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Showing posts from May, 2016

Is your reason for communicating hiding in plain view?

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Can you see the snow leopard in this picture? It's in the centre. Snow leopards are rather spectacular, yet the camera shows us that they can also hide in plain sight.

How clear is your purpose for communicating? The most common problem I uncover as a communication coach is that people haven't really thought through what they want. Like the snow leopard, their purpose is in the picture, but it's not easy to see.

The single most important thing you can do to improve your writing or speaking is to decide before every communication: what do I want to change in my reader or audience? What do I want them to think or do differently because I communicated? And then ask: "What will that get me?" Repeat the question until you're sure you've come to the deepest, best outcome for the email or blog post or presentation you are preparing.

When you give your mind/brain/body a clear description of what you want, that system is remarkably good at adapting to circumstance…

Do you ever feel frustrated?

If you're reading this post, I know you answered yes to the title question. The truth is that everyone gets frustrated some of the time. It's that feeling you get when you are anxious to move forward and you're not, or when you've let someone push the same button for the thousandth time, or when you hear the voice in your head telling you that you deserve the roadblocks you're facing.

Frustration sucks.

But here's a different question: are you finished being frustrated yet?  And the answer to that might be more complicated than you think. You might want to hang in there with your frustration until it gives you a strength or an insight that you need.

You don't have to be a Jew or a Christian to appreciate the story of Jacob - one of our great stories of frustration. He was not the eldest son (automatic frustration in a system where the eldest son gets the lion's share of opportunity and inheritance). He worked 7 years for the right to marry a beautiful g…

How your presentation audience will perceive your mixed messages

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I found this video in my Facebook stream this morning. It's about the relationship between sound and vision. When you see the guy's lips making an "F" sound, you hear the sound "fah" and when you see the guy's lips making a "B" sound, you hear the sound "bah." But the sound is the same all the way through (with your eyes closed, it always sounds like "bah.")

This connected for me with a coaching session yesterday, where I was working with a client preparing a short presentation. In the presentation he sometimes used the pronoun "we" to refer to his team, and sometimes used "we" to refer to his team and the audience combined. I imagine this kind of confusion is quite common in organizations, where "we" covers a lot of different units of meaning.

I think the effect is another sorting problem for the brain. In the video, the brain resolves the difference between the sight and the sound by choosin…