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Showing posts with the label quotes on communication

Say What's In Your Heart

Did you ever need to say something, but didn't.  Maybe it even felt like you couldn't.
That's happened to me. The words were in my head. The words made the trip as far as to my mouth, and there they stayed, unspoken.
It wasn't diplomacy. It wasn't discretion. What was it? Fear? Anxiety? Doubt?
If that has never happened to you, you are lucky in that regard. If that has happened to you, and you know you don't ever want it to happen again, resolve yourself to talk. To say what's on your mind and in your heart. When the moment passes, it may be gone forever.
Communication gets harder the less of it you do.
Talk about it.
-- doug smith

High Performance Leaders Admit When They're Wrong

It's not easy for me to admit when I'm wrong. It's even harder if I don't see that I am, yet somehow...later on, my perspective shifts and I see what the other person must have been seeing differently.
That's one reason I've learned to pause before defending a message. I'm still working on it. We usually do have a moment to pause and think thru our response. What if you are wrong? 
When we are wrong and we admit it, we can usually recover the damage that might have been done. We can, with dignity and respect, restore the relationship to what it was before we said what was wrong. It's a big if, it's a might if, and it's an if worth considering.
It hurts to admit you're wrong, yet when you're wrong it hurts more NOT to.
-- doug smith

The Truth Will Prevail

High performance leaders tell the truth. Since that can sometimes be hard, we are often tempted to stretch the truth (in other words, to lie.) While lies can fool people for a while, the truth will inevitably emerge. How will you feel when it does?

Telling a lie only proves that you haven't thought of a better answer. 
You do have a better answer: the truth.

The truth will prevail. Tell the truth.

-- doug smith

Open the Door

When was the last time you caught someone in a lie? How did you react?

It was probably not that long ago, maybe even today. People lie to each other everyday. Some of those lies we let pass, but some startle us so much in their boldness, in their malice, in their deviousness that we are emotionally moved to do something about it. What should we do?

We could react with anger. That is sure to stir up more anger.

We could react with sadness. Surely, we have every reason to be sad, but what will that accomplish?

A better reaction? Call to question the statement in question. Here are some things that work for me:

"I'm not sure that I understood what you just said, could you say it another way?" or
"I'm not sure I agree with that. Can you convince me?" or
"Wow." (the word I sometimes say when I can't think of what to say -- OR I'm thinking of a word that would not be socially acceptable or polite. And yes, even when you catch a lie in action yo…

Truth Provides Sustainable Esteem

A lie is a try to buy self-esteem and the price is too high.

-- doug smith

Quality Matters

A typo can be the difference between distinction and extinction. Quality matters.

-- doug smith


Keep The Kindness

Do you know someone who will say anything? Some people have no filters, as one of my friends used to say. No sooner do they think it and then they say it. Sometimes, it doesn't even seem like they gave it much thought.

We all have important things to say. As leaders, what we say has direct results on how our teams perform. We can talk with an edge if the relationship is strong enough to support a high level of assertiveness, and we can say nearly anything IF (and it's a BIG if) we include respect and kindness.

When we can talk about it with respect and kindness we can talk about anything.

Keep the kindness, whatever you say.

-- doug smith


Withholding Communication Is Cruel

If something is bothering you, do you talk about it?

For years, I would push down my feelings and keep them all to myself. Do you know what good that got me? No good at all. Unless we talk about our outer AND inner lives, how can we expect anyone to help us, to join us, to feel influenced by us?

Withholding communication prevents you from feeling fully and dealing completely. Keeping it all inside keeps the air out. How you breathe in there?

Have you ever stopped talking to someone? Some people do it suddenly, ghosting the person they once talked to (maybe even someone they professed great love for) giving them no opportunity to understand what's going on. And some have more dignity than that - they TELL you that they won't be talking with you anymore -- and then they follow thru -- by not talking to you anymore. A person I once thought was the love of my life didn't just break up with me -- she cut off all communication.

Maybe you've done some degree of this. Maybe y…

Stay Curious

Curiosity is more powerful than rhetoric, dogma, or unquestioned truth.

It's in curiosity that we learn. And, it's in learning that we grow.

Stay curious.

-- doug smith





Telling The Truth

What makes it so hard sometimes to tell the truth? Maybe because people will react, and then we have to be ready for that reaction. But if the reaction you want is trust, understanding, and belief, then keep on telling the truth.

Before you give your honest answer, make sure it IS your honest answer. Someone might believe you.

-- doug smith




Keep Asking Questions

One of my mentors, Lester T. Shapiro, taught me that the primary role of a leader is to ask relevant questions. If we get that right, leadership becomes much more influence and much less pushing an agenda. Stay curious, keep learning, and keep asking questions.

And when the questions lead you to a conclusion, maybe remember this:

Every conclusion contains many more questions.

Keep asking.

-- doug smith


Take the Feedback

Feedback can be hard to take but far worse to ignore.

Take the feedback. What you do with it is your business, but take it. Hear it. Stay curious. Move ahead.

-- doug smith


Could There Be More to the Truth?

My goal is to tell the truth. All of the time. That's more difficult than you might expect, given our daily temptations to tell little lies of convenience -- especially when we consider that NOT telling something a truth they are entitled to hear is a kind of lie of omission. No one is perfect, but with a little work and a clear intention, we certainly CAN tell the truth. It's a habit worth developing.

Once you get into that habit, of telling the truth all of the time, you may find yourself insisting on hearing only the truth from others. That's even more difficult. Some people lie so much that they don't even realize it. Some people lie so much that they come to believe their own lies. What do you do with that?

All we can do is to start by telling the truth. All the truth we know. We may later learn that we didn't even know all of the truth, or that someone else's view of a situation is different from ours (and just as true.) Still, let's start with telli…

Listen First

How quickly do you make up your mind about whether someone is right or wrong? Is it possible that you sometimes make up your mind too quickly? It happens frequently. That proposes an additional challenge of forcing someone to defend a position before they know for sure that it's THEIR best option.

I've done it. You've probably done it, too. I've decided to turn away a sales offer that clearly could have been a benefit to me. Why? I'd made up my mind not to buy. I've also turned away great invitations just because I'd already decided to keep a time free, instead of staying open to new opportunities. The new opportunities MIGHT have been fantastic, but once I stopped listening it became impossible to tell.

How about you?

The fix to this problem is simple and easy: listen. Before you make up your mind, listen with genuine, sincere curiosity. Maybe you know, and maybe you don't -- listen.

It becomes harder to listen when we become convinced that someone is…

Improving Performance Starts with Feedback

Sometimes people get better on their own, and sometimes they do not. High performance leaders don't take the chance that people will get better on their own. The key starts with feedback.

When people know exactly what they did, it's possible to do it better the next time. Are your people meeting their metrics? Are they delighting customers? Are they inspiring you?

Share your observations. What did you see, hear, smell, feel? What was useful about what happened? How could it be even better.

We all benefit from feedback. Successful supervisors make sure it happens.

-- doug smith



Clarify What You Think You Heard

When was the last time that you misunderstood someone? It might have been more recent than you think. We are all misunderstood sometimes. Without clarifying and confirming, we are misunderstood far too many times.

Remember, most of the time we misunderstand something we are not aware of our misunderstanding.

Clarify constantly.

-- doug smith



Hear That Volume?

People are constantly trying to communicate. We can't take for granted that we are hearing them or that we are heard. It takes concerted listening with curiosity.

When we don't put in the effort to truly listen, the message keeps coming at us. When we misunderstand the message, the message keeps coming at us.

Every time we fail to listen the volume increases.

I'm working on listening better. How about you?

-- doug smith





Think About It

It is possible to agree too quickly. Talk about it to make sure that you understand the agreement.

Is it really what you want? Will you be able to live with this as a decision? Do you support the likely result?

An agreement is a choice. Make sure it is the right choice for you. Then, once you have made the agreement, keep it.

It's what high performance leaders do.

-- doug smith

Keep Your Agreements

A broken agreement often breaks hearts.

Keep your agreements.

As you achieve your goals, as you solve your problems...

Keep your agreements.

-- doug smith


Clear Enough May Not Be Clear Enough

How clear is your message?

You'll know it's clear when it's understood. You'll know it's understood when your intended audience communicates it back to you, meaning and tone and urgency intact.

Clarity requires constant clarification. Chances are you're not done.

-- doug smith