Tag Archive for workplace communication

Artist, Entrepreneur, Coach, Author etc.

When I was a kid I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I loved to color and sketch and make things from the big “Make It!” book my mom always had on hand. That book satisfied my curiosity about how things were made and it sparked my creativity…not to mention saving my mother’s sanity!

My curiosity about how things were made probably accounts for my passion for the act of sewing…the how-to part.  (Some people sew but only because they like the end result not the process–but I loved both.)

I loved figuring out how I could use the least amount of fabric when laying out a pattern often getting a better yield than the suggested layout.

For me the “fun” part would be figuring out how to cut an “uneven” plaid so every seam of a pleated skirt would match perfectly. That’s just how my brain works.

This obsession with “figuring things out” showed up in my life in the oddest moments. Read more

“THE BALANCING ACT” on Lifetime Television – Watch April 13th

I talk about Workplace Communication and Reinvention Intervention with Beth Troutman from The Balancing Act, on April 13th. Watch Below!

Watch Below!!

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

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

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.

Misunderstandings at Work–Will Your Conversation Matter a Month from Now?

Learning to respond to emotionally charged conversations or misunderstandings in the  workplace takes practice, patience and perspective. The key is to balance your assertiveness with constraint so you can walk away feeling good about yourself , while not leaving the other party feeling devastated.

Ask yourself the following questions before blurting out an emotional reaction during  a challenging conversation. You just might gain a new perspective.

  • What’s the long term impact if you say everything you want to say?
  • What consequence or result will occur moments after your conversation if you do respond emotionally?
  • Will the result last more that those few moments?
  • What about the impact in a few hours, days, months or years from now?
  • Will this conversation matter at all or will it change the course of a relationship for better or worse?

If you ask yourself these questions before blundering ahead, you’ll discover that some conversations won’t need to happen at all, but don’t make that an excuse for not having the ones that do need to happen.

Thinking about the long term impact allows you to put things into perspective. Perspective goes a long way towards guiding your tone and words,  and perhaps changing your intention from hurtful to respectful.

A small shift in your behavior now can go a long way into the future…in a good way.

What’s your thoughts? You can find more information on this topic in 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 today.

Communicating and Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude at Work

If there is one thing we should we should be communicating daily it’s gratitude. Expressing gratitude in the workplace is the key to fostering good relationships and cultivating a pleasant working environment.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a staff member or the manager in charge, you can use small tokens of appreciation to change your working atmosphere from negative or neutral to positive and expansive.

Here are a few ways to express your gratitude and make a difference.
Things to say:

  • “I’m happy you’re here.”
  • “I’m grateful you’re my coworker (or on my team.”)
  • “I appreciate your smile–it cheers up my day.”

Things to do:

  • Put a few words of gratitude on a colorful sticky note and tack it above a coworkers desk.
  • Write a few words of appreciation on small slips of paper and stuff them into fortune cookies. Keep them personalized to each recipient.
  • Create a weekly gratitude day–don’t make it a big deal–just catch a coworker in an act of kindness or generosity and let them know you appreciate their caring gesture. Listen, we all know who makes the coffee, this is a good time to acknowledge it.

Creating a culture of gratitude will yield greater profits than what’s visible on the bottom line–though it will certainly contribute to that result.

Try it. Let me know what works for you by leaving a comment below.

I’m grateful for you– my readers and clients–today and everyday. Thank you for showing up and participating.

You can find more information on this topic in 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 today.