Saturday, December 9, 2017


Do you paraphrase when you're listening?

Communication is a two-way dynamic. It's so easy to assume that we're being understood. More often than not, the door to misunderstanding is open wider than we know. People read between the lines. Attention wanders. We make stuff up.

Clear the fog
Clear the fog. Listen actively for clarity.

It's so important to understand. I don't think we can ever reach a meaningful and fair agreement with someone UNTIL we understand them. Completely. Clearly. Without a hidden agenda or misrepresentation.

I will do my best to paraphrase someone I am in dialogue with so that I can clarify MY misunderstandings and help them make their meaning clear. I crave that understanding.

How about you? Are you actively paraphrasing the people you listen to?

I don't know what you've heard until you tell me.

What do you think?

-- Doug Smith

Friday, December 1, 2017

Ask For A Deeper Conversation

You've been there -- stuck in small talk. Circles upon circles of who-cares kind of banter. Sports, the weather, political situations you can't change. Blabber.

I don't wait for it to change on its own, because it won't, unless you're talking with a highly skilled conversationalist. And, if you're not, it's up to you. Take the conversation deeper. Ask questions. Find out how your conversational partner feels. Find out what they think. Dig deeper.

It's as if you are conducting the best interview ever, with no secret agenda. You're not there to embarrass or expose anyone -- you just want to understand them. And, only after THAT has happened, help them to understand you as well.

Ask for a deeper conversation and see what happens. Show the way.

I find that my CLUES to success helps here:

- Create agreements
- Listen with curiosity
- Understand the facts and feelings
- Express yourself clearly and positively
- Share responsibility for success

Deeper conversations rock. Ask, and you'll get there.

-- Doug Smith

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Can You Talk About it?

If we can talk about it, we can deal with it.

It all stacks up. We face conflict around every corner. Even from people who with think are our closest friends and allies, we occasionally (daily?) feel the discomfort of disagreement.

It's a time to stretch. It's a time to learn. It's a time to start and sustain conversations that reach for understanding, even when agreement is our of view. When we can understand each other, we can begin to dig the conversation deeper into new territory. We can feel each other's pain, appreciate each other's passion, and calculate sensibly each other's logic.

If we can talk about it, we can deal it. No matter how big the problem. No matter how distant the goal.

Find the person who troubles you the most and start that conversation. You'll be glad that you did, if you listen to understand.

What do you need to talk about today?

-- Doug Smith

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

To Solve A Problem: Talk About It

Most problems are hard to solve unless you talk about it.

Whatever is standing in your way, my advice is to get over it, get under it, get around it, just for heaven's sake talk about it.

Start the conversation. That's where great things begin.

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ten Years!

It's the ten year anniversary of the formation of doug smith training!

Thank you all the wonderful clients and customers and learners!

Let's keep learning!

-- Doug Smith

Monday, November 20, 2017

Talk About It

Once you realize what you need to take about with another person, talk about it!

Delaying the conversation will not help. Ignoring the need will hurt the situation. Talk about it.

-- Doug Smith