Is your exec or manager a brilliant shining star? Do you ever feel small or invisible next to him or her? What if you sometimes seem smaller than you are, because actually you’re bigger than people can see?
An Impressive, Imbalanced Executive
On a recent hike to catch the last fall leaves, my friend and I chatted about a celebrity entrepreneur who sold his company and lived and taught personal development in our area. You’d know him if I named him. But this article isn’t really about him – it’s about you and your boss. So I’ll call our celebrity friend “Rich,” which fits (but not as well as it once did).
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.
I love to hear feedback after I speak. This recent comment really struck me:
“During your talk, I turned to the gal sitting next to me and told her: ‘Meryl just said the opposite of what the speaker before her said.'”
“Thanks for noticing!” I replied smiling. “From the moment I heard the title of the keynote that I would follow, I expected we would say different things.” The keynote I followed was called “Cultivating a Leadership Persona.”
“I’ve spent most of my adult years working to drop persona and be the real deal,” I explained. My new friends nodded approvingly and knowingly.
It used to bother me that my perspective often is very different from others’. It doesn’t bother me anymore. I’ve become more at home with myself. I see things differently without needing to discredit how others view then. The speaker before me made some important points and offered useful tools. I offered some alterative views.
Meryl and I have been going through the eLearning and practicing what we preach, so to speak. Week One of the eLearning asks you to reflect on you communication past and I wanted to share some of the things I have learned in my communication journey.
When I first came to work for Meryl three months ago, I felt fairly confident in my abilities as a communicator. I had pride in my ability to resolve confrontations and felt my communication with those around me was clear and kind.
It wasn’t until I spent some time helping Meryl refine her descriptions of the four communication styles, that I began to reflect on my own style and voice. It was like wiping the mirror clean of all of that debris that had blurred my image before; like lifting a veil; like walking into a brick wall. I realized how I would change my style with different individuals but mainly identified with the Achiever style.
In the world of lean management and manufacturing, problems are considered opportunities to grow. FastCap, a company I toured, clearly has that principle engrained in the minds of their people.
The day before my visit, the plant had a power outage. While they were able to operate normally in general, they did find some holes in their back-up systems. They discussed the issues in their company-wide employee meeting. One of the operators blurted out,
Let’s not waste a great crisis.
Everyone chuckled and nodded in agreement. Crisis shows us where we’re strong and where we’re weak. Once the crisis passes – for FastCap that meant the power was back on – and we’re not fighting fires anymore – it’s time to let the crisis teach us where we have room to improve.
“You really got his attention,” my husband noted. He was referring to the contractor who actually showed up on time today, and apologized for having been late so often.
“You must have spoken strong.”
What had I said? I just shared the truth – that my husband and I didn’t believe any estimates he gave us because they were consistently unrelated to when he actually arrived. I explained that we didn’t enjoy relationships where we didn’t have trust, and that made us reluctant to do any more work with him, even though the quality of his work was excellent.
I just told him how it was. My husband had complained about his erratic arrivals many times, but my words got through.
The man has a heart, and I spoke from mine. That tapped into his. Sometimes simple truth is the most powerful.
The SpeakSTRONG Method: 6 steps to effective communication skills
The SpeakSTRONG Method is a six-step system of character-based communication that works.
The method is based on the qualities of HEART
Honesty, Eloquence, Accountability, Responsiveness and Transformation.
The SpeakSTRONG Method is effective at work and at home. You can download a free handbook about the SpeakSTRONG Method here.
Significance takes HEART. So does character-based communication.
The heart of anything is its center – the heart contains the vital essence. Without HEART, words lack significance. At the HEART of a character-based message you’ll find,
Character-based communicators are highly effective because they infuse HEART into everything they say. They refuse to be lulled asleep by empty phrases that induce a cultural trance. They find the vital essence before they speak. The SpeakSTRONG Method takes you to the HEART. I describe the HEART here.
Here are the details.
When you speak, say something significant. Six steps to significance.
Your eyes aren’t the only windows to your soul. Your words are windows too. When you say something, say something significant.
The SpeakStrong Method starts by uncovering blocks to your dynamic flow of meaningful communication. It delves into the cause, cure and opportunities present in your communication challenges. It helps you find the words that get you and those you speak with unstuck and moving forward. It structures personal and interpersonal communication commitments to provide a principle-based foundation for clear, respectful and effective interaction. This happens in six steps.
The six steps to effective communication are:
SEEK significance. Stop saying things you don’t mean and ask what you’re not saying. Unmask and explore the HEART of the matter.
TRANSFORM the trite. Translate complaints into requests, find the opportunities in problems and uncover the significance in anything small-minded.
REFINE your phrasing. Pick and finesse your words. Tweak phrasing to add HEART-felt eloquence.
OWN your words. Make your words your bond. Commit to communication standards and honor them. Walk your talk.
NARRATE and relate. Say what you mean and mean what you say without being mean when you say it. Say something significant – and whole-HEARTed.
GROW with the flow. Let every exchange enrich you and the others that you touch.
Watch me describe the six steps here.
Here are the details.
The SpeakSTRONG Method will elevate and vitalize your communication
The transparency of our current communication environment is changing the way we communicate. What worked before doesn’t work anymore (although many of us insist the old way never really worked all that well anyway.
The six-steps of The SpeakSTRONG Method will transform the way you relate, influence and succeed. I have programs and resources for every level of your organization. Talk to me about how I can help you and your organization take your communication to the next level of effectiveness – and dynamism.
For information on SpeakSTRONG services including workshops, keynotes and coaching, see my Services page, call 719-684-2633 or contact me by email: E-mail Meryl