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Showing posts from December, 2017

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,

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. 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

Listen More

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

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. 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

Photos from Baltimore Communications Workshop

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 su