Meryl Runion

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Dare to Intrude

I set my computer to open to the desktop when it wakes. Clicking the locked button only took a moment, but it was an unnecessary step that I took several times a day. This is what Lean Manufacturer Paul Akers calls a two-second improvement. You probably need your computer password protected, so that’s likely not an improvement you would make. But I suspect there are a thousand things like that that you could do that would eliminate unnecessary steps in your work.

Free Tools

Gift NB.300Start Now Free

This page offers a plethora of fantastic tools and free resources.  Start with the Online Tools, where you can take the Communication Style Inventory and learn what style you lead with.  Online Tools also contains inspirational movies, an interactive exercise and a tutorial on how to use PowerPhrases!  You can view the SpeakStrong database of helpful articles, subcribe to the newsletter, blog, or quote of the day. There are also some free downloadable posters at the bottom!

SpeakStrong Method Quick Start Intensive

A nine-step, five-week partnership approach to starting your SpeakStrong Method practice

StartThis five-week skill and knowledge development program walks you through the 9-step process of The SpeakStrong Method in partnership with me, Meryl Runion. Together we’ll define your communication aspirations, assess your current skills and practice communication kata to build your communication strengths and moderate your communication challenges in the workplace.


Step1: Free introductory presentation: get a picture of the possibilities and the benefits of the practice

Step 2: Free preparatory presentation: an understanding of the mechanics of the practice

Step 3: Personal interview: A conversation with me, Meryl, to see if The SpeakStrong Method is for you.

Step 4: Practice immersion: A deep experience of the foundational SpeakStrong Method practice

Steps 5-9: Follow-up sessions with Meryl

The intensive includes:

  • private phone collaborations with me
  • email support
  • communication style and leadership assessments
  • a mutually generated report of findings
  • mutually generated and revised communication action plans 
  • The Quick Start Communication Transformation Book Package.

The follow-up phone collaborations will integrate a learning agenda with addressing your specific challenges of business communication. In addition, they will offer opportunities for real-time communication feedback, checking in on our communication with each other to optimize our dynamic for maximum learning and results.

The SpeakStrong Method Quick Start Intensive will empower your essential expression. Cost: $500


Option #2:

Same as above, with the added benefit of a weekly webinar with up to six other intensive practitioners. These webinars will facilitate group learning and group practice. Total cost: $600

SpeakStrong Method Private Intensive

Seven private sessions in The SpeakStrong Method practice


I don’t do crisis communication coaching. Instead, I teach a communication improvement method. In this seven session intensive, you’ll learn principles and practices of The SpeakStrong Method, and I’ll support you as you practice what you learn with me in real time and in your own life.


Part 1: Free introductory interview. We’ll get to know each other and set our aspirations. We will start the practice from the first minute of our conversation.

Part 2: Practice immersion: six sessions of a half hour each with assignments and unlimited email support.

Part 3: Follow-up sessions with me are available.

Our phone collaborations will integrate a learning agenda with addressing your specific communication challenges. In addition, they will offer opportunities for 360 real-time communication feedback.

To schedule your introduction, email me:


Or call:

  • 719-684-2633

 You can now save $300 on this $500 deal by using the coupon code ISpeakStrong.

buy now

If you like what you experience in our introductory session but aren’t ready to commit to a series,
individual sessions with me are available for only $40 per half hour.

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Learn more about The SpeakStrong Method in this SlideShare.

Training: The SpeakStrong Method for Continuous Improvement with Lean

Phrases, formulas and kata for continuous improvement

continuous improvement

Are your effective communication skills as strong as your challenges are difficult? 

Do they continuously improve along with your processes? 

Communication is culture. As your improvement journey evolves, are your best practice communication skills keeping up?

Leadership and management communication are challenging enough in the simplest circumstances. The challenge increases multi-fold in the dynamic environment of a continuous improvement culture where leaders, managers, operators, educators, deep researchers and others strive to make improvements happen every day.

You can’t coerce continuous improvement. Your words need to inspire pull and prime the pump of collaborative excellence. It takes new language to communicate new ideas. Precise wording can inspire people to accept challenges and create new ideas and guide them through their challenges without triggering defensiveness and resistance. The SpeakStrong Method can support your lean journey.

The SpeakStrong Method is lean-aligned and kata-based

The SpeakStrong Method is founded on kaizen principles very similiar to the principles that underlie Lean, or Toyota Production System. The lean and quality industry were among my best clients before I recognized the alignment of my methods and their communication challenges. Fortunately, they figured it out before I did, and eventually I became a student of lean thinking, Toyota and employee empowerment, and a researcher of Lean communication. 

The Lean community is going through a process of evolution to the incorporation of kata – or practices. Researcher Mike Rother was the first to detail the mechanics of the kata behind Toyota and employee empowerment.

The SpeakStrong Method also recommends kata to promote continuous communication improvement.

It systematically develops communication skill at every level by providing phrases, formulas and practical kata to develop your ability to practice lean. Communication standards provide concrete, shared targets to guide each step of communication PDCA cycles. A series of formulas, phrases and practices helps you eliminate communication waste, overload and inconsistency as your communication develops flow, effectiveness and efficiency.

The SpeakStrong Method provides a communication foundation for your lean and continuous improvement efforts

This program begins by describing and applying The SpeakStrong Method. We’ll practice a shared vision exercise to inspire a shared vision of what communication perfection is in a lean/continuous improvement culture. We’ll contrast that to our current communication reality, and create action steps toward target communication states. 

Then we’ll look at the specific communication challenges of continuous improvement cultures, as well as how to talk effectively about lean and continuous improvement.

Some specific take-aways will be: 

  • The vital role of humility, what it looks like and how to turn “teacher syndrome” and other forms of rankism into reciprocal learning relationships
  • The fine distinctions in word choice that make the difference between tired old ideas and expressions of a dynamic new reality
  • How to apply a PDCA cycle to your communication development
  • How to identify power-based language that blocks the open sharing of ideas – in yourself and others – and to replace it with collaborative, peer-based language that creates flow
  • Why getting simple is difficult and what to do about it
  • Phrases to talk about and practice lean and continuous improvement at every stage of the lean journey including how to…
    • share the depth and significance of your own lean journey
    • get people to stay open long enough to identify the root cause before prematurely jumping to solutions
    • defuse defensiveness
    • inspire creativity that is grounded in reality and aligned with mission
    • create standards of communication and affirm commitment to them
    • elevate “either/or,” false choice objections into new options

Discover ways to add impact, clarity and effectiveness to your message to bring lean principles to life. 

The SpeakStrong Method for Continuous Improvement with Lean will give you all the tools to stay on the high side of every conversation and to keep your communication developing as dynamically as your processes are.

Contact Meryl  to bring your lean practices to life with continuous improvement communication.

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.