Why do we make mistakes? We are human--that’s how we learn. Hopefully we learn not to make the same mistake again, but do we? Many times there are situations when we don’t know what we are doing because we can’t see clearly or understand how to fix the situation.
During a radio show interview about my book, Overcoming Fake Talk the interviewer was very much intrigued by the notion of the energy that we portray as we express our thoughts and opinions. Understanding the dynamics of the energy that accompanies your conversations is a great way to improve the power of your message.
That’s a contradiction in terms. When I was a boy, my brother and I would get into arguments over some dumb thing or another. Rather than having us talk the issue out, our Dad would make us put on boxing gloves, then take us out in the backyard where we would duke it out. Since I was three years older than my brother, I won every argument.
We are sending ourselves messages. Often we don’t receive them until it is too late.
A couple of weeks ago, I had blocked out an entire Friday to write an article for a magazine. Just as I got into the car, my cell phone rang. It was the dentist reminding me of my appointment that was to occur in ten minutes. Because it had been awhile since seeing the dentist, I decided to keep my 8:00 a.m. appointment.
Somewhat frustrated and numb, I returned home to pick up my laptop and head to the library. Big mistake! As I pulled up to...
When my second son graduated from high school with honors we were very proud of him. When all the celebration and fanfare were over, I asked him, “If there was one thing that you could do over, what would you do differently?” He responded, “I would have ignored all the blame and criticism from my coaches and just gone out and played my game.”
Everyone has a story. Sometimes the story we tell becomes an explanation for why we don’t achieve the results that we want. The first challenge is to notice the stories we tell. The second challenge is to change our story so that what we speak about moves us to create what we want. Changing one’s story is not easy because the best stories are true, and they usually describe things for how they currently exist. We become additionally challenged because once we see things in a particular way, we have difficulty seeing them any differently.
Recently one of my trainees went through her annual performance review. She received an unsatisfactory rating in one area because her manager told her that she was too argumentative. When she asked what that meant, she was told that she asked too many questions.
Recently a college professor friend of mine told me that one of his younger students would not confront him directly about the struggles that he was having with his class. However, the student did send my friend a private Twitter message that he was needing his help. He replied to the student’s tweet with a tweet of his own inviting the student to come to see him the next day at a specific time during his office hours. Only then did the student
When I was in college, I had a roommate who had a goal to eat a bicycle. Every evening he would take out a file and file himself a teaspoon of bike. In the morning he would place the shavings in his cereal which he ate. During the year that I lived with him, he managed to eat half of his bike.
I have had the opportunity to coach a number of different leaders. Sometimes I am asked to observe how a leader interacts with their team members and then provide the leader with feedback about the impact of their behavior on the team. When I observe a lack of engagement in a leader’s meeting, I interview team members to discover the reasons for their lack of engagement in team meetings.
The holiday season is a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate and share time together. However, it’s all too common that when families get together, someone does or says something that offends another family member. Perhaps someone makes a comment about the poor manners of another family member’s children. Or perhaps someone comments on what ugly apparel their spouse is wearing. Maybe someone protests forcefully when another suggests an activity that everyone should go out together to do. Whatever the issue, the filters come down, people blame one another, make rude comments, and offer unwanted advice that causes other family members to take offense.
Years ago I started to notice that the way I spoke to my children did not produce the desired results. I remember one day when my oldest brought home a B- in math, and I said something like, “You got a B- in math? What happened?” Immediately my spouse responded with, “Some kind of a communication expert you are!”
Q: My manager is so negative and defensive that I am afraid if I shared, “I did what you asked me to do,” I would create more defensiveness that would result in increased conflict. What can I do to reduce this person’s negative energy and create a viable solution that will improve results?
A: Unfortunately, many individuals are often negative or always seem to be defensive; every situation is always the “worst” it can possibly be. We all know people...
On a recent flight, my seatmate and I began to talk about communication and conversation strategies for dealing with difficult people. Then out of the blue, my neighbor announced: “Boy, these millennials are hard to work with!”