communication

Safer Conversations with Management

You have what you believe is an important thought to share with management. You’re concerned though that management may dislike your message. How do you assess how safe it is to share your thought with management? It’s certainly perilous if management regularly scowls, aims their finger at you and fires words such as: “You have […]

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Gandhi and Change Agents

Mahatma Gandhi epitomizes the effective change agent. In my opinion, he was not only the Twentieth Century’s greatest change agent but also its greatest leader. Are you looking for change agents in your organization? Let’s explore desirable qualities for change agents exemplified by Gandhi. He believed in the Hindu religion, which, from what I understand, […]

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Tell Me What You Want Me To Do

Are you overwhelmed by a mountain of email? I suggest you take a page out of the playbook of my colleague Eric Sperley who knows how to ask for what he wants. Eric sent the following message to the people who reported to him: Guys, Look, I am getting well over 250 emails a day. […]

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Process Revelation

A participant in a workshop that I led drew the above picture to describe the role he played in his company’s process: Do drawings help members of a team to better reveal their point of view? In my experience, they do. But more importantly, the process of drawing with virtually no constraints helps the drawer […]

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Be Up Front

You and Jeff are members of a project team. You’ve know Jeff for years. You like and respect him. He is new to the team. In what looks to you like an effort to prove his value to the other members of the team he has taken on too many tasks. He isn’t completing his […]

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Communication Is Like Breathing

“Communication is to personal health, satisfactory interpersonal relationships, and productivity as breathing is to life. Effective communication can be both taught and learned. We were not born with the way we communicate. We learned it, mostly through modeling, in ways no one even knew or intended.” –Virginia Satir (family therapy pioneer) For a tip on […]

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Elements of Effective Communication

If you want to be a more effective communicator, keep your conversations focused on these three elements — HERE NOW US Conversations containing the opposites of the above elements — THERE THEN THEM — will lead to ineffective communication. For instance in a meeting of managers, Ineffective: “They (the testers) didn’t test the application properly […]

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Saying No

One week before the application you have been working on is to be delivered, your client asks you to make a small change to a drop down menu. He knows there isn’t time to process the change through change management so he asks you to bypass it. You try to reason with him that a […]

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Rethinking Employee Rewards 2 of 3

In my first entry on employee rewards, I emphasized the importance of knowing the recipient well enough to reward them with something that is meaningful to them. But there is more to effective reward programs than providing a meaningful award. Let’s take a step back and explore answers to the questions: What is the purpose […]

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Word Choices — We — Part 2

In my first entry about the word "we," I argued using the words "We decided to…" often create ambiguity. I suggested asking yourself several questions to reduce ambiguity either when you hear those words or when you are about to say them. In this entry, I will lay out the case for when using the […]

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