Effective communication

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If you have to say this, it probably ain’t so

I received the following letter:

Dear Meryl

communication questionsI 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.

Hi Steve,

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,


Who benefits?

Who can benefit from The SpeakStrong Method?

who benefits from The SpeakStrong MethodWho is the SpeakStrong method for?

Who will get the most out of these principles and practices of effective communication?

Is the SpeakStrong method for you?

The SpeakStrong Method is NOT for Everyone. 

If you’re looking for:

  • ways to gain the upper hand,
  • tips to get the competitive advantage over everyone else, and
  • tools to put other people squarely in their place…

…I can tell you right now, this method isn’t for you. That’s not what we do here at SpeakStrong.

Qualifying Characteristics

We work with professionals and organizations who are:

  • forward leaning,
  • mission-oriented,
  • adaptive, and
  • customer focused.

Our clients are looking for the cooperative advantage, the way to inspire people to their full potential and tools to dissolve the hierarchical silos that are barriers to collaborative communication and hence to success.

Qualifying Challenges

You’re a great candidate for our services if:

  • You’re a leader ready to trade dominance for collaboration and truly develop your people.
  • You’re a manager who wants to get your staff members and yourself on the same page.
  • You’re an executive assistant ready to develop a partnership approach with your employer and associates.
  • You’re a forward-minded individual in any position who knows there’s a better way to communicate than power games and posturing.
  • You practice lean, continuous improvement and/or Toyota Kata, and seek updated communication skills and phrases to navigate in alignment with your new paradigm.

Embrace the New Dynamics of Communication

Times are changing, and so is the way to relate, communicate and succeed. If you’re interested in continuous communication improvement to turbo-charge your personal productivity or the productivity of your team or organization, contact us.

The SpeakStrong Method provides effective communication skills to help you adapt, align and collaborate without compromise to increase your effectiveness, bottom line and work satisfaction.

The Method: Principles of the practice

What principles guide The SpeakStrong Method in practice?

principles of the practiceThe practice of the SpeakStrong Method is based on the following principles…

1. A compelling vision is an excellence magnet

2. Customer focus guides communication

3. Improvement is inherent and natural

4. Change happens when the vision is attractive enough and the steps are clear enough

5. Deliberate practice is the basis of improvement

6. Less effort yields greater results as long as it’s focused

7. There is strength in humility

8. Paradox indicates deep understanding

9. Shared visions unify teams and organizations

10. Obstacles are improvement opportunities

11. Great communication integrates three stories

These principles are fundamental to effective, dynamic communication. They are natural and become second nature once you learn to work with them through practice of the SpeakStrong Method. 

Communication Barrier #1: Lack of vision

Lack of vision due to poor role models? We’ve got that one handled.

communication barrier 1Most people have far more role models of ineffective communication than effective communication. How clear is your picture of what great communication in the real world is? Most people have rarely or never seen how skilled communication can melt resistance, create opportunities and open doors.

Why change if you don’t have a vision to aspire to?

A compelling vision is like a magnet that draws you forward. The pull of a vision lightens the load of every step. Without the picture of what collaborative communication excellence looks like, the communicator lacks direction and will fumble.

The SpeakStrong Method aspires to Third Dynamic Communication. That style of communication is so rare that many of us don’t even know there could be a better way to relate, influence and succeed.

The SpeakStrong Method overcomes this obstacle by providing a compelling communication vision worth striving toward.

7 Communication Barriers

What 7 obstacles to effective communication does The SpeakStrong Method transform into opportunities?

barriers to effective communicationIf the SpeakStrong method is so great, and the technique so natural, why aren’t we all communicating this way already?

What prevents us from communicating according to our vision?

What obstacles keep us from collaborating without compromise for clarity, innovation and success?

The SpeakStrong method identifies and addresses seven obstacles to effective communication. They are:

  1. Lack of vision
  2. Lack of skill
  3. Fear
  4. Abdication to external authority
  5. Perfectionism
  6. Impatience, and
  7. Habit 

Change happens when the pain gets bad enough, the vision is magnetic enough, and the path, including steps to overcome communication obstacles are clear enough. Identifying the obstacles and the price of poor communication is an important step in developing effective communication skills through the SpeakStrong Method.

Are any of these obstacles blocking you?
What is it costing you personally? professionally? 

Don’t let the seven barriers to effective communication keep you from experiencing the full potential of your relationships due to poor communication. 

Explore the SpeakStrong Method

The SpeakStrong Method is a simple, powerful and systematic communication system to effectively express individual uniqueness in alignment with individual goals and shared aspirations.

Transform the way you and your organization relate, influence and succeed.

The SpeakStrong Method is your key to a new level of empowered, collaborative communication. It:

  • teaches new communication dynamics based on universal principles of effective communication
  • offers practical applications, including communication formulas, powerful phrases, and communication kata (practices), to meet the challenges of today’s business world
  • is lean-aligned (think Toyota Production System) and kata-based (think Martial Arts practice for skill development) and supports continuous communication improvement.

Communicate efficiently while relating effectively

When you communicate with an OBJECTive in mind, don’t let your listener become an OBJECT to you. The SpeakStrong Method recognizes the need for efficient communication, and aligns the objective need for speed with the importance of relating collaboratively with the listener.

Lean-aligned and kata-based communication skill

The SpeakStrong Method is lean-aligned (think Toyota Production System) and kata-based (think Martial Arts practice for skill development) and supports continuous communication improvement.

If you are ready to liberate your communication

If you want communication skills that are as dynamic as your communication challenges require 

If you are ready to take your team or organization to the next level of collaborative effectiveness…

 …check out what we can do for you at SpeakStrong

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”  -Henry Ford

The SpeakStrong Method: Dynamic communication skills to collaborate without compromise for clarity, innovation and success


Stop Living Life Like an Emergency

diane_siegI bought Diane Sieg’s book “Stop Living Life Like an Emergency” a couple years back before I spoke to the Emergency Nurse’s Association. I loved the book, but today I glanced at the title and the importance of it struck me. 

After the Arizona shootings, I had a number of people tell me I needed to act fast to get myself on the radio and TV to talk about my political communication book, “How to Restore Sanity to Our Political Conversations”. I did send out a press release, but my first three interviews convinced me: my real audience will still be there next month and the month after that. The people who will influence change aren’t the ones who are part of the 24-hour news cycle where the theme changes overnight. And interestingly, my favorite interviews have been the ones that were scheduled farther out, like the one I did on NPR Honolulu last night.

No, they didn’t fly me out to give the interview. 

Living on high alert all the time isn’t just exhausting, it’s not efficient. So thanks to Diane Sieg for a great book that sends an important message even if you don’t get past the title. To get that much just from a title is what I call effective communication. 

The Pledge

Take the pledge to say what you mean and mean what you Pledge jointsay, without being mean when you say it. 

Before you have that important conversation, invite others to join you in the pledge.

Communication agreements are an important aspect of The SpeakSTRONG Method. They set standards that keep everyone operating with the same understandings.

You can download printable posters to affirm you personal and shared pledges.

The Personal SpeakSTRONG Pledge is here.  

The Joint SpeakSTRONG Pledge is here

My SpeakSTRONG book provides more information on how to establish communication agreements. This simple pledge can jump start effective communication by giving you a simple guide. Print it out and post it, or order a poster from the SpeakSTRONG store.