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Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.

Conversational Storytelling (in 15 seconds)

“When making a decision, would you rather evaluate as much data and information as you can or be able to visualize the final outcome?”

It’s a question I’ve asked several times recently as part of business communication trainings I’ve given to corporate clients. There’s no right or wrong answer. It’s simply a way for me to gauge the audience and to illustrate a key difference in the way people receive and process information.

Are you driven by data or connection?

Data driven people want hard core numbers. They have little use for extra details. Connection driven people want sensory details to help see the big picture.

I run into this issue when talking to my IT guy at work. He’s very data driven. I am not. Sharing numbers and walking away does not solve my problem or lead to a better understanding of the situation. Consider these examples.

Example 1:

IT guy: “Here’s a two-terabyte hard drive for you to use.”

My...

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Practicing Leadership: The Things You Tell Yourself…

You can’t be convinced of your capabilities in the moment if that’s the only time you reinforce them. 

I’ve never bought into journaling. Who has time?

Daily affirmations? Too woo-woo for me (and too much like the SNL sketch from years ago.)

Gratitude statements? Seems like an unnecessary thing to add to my to-do list.

Then I gave it a try. All of it.

Nothing happened, at first. I kept at it because I’m not a quitter and if I’ve decided to do something I’ll stick with it. And then I sat down to write a couple emails, ones that I’d put off for weeks because I wasn’t convinced I had the credibility to make my ask, and the things I told myself and written down every morning came back to me… Things like “I’m talented. I’ve had success with this and I’m grateful to be able to share my expertise with others.”

The emails were sent with a renewed level of confidence, and the psych yourself out moment...

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Intentional Relationship Building at Work

You’ve heard the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” which is true up to a point. Knowing someone isn’t enough. I know of a lot of people, so do you. You have to be intentional in building business relationships because that comes first. Before a potential client does business with you, before you get hired for the job, and before a colleague trusts you to be the lead on a project.

Relationships are not the byproduct of working with someone. They are the reason that person worked with you in the first place.

Sometimes we flip the order and assume a good relationship forms over time. That’s not always the case. If a colleague doesn’t trust you from the beginning you’ll have to work twice as hard to win them over, and that’s only if they’re willing to pay attention to your efforts. A potential client isn’t going to fork over money to hire your services if they don’t trust...

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How Clear Can You Be?

No one has time for everything.

You’re going to have to delegate some tasks and not in the wishy-washy, “Do you think, if you get a minute and it’s not too much trouble that you could help me out?” kind of way.

That approach won’t get you any closer to a completed task or greater productivity. Failing to make a direct ask leads to frustration, guilt, anxiety and stress and not because people around you aren’t willing to help, but because of the way you asked.

Giving clear directions doesn’t mean you’re bossing people around or acting like a dictator. It simply means you’re spelling out what you need, when you need it and getting confirmation on next steps.

I call it the E.T.A. approach to conversations. It stands for Expectation, Timeline and Action Item and it makes all the difference in being able to get things done.

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Better Business Communication – Win Even in a Disappointing Conversation

Trust the process.

I’ve lost track of the number of times athletes have said that during post-game interviews.

I understand what they’re saying, but sometimes I think it’s a load of crap because what you’re actually saying is I don’t care if I win or lose and everyone knows that winning is better.

But there are different ways to win in a situation and sometimes just going through a situation (and trusting the process) is a win, especially if you use it as a fact-finding mission.

Just like athlete isn’t always going to deliver the game-winning run to win the game, you are not always going to be successful in the way you hoped. You’re not always going to get the job you applied for, the raise you asked for, the project you wanted to take on but it doesn’t mean the situation isn’t worth experiencing.

Just because the outcome isn’t what you wanted doesn’t mean the conversation or experience was a waste of time.

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