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October SpeakStrong, Synergy Center Newsletter from Meryl Runion Rose

 SS200 logo  Meryl Road 200SCbcg200



Join me for these upcoming events!

FREE WEBINAR! 12 Administrative Assistant and Office Pro Roadblocks and Remedies

announceI’m offering a free webinar Wed, Oct 17th,  at 11:15 am MDT, which is 1:15 EDT. It’s called The 12 Administrative Assistant and Office Pro Roadblocks and Remedies. It’s a dual-purpose webinar – to give you quick tools to deal with your office challenges and to provide a preview into some of the areas we’ll tackle at : The Executive Administrative Professional Online Training Camp. Check it out and register here.

FYI, I plan to start a paid webinar series with limited registration. This may be my last free webinar for a while.

The Executive Administrative Professional Online Training Camp

exec-adminMy Executive Assistant Training that used to be only available onsite is now also avaialble online. Develop your skills at home or in your office: Tuesdays, Nov. 13 – Dec. 4, 2012 1-4pm ET. Learn more and register here. (Click the Virtual Training tab at the top.)

Mid-Atlantic Lean Conference

I’m presenting at the Mid-Atlantic Lean Conference November 7th. We’ll be talking about Communication Kata and taking a Kata Quest to improve processes. Join us. More info here.



crownIn the Legend of the Holy Grail, after years of languishing, the Fisher King is revived when the knight Parsifal asks:

                • Whom does the grail serve?

The King can represent thinking, or our inner CEO. Asking the King whom the grail serves is similar to asking our inner CEO:

                • Where’s your heart?

When people want help with phrasing I inquire (often indirectly) where their heart is at the deepest level. My method is more about perspective than advice. Find The Synergy Center between your heart and your mind, and you more easily find the words for clarity and the strength for action. 

A gentle-spirited friend recently became a political activist when corporate interests conflicted with community values. She knows whom she serves. She knows where her heart is. She serves her family, community and the earth. That synergy of heart and mind gives her a strong clear voice and the will to use it. She is Speaking Strong.

What ails you? And where’s your heart? It’s a good thing to know. As with the Fisher King, even just asking the question can cure and enliven action.




powerphrase icon2It starts with passive or aggressive communication. Often the next stage is to swing to the opposite polarity – the passive communicator gets heavy-handed and the aggressive communicator goes soft. Eventually we develop balance – which is assertiveness – yet can look like passiveness or aggression at times.

Don was rightfully upset that his bank told another interested buyer that he had already inquired about a specific property. That prompted the other buyer to put in their offer immediately and helped the other buyer win the contract.

The damage is done. Don wondered if he should just let it go, or write a scathing and threatening letter to the bank president. His initial considerations had no middle ground.

Don isn’t mean-spirited, so when the choices are so extreme, he is likely to say nothing – and let it eat away at him.

The fact is, Don was wronged, and leadership at the bank needs to know about it. One option moving forward is to go to the president and say:

Someone at this bank was indiscreet and I was injured. I don’t see any way to make it right now. However, I do want to let you know what happened so you can make it right moving forward.



I used to write about Poison Phrases . Who knows – I might start again. But I felt limited by that category because what is poison in one situation is helpful in others. So I’m working with the header Synergy Sabotage – trying it on for size.

tripMark works for a company that manages by consensus. Everyone needs to agree before they can move forward with a decision – in theory, anyway.

In terms of The Synergy Center, requiring unanimous consensus for everything can be too extreme and cumbersome. It  over-compensates for command-and-control leadership. While it assures every voice is heard, it can be unmanageable. But this post is about something else.

At a company meeting, Mark strongly disagreed with a decision that the IT director favored. The group overrode Mark because “only one person objects.”

Not walking the talk is synergy sabotage. If your principles say you decide by consensus and then you don’t, you’ve lost a lot more than the support of the person whom you overrode. You’ve lost your compass. You’ve lost trust. People get the message that principles don’t matter when they are inconvenient.

While I don’t recommend unanimity for all decisions, I’m even more passionate about the need to say what you do and do what you say. If you find that unmanageable, don’t just throw your principles under the bus. Live them or revise them and live that.

Now Mark is actively looking for other employment.

Another option would be to address the inconsistency. To say:

  • Either we decide by consensus or we don’t. If you override my objection and end the discussion, it’s clear we’re not walking our talk. We need to decide how we decide for real, and then do it. 



 Thanks! I hope to see you at one of my events!

Newsletter September 14, 2012

SpeakStrong Updates from Meryl Runion Rose September 14, 2012

Meryl Dell 3sm

SpeakStrong. Say what you mean and mean what you say without being mean when you say it. We all have a part in the well being and evolution of our families, communities and world, and we all have our own unique contributions.

What are you not saying that people need to hear? None of us knows everything, but we all do know something. Your perspective contributes to the shaping of what happens.

Don’t wait until you have it perfect. That won’t happen. Give it your best effort and learn from responses. Sometimes communication just shakes the trees to see what comes out. It’s not necessarily a final word. It can be a step closer to deeper understanding and expressing your essence with authenticity. Sometimes your step forward can look like a step back. Keep learning and walking and putting yourself—your deepest self—out there.

I’m honored to be a part of your communication journey.

What can I help you say today?


Networking Webinar Tuesday with Diane Windingland

Free: Networking Tips for Effective Engagement

Diane WindinglandTuesday, September 18 at 11:00 AM MDT

See Time in Your Time Zone When You Register

Diane Windingland with Meryl Runion Rose

(Diane Windingland is the Coauthor of Perfect Phrases for IceBreakers)

Improving your people skills doesn’t have to be boring. This interactive presentation will help you learn to become better connected by first showing you what to avoid. Using reverse psychology, Diane Windingland will reveal some of the worst networking techniques before wrapping up with practical ways you can effectively engage people and build business relationships.

Diane and I are collaborative buddies because she walks her talk. She reached out to me, and became an essential part of my network. I discovered her PowerPoint for this presentation and was intrigued, so I invited her to offer it as a conversational webinar with me. Join our discussion about how to network effectively. More info and registration here.

A case for action

Diane said something that really struck me in a conversation yesterday. She said, 

  • You don’t have to know everything to find success. You do have to act.
She confessed that she used to over plan. I have to watch for over thinking. Sometimes we need to take action and learn as we go.
Comment here

What do you think about “synergy”?

synergyWhen Stephen Covey popularized the idea of synergy, I was delighted. I also wondered why the concept didn’t take off more than it did. To me, it seems so basic to success. Synergy is the emergence of a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. When people connect dynamically, they create things, have conversations and succeed in ways none of them could have done on their own.

Yesterday someone told me the word synergy is dated in business circles. To me, that’s like suggesting that exercise is out of fashion so we shouldn’t talk about it or do it anymore. 

Well, I figure anyone who dismissed the idea of synergy hasn’t experienced its magic. What do you think?

      • Do you like the word?
      • Do you consciously strive toward synergy in your conversations?
      • Why would the word fall from fashion?
      • What creates synergy for you?
      • What comes to mind when you hear the word?

Today, an editor of a magazine I write for told me she loves an article I wrote about synergy. She noted that the article empowers people who often feel “less than” and it cements the fact that we all have a part of creating, and each part is needed. So maybe there’s hope for synergy after all! There is if I have anything to do with it!

Comment here.

August 08, 2012 Free Feed-Forward Webinar

What can a GPS for sensitive people teach us about feedback? Quite a bit, actually. We got some great input from my request for phrases for a GPS designed to avoid stepping on people’s self-esteem issues and help them move forward. And while actually creating a GPS like that might be pandering, the phrases offered give insight into qualities of effective feedback that can help us give awesome feedback ourselves.

Have a chuckle and vote for your favorites at: 

Use any criteria you like. If you will, share what you liked in particular about the phrases you chose. The winner gets $100 in SpeakStrong products. So vote early and often. You also can still contribute ideas on my blog at: . You have until Monday evening, August 15th to submit your phrases.

Late entries can still win, but the sooner you get yours in, the sooner I’ll add them to the list and the greater your chances. I’ll announce the winning phrase at my How to Give Awesome, Effective Feedback Webinar Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 15th: How to Give Awesome, Effective Feedback Webinar

11:00 am MDT – check your time zone. That’s mountain daylight. This is a slide preview. Or you can go straight to the registration page. 

Find out how to give feedback people can hear. Plus, how you can flip feedback into feed-forward to use the power of pull communication over the pressure of push. We’ll expand on lessons from a GPS for sensitive people into a very practical and useful set of tips and techniques to be able to give feedback people can hear.

  • Learn six phrases to help you shift feedback into feed-forward
  • The top five qualities of effective feedback
  • How to flip feedback into feed-forward and leverage the power of pull communication over the pressure of push
  • When to coach and when to let people find their own way
  • How to shift the focus from right and wrong to opportunities and possibilities

and much more.

Register now. 

The Beyond-Busy Webinar is posted

Click below to view the slides and/or the replay. Here’s one comment: “It was a great use of my time” Webinar participant 

Newsletter July 25, 2012 Webinar and Fun Blog Discussion

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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. (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. (Scroll down). 

SpeakStrong Newsletter July 18, 2012







Hi from Cascade, Colorado, where the forests behind our enclave are burned, but the community is fine. It seems like yesterday that we watched the fate of our homes change in the form of a red fire line that Type I fire incident commander Rich Harvey pointed to on a map on television. That line was yards away from our enclave and home. We  were preparing ourselves to lose everything. In the end we lost nothing. Instead, our friends on the other side of the ridge are now homeless. It was a dramatic experience for the entire community. I share my experience of it in my Cascade Chronicles at:

I’ve never known this as much as I know it now – words are important, but have their limit. The pictures help me convey what it was like for us.

Scroll on through. Then I invite your comments on one of my blog posts:  


Ann’s New Dream Job – the Organic Path to Excellence

Ann and I got out for a hike in our charred trails this week. That’s our last trip on those trails – the signs to stay out are very forbidding now, and we happened to run into our state senator, mayor, fire chief, and others who reminded us that the forests are closed. Okay, we get it. Thanks for being so gracious about it. 

Anyway, Ann has her dream job. Her new team is delightful but disorganized, and Ann is all about organization. (Her tea cabinet in her home is a thing of beauty.) They’ll decide what to do with the information, but as with all great reports, Ann told a story, made the story credible with data, and painted a picture so clear that the action plan almost is creating itself. 

In a previous job, Ann’s clarity threatened her team. In this one, they love it. So how did she get where she is? By trial and error and studying what didn’t work out as a guide to finding a career opportunity that is. Yes, she plans, but she also follows an organic path to excellence. Others might not have even recognized the breadcrumbs that marked the path that led to her success. 

SpeakStrong Summer School Webinars Starts with an unusual career path webinar – this Friday!

Okay, a wedding, a honeymoon, four trainings and a fire evacuation later, I’m ready to rock and roll. I’m creating a webinar series. Two of the webinars are free. Five of the webinars will be for a small group of 5-8 people who are interested in what I would call both remedial and advanced communication development.

I say remedial because we’ll go over communication basics that we should have learned, but most of us haven’t. Many are communication skills that I still practice deliberately after all
these years. I also say advanced because we’ll be exploring communication subtleties that require a high level of communication consciousness. I still catch myself “going unconscious” at times.

Summer Webinar Schedule

FREE SpeakStrong Summer School series: attend either one or both

1. Friday July 20th: 11 AM Mountain Time
Opportunitynowhere (now here) SpeakStrong and an Organic Path to
Career and Personal Excellence
Expanded description below
Register now: 

 2. Friday July 27th: 11 AM Mountain Time
Communication Skills in a Beyond-busy World

SpeakStrong Summer School Small Group Intensive, just $225 for the intensive series 

Highly interactive. Limit 8 participants This will include assessments, individual guidance, exercises, copies of my SpeakStrong book and much more. This will give a great boost to your practice of saying what you mean and meaning 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

Registration will open soon. 


The first free webinar is available for registration. You can read more about it and register here.

I’ll be posting the slides and some worksheets on that page and the landing page before Friday.

The second webinar will open for registration later this week. 

The SpeakStrong Summer School will only cost $225 and is limited to eight participants, so you might want to let me know if you want me to hold a spot for you before registration opens. It comes with all kinds of extras, including the SpeakStrong book and personal assessments. Also, the times are preliminary, so if you’re interested, but the specific dates don’t work for you, email me.

SpeakStrong Summer School Launch:

How did Ann end up in her dream job on her dream team? How did Nancy become Medical Staff Coordinator? How did I go from never having written anything to writing a book that sold over 300,000 copies? How did Betty change her work from something that was “killing her” into what she now considers a ministry that she is grateful for? 

They (and I) followed an Organic Path to Career Excellence.

Speaking Strong is about saying what you mean and meaning what you say without being mean when you say it. That practice and the philosophy behind it leads to a different, more essential way of living. That includes career planning and goal setting. This webinar will help you find success principles you can live by.

This presentation evolved out of an Executive Admin training I gave last April in Dallas. The group wanted more emphasis on career planning. That led me to some deep thinking about what I know about career planning, advancement and success. That led me to write an article about it in my Office Pro Magazine column. That evolved into this webinar.

Office Pro Magazine Article:

In other words, this webinar came about organically. I’m excited about it, because there are things in it I don’t hear other places.

So register now 

Miss the Weekly Newsletters? Register for the Blog

I have lots of blog posts, so if you’re not subscribed to it, I invite you to. You can register here:

Here’s one of my favorites. I overheard a young girl talk about the fire.

Thanks! I hope to see you Friday!

SpeakStrong Newsletter April 2012

  #406, April, 2012  


Yay! We got married!

Newsletter morphing

Two new books were born

Executive Admin Training

Enjoy the blog


SpeakStrong Newsletter

Please comment on the blog posts or email me via contacts

Yay! We got married

Wedding cake

It’s true. After 16 years, Bob Rose and I formally tied the knot. And I now have a new name – one with a Rose in it. I haven’t decided what my legal name will be yet. Have you been through this? What worked, didn’t work? I have one friend who changed her whole name when she married.

Please share your experience.

It was wonderful. It is wonderful. And getting married eloquently is one of the things that kept me busy.

Creating this glorious event was a real testament to how much easier collaborative communication skills make planning anything, and how much more satisfying the outcome can be. Bob and I have been going from me’s to we’s for 16 years, but making it formal was hugely engaging, rewarding and delightful.



My marital status isn’t the only thing that morphed

My marital status isn’t the only thing that morphed As some of you know, I’ve been writing this newsletter for 12 years now. We’re at #406. I started a blog some six years ago. Newsletters take quite a bit of time to prepare. That’s why I dropped off in my broadcasts. They also take quite a bit of time to read. So it just makes sense to me to shift the focus of the newsletter to announcements and news, and use the blog for the tips and teachings.

The good news is you can subscribe to my blog and receive the posts via feed or email. The posts tend to be short and easy to read. So visit my blog and fill in your email in the right column where it says to subscribe via email.

I’d love to keep the conversation going, and I post far more often than I send out newsletters.

Visit my blog


Two new SpeakStrong babies – Phrase books

I have two new books out.

One is Perfect Phrases for Icebreakers with Diane Windingland. The other is Perfect Phrases for Virtual Teamwork with Lynda McDermott. They are very different and you’ll love them both! Icebreaker Phrase Book

The icebreaker book has conversation starters for new acquaintances as well as openers for meetings, tough conversations and events.

The virtual teamwork book really will help you get and stay aligned and collaborate with people you work with through technology. It’s a great guide for any kind of team formation, with the added benefit of how to handle the kinds of things that happen when you work remotely.

So take advantage of all my hard writing work and get the phrases for your job and lfe.

visit my store

check me out on Amazon


Executive Admin Training

Executive Admin TrainingI’m preparing for Executive Admin training in Dallas next week. If any of you are really flexible, there’s still room to attend. It will be a very dynamic group of professionals.

Don’t worry – we’re in the process of scheduling another one for the fall, either in Boston or Vegas – or – who knows – perhaps both! But if you have an inkling to come, here’s your info.

check it out


Lots of posts – tips and questions and answers and even some details about my wedding on my blog

Focus can be hard! I’m so tempted to summarize my favorite blog posts here. But it makes more sense to stay on point here. I will leave you with an invitation to dialog with me on my blog.

Until next time – keep on speaking strong!

visit my blog..


SpeakStrong and collaborate without compromise

Got a communication question? Ask me!

Want to use any of the articles on your site? You are welcome to with this bio:
Meryl Runion is the creator of the SpeakStrong Method. You can find her at

SpeakStrong Newsletter December 2011 Email Marketing Templates – Newsletter 2 column

Can’t view this email properly? Click here for the online version

  #405, December, 2011  


Humble Leadership: Tim Tebow is a game changer – and i’m not talking football

NIA and SpeakStrong make great gifts

Lean PowerPhrase: What is preventing the operator from running this way?

LuAnn and Creating Your Own Job Opportunities

What are you courting?

Books by the box


Check out my other blog articles!


Books to help you find the perfect words to collaborate without compromise:

  • Composite


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Subscribe to Newsletter 


Custom Webinars

SpeakStrong Newsletter

Please do not hit reply.Email me: MerylRunion(at)

Humble Leadership: Tim Tebow is a game changer – and I’m not talking about football

Broncos football got interesting again, thanks to quarterback Tim Tebow. He’s starting a lot of conversations, and the conversation that interests me most is about how he models humble leadership. In a world of narcissistic celebrities it’s a breath of fresh air to Tebowhear the voice of one who doesn’t let success go to his head. It’s quotes like this one that are the real game changers. 

  • I know I had a lot of help. Offensive line did a great job and receivers stepped up and made me look a lot better than I really am.

The more Tebow talks, the more inspiring he is. He continually says the “right” things in ways that only sincere people can.

Is this guy for real? It sure seems like it. And that pleases and encourages me. We get to see what humility looks like in someone whose star is rising.



NIA and SpeakStrong make great gifts: Free upgrade to priority shipping in the US

Have you ever danced your way to clarity? I offer NIA dance DVDs because I love them. Plus, there’s nothing like freeform dance and exercise to help you find your voice to SpeakStrong. If I’m stuck on how to say something, a good dance session will shake me loose.Boys reading Power Phrases

So check out my dance DVDs.

And also, many people tell me my books are very welcome gifts among people of all ages. Like in this pic. Thanks Paul, for sending it!

For the rest of this week, I offer a free upgrade to priority shipping for all US orders. Just note in the special instructions that you’d like the upgrade.

Visit my store


Lean PowerPhrase: What is preventing the operator from running this way?

In my last newsletter I featured the PowerPhrase:

  • How do you want the process to operate?

This week I have the follow-up to that phrase.

  • What is preventing the operator from running this way?

In our offices, we might adapt the question to things like,

  • What is preventing the sales force from recording their sales the way we instruct them?

The point is, we know how we want the process to work and if it’s not working that way, instead of going into blame, we go into problem-solving. This phrase assumes – as lean managers do – that people want to do good work and need support in overcoming obstacles, not criticism when their work falls short.

So here’s an example most everyone will relate to. Your overloaded inbox. I totally overbooked myself this summer and am still playing catch up. My inbox topped 2000 emails. So I have a process – a system to catch up. I have a target ideal for number of emails in my inbox on an ongoing basis. To get there, I have a target to reduce my inbox by each week and a target for each day. My initial target numbers were much higher than the targets I set now, because initially I had a lot of low-hanging fruit – emails that I didn’t need to take action on.

I also have systems to manage the emails that come in. My process is to handle most email as it arrives, and every one by the end of the day. I’m not quite there yet.

So to get there, Manager Meryl asks Operator Meryl,

  • What prevents you from acting on that email now?

Sometimes the answer is that I don’t have a place to file it. That gets me improving my filing system. The key is to observe my thinking when I process each email. That’s where I get the data I need to work ON my email management system as I work IN it.

So what prevents you from operating at the highest level? There could be quite an opportunity in your answer.



LuAnn and Creating Your Own Job Opportunities

I was in Phoenix last week, leading The Ultimate Admin, where we talked about how important it is to create your own job opportunities by seeing the needs in the workplace and filling them. The comic Luann illustrated this well. When TJ’s new boss hands him a list of tasks, he responds by defining his job for himself. His list says he won’t do toilets, empty trash or run errands but he will double sales.


(Click here for the blog post for a larger version of the strip.) Okay, if you take this example too literally, it could get you fired. You might not want to start out with what you won’t do. But TJ does illustrate the concept of upshifting your job by adding value. And once you’re doing work that uses your very best skills, you have a strong case for moving away from the work that doesn’t. 

What an awesome group of professionals we had in Phoenix! Several had done just that – seen a need and filled it, making their jobs more interesting, productive and fun. Are you working by your own design, not default?



What are you courting?

CourtRhonda posted an interesting article about her speed-dating experience. In ten "dates," not one man asked her about herself. She has since married a wonderful man, but he triggered her ire when she called home each day while travelling to have him tell her about his day, but never inquire about hers. On day five, Rhonda asked, "Don’t you even want to hear about my day?" He noticed his omission, apologized, inquired about her day, and has been more attentive ever since. A success story?

Yes… and… In my way of thinking, if ten men and her wonderful hubby all talk about themselves and don’t think to inquire about her, it might be a trait, not a flaw.



Books by the box

With the holidays coming up, consider giving people the gift of the perfect words. You can get books for you whole team at a great price when you order books by the box. Or, just get yourself a book or two to prepare yourself to communicate effectively throughout the holiday rush.

That’s it for now. It’s so nice to be back.

SpeakStrong and collaborate without compromise

Got a communication question? Ask me!

Want to use any of the articles on your site? You are welcome to with this bio:
Meryl Runion is the creator of the SpeakStrong Method. You can find her at

SpeakSTRONG Newsletter November 21, 2011

  #404, November 22, 2011  


Surprising motivators

Webinar update


“Poison” Phrase

Books by the box


Join us at:

The Ultimate Admin Training Camp
Phoenix Arizona
December 6-7

Books to help you find the perfect words to collaborate without compromise:Composite

SS Method Handbook
Twitter Posts
Facebook Pledge
Meryl on Facebook
Free stuff
Subscribe to Newsletter 


Custom Webinars

SpeakStrong Newsletter

Surprising motivators

Wendy Mack’s fall newsletter asks: which of the following tools is the most powerful for motivating employees? 


1. Support for making progress, 2. Recognition for good work, 3. Incentives, 4. Interpersonal support, 5. Clear goals

If you’re like ninety-five percent of managers, you believe recognition for good work has the most impact on employee motivation. But Harvard University has proven that support for making progress is the greatest motivator, particularly for scientists, engineers, programmers, marketers, and other knowledge workers. Managing by objectives, which puts the focus on outcome misses the opportunities of managing by means (Profit Beyond Measure, Thomas Johnson). Focusing on progress motivates – but requires skill and comes with a warning… continued: read the warning, get the secret and comment


Webinar update: do you want to improve your communication skills?

Last week’s webinars were fun, informative, and allowed for a delightful sharing of ideas. You can find the links for the replay and the slides here. I’ve also posted the slides to my slideshare account. If you like them, I’d love to read your comments on slideshare or my blog posts about the presentations. Luna Lovegood and the Top Ten Phrases for Admins, and Communication Kata: The Yes Fast.

I don’t have any webinars scheduled at this time, but am working on it. Stay tuned.

Comment on the Admin webinar

Comment on the Kata webinar

PowerPhrase: Manage the process

If you manage the means instead of the result, a powerful phrase for you is:

• How do you want the process to operate?

Managing by results asks about outcome. What are you trying to accomplish? Managing by means asks about the process that achieves the outcome, and is one of the secrets of Toyota’s competitive edge.


Please, will you adopt me, too?

PowerPhrase IconI just received an email requesting auction items for a fundraiser for a couple to adopt an 11-year-old boy. The tale they tell is that the couple was in the Philippine orphanage to adopt their daughter when the boy came up to them and said,

• Please, will you take me home with you, too? I love America.

He was the oldest child at the orphanage and had watched numerous friends be adopted, leaving him behind. With that ability to make direct requests, I think that young man will do very well in business.


PowerPhrase: We have good alchemy

What is chemistry in personal relationships can be called alchemy in professional ones.

read the post and comment

“Poison” Phrase: What time?

I’d been trying to find a time to meet with “Darla” and emailed a possible time. My email said:

How about Friday at 12:30?

That was the entire message. Darla replied,

texting“Friday would be great. What time?”

It didn’t surprise me a bit to note that her reply came from a mobile device. They’re harder to read, and people are often on the go when they use them.

And that is what happens when we rush. We miss things that are right in front of us. I learned a lot about Darla in that quick response. If I didn’t understand the dynamics, I might think she’s not so bright. But she holds down a very responsible job. I can’t conclude she lacks intelligence, but I can conclude that I need to be aware of the fact that she can reply without understanding. I will communicate with her differently than with someone who considers every word. I’ll check her facts and reconfirm our agreements and take more responsibility for the effectiveness of our communication.

It’s amazing how much we can learn about someone from a six-word email. Or a short blog post – which is why I’ll run spell-check on this before I hit save.


Books by the box

With the holidays coming up, consider giving people the gift of the perfect words. You can get books for you whole team at a great price when you order books by the box. Or, just get yourself a book or two to prepare you to communicate effectively throughout the holiday rush.

That’s it for now. It’s so nice to be back.

SpeakStrong and collaborate without compromise

Got a communication question? Ask me!

Want to use any of the articles on your site? You are welcome to with this tag:
Meryl Runion is the creator of the SpeakStrong Method. You can find her at

SpeakSTRONG Newsletter November 14, 2011

SpeakStrong Newsletter



In this Issue – #403
November 14, 2011

Beyond-busy update

SpeakStrong update

Collaborate without compromise

Free webinars this week



Coming soon:

The Ultimate Admin Training Camp
Phoenix Arizona
December 6-7


Free Webinar:
Top Ten PowerPhrases for Admins
Wed. November 16, 11:00 – 11:45 MST


Free Webinar:
Communication Kata
Thurs. November 17, 11:00 – 12:00 Noon MST




SS Method Handbook
Twitter Tips
Twitter Posts

Facebook Pledge
Meryl on Facebook
Free stuff
Subscribe to Newsletter 


Custom Webinars





Speak StrongPower Phrases


SpeakSTRONG Method

November 14

Got a question or a comment?   Do not hit reply.  
Please comment on my blog or email me.   View in a browser here.

Have you ever been beyond-busy?
Coming up for air.

Last April, when I created an MP3 audio about how to communicate in Busy ladya beyond-busy world, I didn’t realize I was about to become one of those people myself. When people become insanely busy, it changes how they communicate – and how you communicate with them.

My projects had me working so diligently that I found myself skimming emails, not getting back to people as quickly or thoughtfully as I like to, and even letting some things slip through the cracks – including my blog posts and newsletter. Now, after such a long silence, it seems like I should write something profound – give you pearls of wisdom from the mountaintop I’ve been on. Well, here’s my main conclusion.

If I’m too busy to send a newsletter at least once a month, I’m too busy! I’m so happy to be back. To celebrate, I’m making my Beyond-Busy audio available to you free for the rest of November. These skills will prepare you for the holiday rush, so you and those you communicate with will stay connected and aligned as you navigate the busy month ahead.


A few SpeakStrong updates

To catch you up: Perfect Phrases for Office Professionals phrase book is now available (with Susan Fenner). It’s packed with phrases anyone in a support position can use every day.

I wrote two new books over the summer that are in production now. Perfect Phrases for Icebreakers with Diane Windingland is due out in January, and Perfect Phrases for Virtual Teamwork is due to be released in March. (Now you know why I’ve been so quiet.)

exec-adminI’m also leading a two-day training camp for administrative professionals in Phoenix next month. I hope to see you there. There is still space available.

I created some really great programs for the continuous improvement and lean community, and am moving more deeply into how to use kata – or practices – to communicate in ways that develop problem-solving abilities. You can check out the slides for Kata Talk, the very popular session I presented in a delightful and successful collaboration with Toyota Kata author Mike Rother.


Collaborate without compromise

Do you collaborate without compromise? Do you transcend the limits of your egocentric perception and existing knowledge, pool your ideas with other thinkers collaborationand strive together toward a shared objective or outcome?

Some things should never be compromised. Compromise is a waste when a much better collaborative outcome is available – IF you’re willing to stay open long enough to discover it. Speaking Strong is collaborating without compromise. Here’s a phrase that captures the spirit.

  • Is that the best solution we can come up with? I don’t want either one of us to compromise – I want us to find an option that is better than what either one of us could come up with on our own.


Two free webinars this week

Top Ten PowerPhrases for Admins
Wed. November 16, 11:00 – 11:45 MST

Web LogoHow do you get results when you’re not in charge? This free webinar details the top ten PowerPhrases for admins. You’ll walk away, not only with words and phrases you can use right away to get great results, but with a new way of looking at what assertive communication is for the professional support person. Admins are the masters of collaborating without compromise.

Communication Kata
Thurs. November 17, 11:00 – 12:00 Noon MST

A kata is a practice, or method, to develop a skill. It also is a way of keeping two things in alignment or synchronization with each other. Communication kata are practices that keep all the elements of great communication in alignment for every conversation. This free webinar explains the elements of effective communication kata and will leave you with a very specific practice to collaborate-without-compromise and to say what you mean and mean what you say, without being mean when you say it.

more info

About Meryl and SpeakSTRONG

To SpeakStrong is to say what you mean and mean what you say without being mean when you say it, as a foundation to collaborate without compromise.

Get the competitive edge. Go beyond effective communication skill to transformational, dynamic communication.

I am the author of ten (really!) books on effective communication, a seasoned trainer and a keynote presenter.

Contact me

© 2011 · Meryl Runion and SpeakStrong, Inc · All Rights Reserved

Speak STRONG, Inc

4265 Outpost Rd

Cascade CO 80809

(719) 684-2633