Archive for Communication Articles

Communication at Work–The Power of the Pause

I posted this video a year ago–seems time to pull it out again because the message is eternal. Enjoy!

Manager’s Top Job – Clear Communication

Unclear communication and workplace misunderstandings can lead to a loss of productivity, money, clients or worse. Clear communication is the benchmark of a good office and tops the lists of best business practices with a capital “C”.

The clear communication implementation process begins when a new hire joins your team. As a manager, it is your job to make the person Read more

Inner Communication is the Key to Reinvention

I believe that the most important conversation you can have is the one you have with yourself.

Have Some Fun!

In my new teleseminar series,“Reinvention Intervention – 5 Really Smart and Simple Steps for Relaunching Your Life”, I talk about the #1 thing that keeps you from living the life you want to live, keeps you from making timely decisions, and keeps you in a place of frustration.

So, what is it–you ask. It’s the failure to make a choice. A decision. Yup, it’s that simple. We live in limbo land and rationalize the end result of possibilities and create endless lists of pros and cons until we are blue in the face–but we never quite commit to a, well…a commitment.

I use that word purposely, because commitment tends to feel like a heavy yoke on our shoulders, weighing us down with responsibilities when in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Not making a decision is what weighs us down. Making a decision is freeing and liberating. Making a decision lifts the fog. Making a decision propels you forward.

If you’re serious about reinventing yourself, you are, my friend, going to have to make a decision. Probably a bunch of them…but, let’s start with one.

Making a decision is a declaration to move in a direction based on your bigger why. The “why” is the compelling reason to change that supersedes all others. It’s the single compelling force that allows you to forge ahead even when the cons seem to outweigh the pros.

And yet, this inner conversation is often the one we fail to initiate with ourselves because it means acknowledging that undefinable thing. That thing we call “gut” feeling or hunch or, if you are more enlightened…your intuition. It means listening very closely for the the truth and, that is indeed, scary.

Here’s the remedy for failure to decide: Put down the pen and paper and go talk a walk. Get out of your office or away from the kitchen table and engage your right brain. Play a game, play with your kids, play hoops, hula hoop, or potsy, frankly, I don’t care. Do anything but think logically.

And then, get quiet and listen to what you are feeling. Get beneath the chatter and you’ll find your feelings. Pay attention. Now, you’ll know what to do.

But, you know this is only the start to your reinvention – don’t you? If you’re living with a sick feeling in the pit of stomach because your life is passing quickly and you’re scared you’re never going to live a life that has meaning for you then join me for a Breakthrough Session. You’ll discover how to stop feeling afraid to step into your passions and decide on your next step.

Conflict Management in the Workplace-Tips for Bosses

As a manager you must have faced resistance to new ideas, initiatives and change to procedures at some point in time. Good managers learn to deal with these minor push-backs and move ahead. Better ones, however, turn that into an opportunity and gain in strength from it – they create a persona for themselves and turn it to their advantage. Some simple managerial and conversational recommendations that make managers turn into leaders, in spite of resistance from a group of people, are discussed below. They would assist a good manager turn into a better leader.

State your Aim Clearly.     For a task to be done well, it needs to be clearly stated. Be direct but be positive and use plain tones. State facts as facts and mention requirements in an unambiguous manner. Clear instructions, without an iota of threat works wonders in any situation. Above all, keep a neutral tone and add no negative emotion to the conversation. Half your job is done.

Let People Gripe – Its their Birthright.     You have to appear as a very patient listener. You need to listen to the protests people have, but limit it to a logical time span. It need not be unending and you need to make them understand that though occasional bouts of complaints might work – noncompliance does not. Limit the gripe time.

Understand the Real Concern.     Often the real cause of the resistance to a new idea is Read more

Communication – Starts Before Speech

The process of communication gets initiated even before you utter the first syllable.  If being misunderstood while communicating is something you have experienced, you need to read on and find a solution to the problem.

Account for Communication Filters. You must consider how your listener might be filtering your message. What is her perception on receiving your message? Is the message too emphatic and in a tone which is too demanding on her? Is there a language barrier? If your listener speaks a different dialect or a different language, interpreting your message may lag behind the pace of your speaking. These filters, if not removed, break the communication process. Communication filters are inherent to the process of communication and some major reasons why they creep in are:

–        Cultural Differences. Are the two communicating parties from divergent cultural backgrounds? Different religious overtones? These differences could color the way your message is received and perceived. Be aware of such a difference.

–        Level of Education. Varying levels of education between communicating parties need a higher level empathy on the part of the better educated. The other party might be feeling threatened by an imposing attitude or show of more knowledge.

–        Different Social Levels – A huge barrier and an obstructive filter to efficient communication. Your feeling of being socially upward compared to the other party shows in your mannerism and is a strict No-go when you want to have a successful communication. Balanced mannerism and profile show prior to start of a conversation leads to higher chance of the conversation moving ahead and also puts the other person at ease. So, leave the heavy baggage behind and treat every one your equal.

The practice observing your listener for signs of confusion will stand you in good stead. Check to see if your message will pass through the receiver’s filters and still be understood as you intended.  Be a responsible communicator to avoid misunderstandings.

From  my new book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up — coming soon. Watch for it. In the meantime, get your FREE 6-part audio series, The Power of Effective Communication simply by entering your name and email in the box to your right.

Communication Quick Tip – The Keep Cool Formula

It always helps to have a quick formula that’s easy to remember, easy to post where you can see it and easy to implement. In touchy communication situations when emotions might thwart clear thinking try these 3 steps:

1. Look – Observe the pace, voice, eye-contact and posture of your listener. Pay attention to emotions, intentions, and any mental or physical distractions. Match and step it down if emotions are high.

2. Adjust – Shift your style to communicate in the way your listener likes to communicate. A small adjustment now saves time, money and effort later.

3. Verify – Verify that the translation and comprehension of your message matches your intention. (and be honest about your intention-is it aligned to your highest self?)

Ready for more tips you can use? Just enter your name and email in the boxes to your upper right and get FREE Instant Access to your 6-Part Audio Series – The Power of Effective Communication now. Go. 6 short audios that can change the way you communicate. or CLICK HERE

Workplace Communication – Workplace Illusion?

It’s time to replay a video I posted a year ago.

Let me know your comments below.

Time for Self Appraisal of Your Inter-Personal Communication Performance

It’s wise to do a self appraisal of your communication abilities at least once a year.  Your passport to higher ranks at your workplace (in addition to hard work) is your ability to communication well. So, as you do a yearly appraisal of your financial assets conduct an analysis of where you score on the communication metrics and which aspects need you attention this year. What better time than now to start on this and move ahead than the month of February?

What is Effective Communication and Where Do You Stand?
Communicating effectively at the workplace requires your ability to connect with and get along with others. People may have a different opinion of you because you might not be fitting into their scope of things. It can be argued both ways on whose fault is it but this would be a good opportunity to ask yourself how you are being perceived by others. After all, communication is a two way process, and you might be surprised to learn that you ward off others.

Effective communication starts with a self appraisal of ones communication needs and is built upon a continuum of learning. Its time to start now or else you might be on your own and  all alone, for years at your work place. Not a fun situation to be in.

Behavior Comparison
Your tone of voice, your mannerisms and your volume while speaking send one loud message when your are communicating. Do you speak with matching volume and pace as others? Do you say things that cause people to react negatively or to visible recoil? Do you stand too close or too far away when speaking to colleagues, bosses or customers? Do you respond appropriately to questions? Do you interrupt conversations with self-serving comments or comments unrelated to the topic? Do you interject with unsolicited advice? Answering these questions takes a degree of self-awareness. Self-awareness is critical to likability. Yearly communication self appraisals need you to ask these questions.

If you are wondering about your ability to communicate, connect and listen effectively then I invite you to go to claim your FREE 6 Part Audio Course “The Power of Effective Communication” and Listening Skills Assessment. Just fill in your name and email in the box on the right. And, don’t forget to pick up a copy of my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Get it at Amazon.com

Workplace Communication – 5 Mistakes that can Damage Your Career

Open up a place in the conversation so your listener can fit in.” I made this assertion a while ago and I swear by it even today. You need to give space to your listener so that the conversation gets initiated, and converts from a monologue to a dialog and eventually into a mutually beneficial business relationship.

Excellent listeners, regardless of their job function, brand themselves as leaders. It’s a natural process. Poor listeners can damage their careers and never know why. I wrote about this a couple of months ago and recent interactions with those that commented have made my resolutions stronger. The basis of my article then was to shortlist 5 basic mistakes that people made while communicating in the workplace and I would like to restatethem:

Mistake # 1 – Judging rather than Focusing.  Critical to avoid if you intend to have an honest and fruitfulconversation. You MUST focus on the other person’s conversation rather than his or her clothes, accent or appearance. Stop judging the speech pattern, accent, presentation or mannerisms and instead listen to the message. You need to focus on the value of the content he or she is providing. Suspending your judgment for a short time might lead you to learn something helpful or important.

Mistake # 2 – Making Assumptions. Do you always know more than the speaker? Should you always start and continue a conversation with a preconceived notion? Do you use phrases such as “I know that already” before you have heard a complete sentence? The message you send is, “I know more than you do, so let me help you out.” This is not only rude behavior but it will brand you as a “know it all.” Learn to listen patiently.

Mistake # 3 – Correcting and Disagreeing. Let the speaker complete his chain of thought and deliver what he or she wants to convey before you jump to tell him or her that he or she is incorrect. Give the other person a chance to put across his or her point. Don’t be a conversation breaker. You might have missed a key point and this might turn out to be a major insight into something that eluded your consideration.

Mistake # 4 – Impatient Behavior. A strict No.  Don’t let the speaker feel that you are wasting your time conversing with him. Be patient and give the speaker his due. When you tend to lose interest in a conversation, either excuse yourself, if appropriate, or change the direction of the conversation by asking questions.  Remember, your non-verbal communication speaks loudly, meaning your foot tapping or turned shoulders will show your impatience, even if you never say a word. Even if someone has a boring delivery, shift your outlook and you’ll likely learn something.

Mistake # 5 –- Failure to listen to the entire message. You need to understand the message in its totality before jumping to conclusions. Don’t get stuck to a single point in a conversation and lose the bigger picture. Don’t react emotionally to a single idea and leave the others aside.

Learn to develop listening skills and you are sure to become a great communicator. The essence to great conversation is space for each speaker to put in his or her point. If you master this, you are sure to raise the level of your business relationships and help your career.

These tips and more like them can be found in my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Pick up a copy today–you owe it to yourself. Click the book image on the right or go to Amazon.com.

Communication and Your Customers – 5 Tip-Top Tips

Short and sweet communication nuggets. Get into the customer communication game with these tips:

  • Business etiquette plus positive personality equals excellent customer service. Think Zappos!
  • Would you do business with you? Spend time being your customer, evaluate everything from reputation to referrals.
  • Make these ABCs essential to your business–Articulate what you do clearly and concisely, Build Rapport first, Confidence is what people notice first–own it!
  • Make listening easy for your customers–eliminate communication barriers. Take a moment to find out what might be in the way–an accent, speech pattern, distracting gestures…etc. and vow to banish it so you can be heard.
  • No matter what you are selling–ask for the sale. It’s a disservice to your customer if you don’t.

That’s today’s quick tips–add one of your own in the comments.

These tips and more like them can be found in my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Pick up a copy today–you owe it to yourself. Click the book image on the right or go to Amazon.com. Don’t forget to pick up your 6 Part Audio Series, “The Power of Effective Communication” it’s FREE.