authentic communication


Guidelines for Leaders who Shrink from Straight Talk

I have been shaped in part by uncomfortable moments of feedback, haven’t you?  I’ve had some help overcoming obstacles like procrastinating over the things I don’t enjoy and always being five minutes late because of straight talk from mentors along the way. Last week we talked about the reluctance of leaders to offer employees helpful, authentic feedback, despite

Why Leaders Struggle to Give Employees Helpful Feedback

Here’s a puzzling paradox. Leaders are uncomfortable giving their employees feedback in the workplace. Yet people thrive with constructive feedback; positive or negative. At Interact Studio, we’ve watched top executives, emerging leaders, supervisors and front-line managers light up with coaching and feedback. They take notes with enthusiasm.  They double check for our meaning. They are hungry

As Easy As Riding a Bike? Maybe Not!

What have you been programmed to do in your life? What have you programmed yourself to do? We’ve all had the experience of driving to a familiar destination and not remembering the ride.  What about the way you greet people, check your cell phone, make a presentation or show up in relationships? The Grip of Programming

Dare to Clear the Air

How to Clear the Air

Have you noticed?  When people clear the air they change the oxygen level in the room, making it easier for everyone to breathe. They earn the respect of others who become more open to their influence. With so much to gain, why don’t we do it more often? I believe that the fear of looking

Here's a guide for replacing dud words and phrases with those that will build your credibility

10 Verbal Mistakes that Drain Your Credibility

Researchers believe that the earliest spoken language was Mayan, which was around seven thousand years ago. Imagine, in 70 centuries we’ve progressed to: “…and I was like, really?” Whether you are leading a team meeting, presenting to a prospective client or delivering a keynote speech to a global audience, verbal mistakes will undermine your credibility

Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time

Sometimes less really is more. In the first few years of my career I paid little attention to pausing for rich conversation, let alone rest or reflection. I thought my best performance came from living on the ragged edge. I ran wide open on adrenaline 24/7—chasing the next deadline. I thought managing time meant doing

Comic book yelling mouth

How to Remedy a Miscommunication

Miscommunication is a part of life, but saying the same thing in a louder and louder voice will not remedy the situation. And while participating in a circular argument may feel like everyone is speaking different languages, yelling won’t translate your argument, either! Families always teach us a lot about life, even when we’re grown. Here’s what I learned

Stay Interested in Others, Put Charisma in Conversation

Coach Taveniere was my biology teacher in high school. I loved his class not only because I was interested in biology—but because he was interested in me. Coach respected his students by asking questions and listening thoughtfully. He pulled  from us a special understanding of biology through our own experiences. I remember him saying, “I’m

cartoon of two people trying to communicate

Set Aside Your Huge Desire to be Right

The last company I worked for was very corporate and every employee had to go through “Speed of Trust”training. Seek first to understand—before trying to solve—problems There were 7 steps in the course but the one I remember the most and apply in my personal and work life is “seek first to understand, then to

concert crowd

Authentic Communications: Being in Concert

Have you ever been to a concert for an artist whose music you already owned?   Me too.  Many times. So the question becomes this: Why? We gladly “over-pay” for concerts for good reasons From a purely logical and financial perspective, it doesn’t make much sense.  We easily pay north of $100 (more if we

Networking Charisma: Don’t Network

First rule of thumb is to reframe the idea of networking. Relax.  Don’t try too hard, nod your head too much or constantly push by interjecting “mm-hmm.”  These tics make us feel hurried.  Settle into the social grace of focusing, listening and asking a couple of intelligent questions. Make statements. Some of us have the habit of intonation that turns up

The Power of Authentic Communication

The basic unit of communications, relationships and life itself is the conversation. The quality of the conversations relates directly to the quality of your life. The attention you give to those in conversation empowers the other person to communicate fully. The quality of the conversation requires that you will be transparent and fully engaged, that you

Um, Uh, Like, Uh

Non-words include “um, uh, like, uh, and so” clutter our conversations. Before you can get rid of the non-words and verbal clutter you must notice them. Don’t use non-words to bridge from one thought to another. Instead of using non-words, just take a pause. Demonstrate that you have command of your thoughts by replacing non-words with pauses.