New Communication Dynamics that Transform

Women, Gen Y, Social Media and Globalization are changing the way we relate, influence and succeed. That can be a good thing – if you understand the New Dynamics of Communication. 

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A Question of Communication Style: Seven Strategies to Bridge the Communication Style Gap

When Jodi said the headphones cost a fortune, Mike was confused. The price tag was $350 – expensive, but a fortune? Jodi speaks in superlatives, and superlatives don’t compute in Mike’s literal brain.

Rory went off on two tangents before returning to his original point. As a systematic communicator, Carlos missed Rory’s conversational detour and was so lost he missed Rory’s point.

What’s going on? What we see here is a failure to communicate due to seemingly incompatible communication styles.

Top Ten Dos and Don’ts: How to Use Reflective Listening Scripts

How to Use Reflective Listening Scripts:
The Top Ten Dos, Don’ts, and PowerPhrases to Promote Understanding

Seek First to Understand
Seek first to understand and then to be understood. Stephen Covey popularized this phrase, and for good reason. Understanding is the foundation of effective communication. Reflective listening (or active listening) is a powerful tool to create understanding.

Go for the Sizzle but Avoid the Smoke

During a conversation on writing copy and self-promotional materials, a friend mentioned loving a political pundit who is well-known for her caustic denigration of anyone who disagrees with her positions. He told me, “She really says what she means.” I differ. My response to him was, “I don’t believe she says what she means. I believe she says what she thinks will serve her and her handlers.

I’m all for emphasizing the sizzle on the steak, but when it starts to become smoke that obscures rather than clarifies, I don’t endorse it or want to practice it myself.”

PowerPhrases are about clarity. I endorse putting your best foot forward, not putting a false front forward.

I watched The Smartest Guys in the Room about the Enron debacle. The documentary illustrates how so many can buy into smoke and mirrors and stop asking questions. Colin Whitehead, a former Enron trader said, “I didn’t ask questions because I didn’t want answers.” Former Enron VP Sharon Watson said, “I couldn’t believe so many people were going along.” They went along because, like Rod Stewart in his hit song, they were looking for a “Reason to Believe.”

I advocate persuasion based on clarity. Political wordsmith Frank Luntz author of the book Words That Work is good at what he does but has a different definition of what it means for words to work than I do. Some define words that work as whatever gets people to do what you want, even when your words mislead. Enron’s Jeffrey Skilling found words that worked when he encouraged employees to keep their Enron stock while he was dumping his. Skilling’s words do not qualify as PowerPhrases.

Go ahead and point out how the steak sizzles. But stop short of smoke and mirrors. The truth has more lasting value, and you get to keep your soul when you tell it.

Kata Talk: Navigate the Chutes and Ladders of Continuous Improvement

Kata Talk: Navigate the Chutes and Ladders of Continuous Improvement 

 This is a learning session that Mike Rother and I premiered at a GBMP conference in Springfield. It’s designed to get leaders and managers into the mindset of what they need to do to develop and guide continuous improvement. This session is interactive and was a big hit.

Gen X vs. Baby Boomers: Overcome the Barriers to Effective Communication

Gen x vs. baby boomers means war in some offices. Age presents one of the greatest barriers to effective communication in the workplace. It also presents one of the greatest opportunities. I facilitate all day intergenerational communication training that involves different generations interviewing each other. Some of the revelations might surprise you.