27th at 11 AM Mountain time. So check http://www.speakstrong.com/services/webinars/686-communication-busy to register. I won’t wste your time.