Insist On The Truth

Why do we lie?

That's a compelling question worth exploring. I once read that on average we tell about 26 lies a day. That's a lot of lying. But as leaders, don't we rely on our people to tell the truth? Aren't they (and our customers, and our families!) relying on US to tell the truth?

What if it's not exactly our fault? What if we can dramatically reverse the amount of lies we tell by adding a bit of mindfulness?

I like this video. It involves behavioral science and while it would be nice to have even more research on this, I do find the evidence compelling that very often we lie unconsciously. Watch the video and see what you think.

Interesting experiment?

What opportunities can you think of where you work to wake-up the moral foundation in yourself and in the people in your life? How can you remind people that you are counting on the truth?

We all must communicate effectively to achieve the results that we want. That means finding, and delivering, the truth. How can you hold yourself and others accountable for the truth today?

-- doug smith

This post originally appeared at

Talk About The Change You Want

Do you secretly want to change something? It's bugging you, aggravating you, annoying you, standing in your way and you just want it to be different?

Change is tough. One necessary part of changing something is to talk about it. Talk about it with people who can make a difference. Talk about it with people who feel your pain. Talk about it.

If you want to change it, talk about it.

Then get busy.

-- doug smith

Avoid the Damage

I know how it feels to fail to communicate. For too long I would keep my feelings to myself. Too many times my thoughts were secret. All too often my silence would be assumed as agreement when that simply was not true.

No more. I've focused on improving, on developing my communication skills, and whenever possible, to help other people with theirs. Because it's so important. In many ways, it's the whole ball game. Fail to communicate and how will you ever get what you want? Fail to communicate and how will you manage to make a positive difference in the world?

Few things hurt more or do more damage than failure to communicate. I'm still learning how to communicate more effectively. How about you?

-- doug smith

Powerful Silence

I often quote Susan Scott ("Fierce Conversations") who said, "Let silence do the heavy lifting." It's powerfully useful. Those awkward silences are times to think, times to process, times to remain curious.

Today I'd like to add this:

We rush to fill the silence. We awkwardly walk away. We miss the silent opportunity. It's not a time to hurry, it's a time to remain mindful. Be there. Process. Listen. Our first reactions are often less than optimal. Let your thinking and your emotions percolate. Let them brew. Explore, discover, something that might be new.

Silence is too powerful to waste. Use the gift that it brings.

-- doug smith

Communication Skills Training

We specialize in workshops that help people get things done without ticking each other off. Mostly, that means helping people communicate more effectively.

To bring one of our workshops to your location, please contact us at:

Here is a selection of our most popular, and successful workshops:

Communication Boot Camp - 
How to Communicate for the Results You Want -

One day workshop to help you develop the skills you need to create deeper, more effective conversations, build stronger relationships, and communicate with tact, respect, diplomacy, and professionalism. Add a second day to develop more productive meetings and learn how to deliver more powerful and influential presentations.

communication training, communication workshops

It's Not About the Slides...
Powerful Presentation Skills - 

Get beyond the slides and into the hearts and minds of your audience. Whether you make one presentation a year or one every day, how you communicate during a presentation is either propelling you forward or dragging you behind. This hands-on, practice on your feet workshop will give you a fresh new view on how to best reach, engage, and energize your audience. One powerful day of training.

communication skills training, communication workshops

Get Stuff Done Without Making Enemies - 
Productive Meeting Skills - 

One day workshop to explore, discover, and practice the skills you need to convert your meetings from boring to productive. Whether you lead dozens of meetings or a few - or even if you find yourself simply a participant in dull meetings -- the productive meeting skills you'll cover in this workshop will change you from victim to guru. Make your meetings, your organization, and your life more organized and fun.

How NOT to Tick People Off!
Communicating With Tact and Professionalism -

One day workshop for anyone who struggles with interpersonal communication. Learn how to deal with the difficult people in your life, instead of saying what usually gets you in trouble. Practice thinking on your feet and reacting calmly under pressure. Take that foot out of your mouth and put it down with assertive assurance that you're communicating with tact and professionalism.

Talk About It! 
Deeper Conversations for Better Relationships -

It's easy to fall into communication habits that just don't work. As a result, many relationships suffer most from a failure to communicate. We make stuff up, we distract ourselves, we drift off into our own little worlds. That's not the stuff of resilient, friendly, collaborative relationships. During this one-day workshop you'll discover and practice the CLUES to communication success that are at the heart of all of our work here at doug smith training. You'll learn how to truly connect. You'll practice conversations around any topic - even during conflict - that will promote true listening, compassion, clarity, courage, and creativity. Attend with your significant other, with your team, or as an individual -- just come prepared to dramatically improve your interpersonal communication skills.

deeper conversations for better relationships

Creative Project Management - 

When it comes to project management, it is impossible to over-communicate. The biggest temptation to a project manager is to communicate less.  During this workshop you'll explore and practice the fundamental project management tools while integrating professional communication skills to build relationships and teams so that your projects will be both successful and fun.

 Bringing together the best (and fastest to learn and implement) project management and communication tools this workshop will help you with whatever phase of your project you find yourself -- from launch to completion. Two days.

Centered Problem Solving -

If problems are making a mess of you or your team, turn that energy around with some focused and applied centered problem solving. We've taken some time-tested tools and processes, blended them with our unique approach, and created new ways to focus, analyze, create possibilities, evaluate choices, and solve problems. Available as a one-day (exploration and discovery) and as a two-day (exploration, discovery, and application) workshop, Centered Problem Solving is an investment that will pay for itself over and over. One day program: $99 per participant. Two day version (work on solving real problems!) $149 per participant.

Contact me about bringing one or more of these workshops to your location. I'm located in the Bucks County, PA area so if you're near there there is no extra charge for travel.

Supervising for Success -

Two day workshop for front line leaders. You'll start on your goals and create the alignment and traction you need to achieve them. Ideal for front line leaders in any organization, we have deep experience (and time-tested tools) especially suited for leaders in the retail and service industries.

leadership training, communication skills training




"Doug had an awesome way of delivering the content. Great advice and information to take back to the work place."
-- Tosha, Cherry Hill, NJ

"The enthusiasm of Doug was awesome! I definitely felt I learned more because he had many examples."
-- Jaimee, Des Moines, IA

"I learned so much more than I expected... I will definitely take these skills back to the workplace and share this knowledge with my fellow employees!"
-- Courtney, Schaumburg, IL

"Doug's positive personality really helped make this course very interesting and worth while."
-- Breanna, Bloomington, MN

"Doug was great! I loved how he shared life experiences to teach! Great guy!"
-- Lisa, New Haven, CT

"Overall wonderful experience. I've gained a lot more knowledge than I had anticipated. Great leader who kept the whole class engaged and thinking."
-- Ashley, Baltimore, MD

"Doug was very engaging & kept the class moving efficiently.
-- Sarah Pollen, Frederick, MD

"This training was outstanding! Doug did an amazing job. He was entertaining and knowledgable. Thank you for a wonderful two day training."
-- Stephanie, Washington, DC




Listen More

communication skills, listening

How much time did you spend listening today?

Mouth shut. Eyes alert. Body turned toward the person talking. Mind open to all except the inner judge. That inner judge can shut up for now, it's time to listen.

Breathless, curious, daring to wonder - listening.

Motionless, fascinated, unattached - listening.

We crave that level of listening and hardly ever receive it, so give it, give it, give it generously: listen.

I've never met anyone who thought they were listed to too much.

Give them more: listen.

-- doug smith

Listen Thru The Quiet

doug smith training, communication skills training

Sometimes it's quiet. Sometimes no one is talking. Listen anyway. Listen with your eyes. Listen with your body. Listen with your heart.

Quiet may not even mean what you think, so listen. Let the silence sing a song you eventually understand.

Silence is your friend. It's a great place to rest and listen.

Listen in the silence -- you might be surprised at what you hear.

-- doug smith

Body Language

Figure out what your body language is saying and your words will come much more easily.

-- Doug Smith

Voice Tone Extreme

Here's a funny video that shows (in a small way) the importance of voice tone and how we can counter our message with neutral sounding words.

John Cena Teaches Hugh Jackman Reverse Trash Talking


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

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