Category Archives: Communication

03 Oct

Avoiding Communication Misunderstandings

Misunderstandings:  how often do they occur? And what is the price you pay for them? Whose fault are those misunderstandings anyway? So often in communication people tend to blame the other person for a lack of understanding. And if they don’t blame the other person, then often they blame themselves. I wrote last week about the concept of

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28 Sep

Communication is a System

The other day, a friend of mine said, “Women communicate better than men.” It was an interesting comment so I asked her, “What do you mean?” She said, “Women tell you how they’re feeling, how their day went, what is going on in their lives.” I said, “Oh, you mean women talk more.” “Well, yes,”

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25 Sep

Everything you Want Comes Back to Communication

COMMUNICATION –> RELATIONSHIPS –> RESULTS Why talk about communication? Why should we focus our attention here? Many people want to “improve communication” because they wish to improve relationships. But let’s look at why communication is so important – in business and elsewhere. In business we want to achieve certain results. A “result” is an outcome,

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19 Sep

How Can You Tell if Communication is Working?

When I talk to people about “communication,” I often hear things like, “my communication is fine but he doesn’t listen.” Or “I am clear, but other people are not.” How do you know if communication is working or not working?  We’ve never been taught and so we may think everything is fine. From our upcoming

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15 Sep

What Listening Can do for Your Business

“Sawubona.” It’s an African Zulu greeting that means “I see you.” It has a long oral history and it means more than our traditional “hello.” It says, “I see your personality. I see your humanity. I see your dignity and respect.” In the African village context, where everyone knows one another, it’s an exceedingly powerful

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08 Sep

The Main Reason we Don’t Listen

I pulled out and dusted off a CD from a long time ago – Suzanne Vega’s “Solitude Standing.” Love the CD – took me back about 25 years. Shockingly, it was released in 1987. I was listening to Tom’s Diner. It is a beautiful and poetic song. It is a poem about a moment in

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17 Jul

Styles of Communication…and a Quote

“The effectiveness of communication is not defined by the communication, but by the response.” –Milton Erickson What does this mean?  So often we think that if we are “being clear” everyone should understand.  We put together our communication in such a way that we feel we are doing a good job because of the nature

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01 Jun

The Language of Leadership – Your Quote of the Week

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.” –James Humes (Author and former presidential speech writer) Coming to Sacramento July 25, 2017: Discover the Secrets of Effective Communication Ever feel like other people are “speaking Greek”? Do other people misunderstand YOU? What would change if you learned to communicate effectively with different kinds of

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03 Nov

The Meaning of Your Communication

“The meaning of your communication is the response that you get.”  (Coaching and NLP [neurolinguistic processing] presupposition.) A few days ago I called my sister, like I do, when I need someone to listen and to help me process events in my life.  I said to her, “I just need you to listen and maybe

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22 Oct

I See You

“Sawubona.” It’s an African Zulu greeting that means “I see you.” It has a long oral history and it means more than our traditional “hello.” It says, “I see your personality. I see your humanity. I see your dignity and respect.” In the African village context, where everyone knows one another, it’s an exceedingly powerful

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13 Oct

Who Gets in the Way of Listening?

I pulled out and dusted off a CD from a long time ago – Suzanne Vega’s “Solitude Standing.” Love the CD – took me back about 25 years. Shockingly, it was released in 1987. I was listening to Tom’s Diner. It is a beautiful and poetic song. It is a poem about a moment in

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01 Sep

Styles of Communication as Seen by Dilbert

I teach a class on Styles of Communication. I will write more on this in the next several blogs. Here though, is something to get you started: The styles I teach have four different communication types.  Here are two, clearly demonstrated.  They are opposite styles.  What can you see about each one?  And, though comical,

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22 Jul

What Gets in the Way of Listening?

What gets in the way of your listening? Really listening. People want to be heard. We need to be heard. It is a part of the human experience. We don’t get it often, though. If that doesn’t convince you to spend some time learning how to listen, consider this: people won’t listen to you until

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01 Jul

Cultivating Communication Curiosity

Have you ever heard this expression, “He knows me so well, he can finish my sentences”? I thought of this the other day after finishing one of my communication classes. In this class we are learning to listen out of curiosity – wondering what the other person has to say and where they are coming

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23 May

The Problem in Communication

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” –George Bernard Shaw Think about the last conversation you had. The very last one. Was it with your spouse, your co-worker, your boss, your child? Do you believe it was a successful communication? Why or why not? As the Shaw quote

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11 Apr

Be an Excellent Listener

I watched a show last night called “Suits” – an implausible premise where a guy who looks like he is 16 gets a job at a high end law firm even though he has never gone to law school. He teams up with another guy who looks a little older and apparently has gone to

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03 Mar

Communication and the Importance of Understanding

Different people hear and understand in different ways. A major part of the miscommunication that occurs in our lives and businesses is in assuming the way we speak is enough to create understanding in everyone. The truth is that different people often speak different languages, even when they are all “speaking English.” If you don’t take

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11 Dec

How World View Affects Our Ability to Hear Others

In communication, we can assume for the most part, that people mean well. But miscommunication is rampant and it is time-consuming. When we miscommunicate, we make mistakes, we burn bridges, we cause ourselves problems that we have to clean up later. I find that one of the main factors of miscommunication can be traced to

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01 Jun

Dealing with Conflict, from “Coaching for Attorneys”

From “Dealing with Communication Failure,” “Step One: Manage Your Emotions. Self-awareness is critical in preventing and, when necessary, addressing conflict situations. The better you know yourself, the more you will avoid non-productive conflict. We all have certain “triggers” or hot buttons: things that cause us to get upset in any given situation. For example, you

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