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Tag Archives: communication skills

Are contra-indications reducing your workplace communication effectiveness?

As a leader, your workplace communication needs to be effective.  It isn’t enough to communicate well with your employees; it’s just as important to make sure that the message is received clearly.  And for that to happen, you need to consider “contra-indications” — both “timing” and “background noise”.  Let me explain.

workplace communicationRecently, my doctor prescribed a once-daily two-week course of a fairly strong antibiotic for a low-grade bacterial infection that has been troubling me for a while.  Since I take a few multivitamins and supplements every morning with breakfast, I simply added this capsule to the daily quota.  A few days later, I happened to mention to my best friend that the antibiotics weren’t having an impact as quickly as I’d hoped.  She asked for the name of the antibiotic and (since she works in medicine) she immediately looked up the drug in an online database on her phone.

Oh no!

“Did you know that minerals such as calcium and magnesium are contra-indications to this antibiotic?” she asked. Continue reading

Consider your (and the other person’s) personality profile to improve your communication

Nathalie Plamondon-ThomasMy professional colleague, Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas, is a Transformation Expert, an 8 times International Bestselling Author, and the Founder of the THINK Yourself® Academy.  I am thrilled that she is guesting on the blog today, sharing her STYLE-L.I.S.T. assessment tool to discover your personality profile, so that you can interact better with people around you.



Do you find it challenging to connect with some of your coworkers, staff or superiors? Sometimes, you feel that they just don’t get it. They are clueless. However, the mismatch in communication may be due to the fact that You are not speaking their language.

Recognizing your own and the personality profile of the people you interact with can transform the way you collaborate, communicate, sell, lead and get along with others.  Using their preferred language can contribute to avoid conflicts and uncover potential areas of interpersonal complements with others.

Understanding the similarities and differences allows you to build on strengths, yours and theirs, as well as establishing strong and happy long-lasting relationships through excellent communication.

Here are the four personality styles that surround you and some suggested words to use when you want to get your point across. Continue reading

Build a stronger working relationship by keeping your boss informed

Your ultimate career success as a leader depends on how well you build relationships with the people around you, and that most definitely includes your boss.  Usually on this blog, we discuss relationships with employees, but today and for the next few posts, I want to switch it up a little; I want to talk about what you’re doing to build a solid relationship with your boss.

TelephoneCanHere’s one thought — keep the boss informed.  The worst thing is for the boss to hear “it” from someone else, particularly if it’s unpleasant information.  Make it a habit to update the boss regularly, perhaps a coffee conversation every few days, or a quick email summary once a week.  If it’s bad news, don’t put it off.  Bad news is like bad food, the longer it sits the worse it tastes.  Take a deep breath and get on with it. Continue reading

When management doesn’t listen … tips to improve your persuasiveness

CGA0910-2010CoverDear Merge,

Over the past year, I’ve been working closely with my company’s senior management, and at the beginning, I thought this was a great opportunity. But now I’m finding that my voice isn’t being heard, and it’s very aggravating.  I was given this assignment because of my expertise in this area, so you’d think that senior management would value and appreciate my input.  Instead, I feel like they’re ignoring what I have to say. What can I do to get the attention and credit that my ideas deserve?

I answered this not-so-uncommon question in the latest issue of CGA Magazine.  For four specific tips on communicating upwards more effectively, read the entire article here.

What are your experiences and insights?

Resolving workplace issues – one thing you’ve GOT to do

Some conversations with employees are not easy!  Either the topic is sensitive or controversial, or the person you have to talk to has a reputation of getting prickly and defensive, or even worse, both!  Either way, it’s a difficult dialogue, and if there was any way you could possibly get out of it, you would no doubt find it!  Yet, if you want to create and maintain a positive and productive workplace, then you have to speak up to resolve workplace issues.  This short video tells you the one thing you absolutely HAVE to do if you’re going to have any hope of achieving success in your goal.

If you’d like the Top Ten report I refer to in this video, either click this link: or go to the URL on the screen at the end of the video.  And, let me know if the topic of your uncomfortable discussion made it to our Top Ten List.  And if it didn’t I’d love to hear about it!

Difficult conversations – how to make your message stick

Whether it’s addressing an employee’s tardiness, confronting a backstabbing peer, breaking bad news to the boss, or even having the dreaded “body odour” chat, these conversations are anything but easy.  In fact, if you’re like most people, you probably lose sleep for several nights just thinking about it, and the very notion of having these discussions causes you to break out in a cold sweat!  Difficult conversations are just that – difficult – yet if you want to maintain a positive and productive workplace (and your sanity), then you must find a direct and respectful way to bring up these issues so that they result in the desired outcome, and don’t deteriorate into anger, resentment or hard feelings.  This short video offers one powerful tip to make the process more successful.

If you’d like the Top Ten report I refer to in this video, either click this link: or go to the URL on the screen at the end of the video.  Plus, let me know if your difficult conversation subject was on the Top Ten List, or did you have a doozy that is different?

Communicating with empathy and understanding works!

So … I teach others how to communicate effectively in the workplace, but that doesn’t mean that I always practice what I teach!  Occasionally, I get so spitting mad at a person or a situation that everything I know just evaporates from my mind.  And that’s exactly what happened to me last Wednesday night!  I was doing some late-night online banking (don’t you just love the Internet!) and I noticed an unexpected fee in one of my accounts.  I called my bank’s 24-hour Customer Service centre and explained my situation to the young man who answered the phone.  Within a few minutes, things went downhill.  Without going into the gory details, the customer “service” rep was condescending, he didn’t listen well, and our conversation ended with him lecturing me about how I should be better educated about the inner workings of my accounts.  Granted, he was probably right on the last point, but as I’ve said over and over again – it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!  Anyway, unfortunately, I let his superior attitude get to me, and before I knew it, I lost my cool!  By the time I hung up the phone, not only was I no closer to a resolution that when I first placed the call, but I was so furious that steam was coming out of my ears, and I knew that I simply couldn’t let this go! Continue reading

The case for reducing jargon in the workplace

Cuniculus albus erat, qui gradu citato reveniens sollicite circumspectabat, quasi aliquid amisisset. Alicia eum sibi mussitantem audivit: “Ducissa! O Ducissa! Per meos pedes!”

Chances are you didn’t understand a word of this … unless you’re a student of Latin. (It is the beginning of the 4th chapter of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll.) You would never dream of speaking to business colleagues in a language they did not understand, but without realizing it, you might fall into jargon-laden conversations with your customers and co-workers.  As a professional and a leader, you have a responsibility to communicate clearly and effectively. So how do you overcome the lingo trap that is so easy to fall into? Read the entire article in the September/October 2009 issue of CGA Magazine here.

The Ten Most Difficult Conversations to Have With Your Employees (or Co-workers)

If you’ve ever had to have a difficult conversation with an employee or a co-worker, then you should know that you are not alone.  If you’re like most people, you’ve probably lost sleep for several nights just thinking about it, and the very notion of having these discussions causes you to break out in a cold sweat!  In fact, this is such a common problem that at least once a week, I receive requests from managers and supervisors in client organizations, seeking assistance in having exactly this type of dialogue.

David Gadarian of MostMost asked me for a list of the ten topics that come up most often when it comes to “difficult conversations”.  Here then, based on an informal poll we conducted earlier this year as well as anecdotal evidence, is my top ten list.

The Ten Most Difficult Conversations to Have With Your Employees (or Co-workers)

Do you agree?

$1 online webinar – Dealing with Difficult Personalities

PRACTICALLY FREE! That’s right! One dollar! I’m not kidding!

The great folks at PDNet and CGA are sponsoring this live webinar “Dealing with Difficult Personalities” on Tuesday October 6, 2009 at 9 AM Pacific Standard Time.  CGA Webcasts are normally priced at $169, but this is a special one-time price for only $1!  YOU MUST REGISTER BY MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28. SO DON’T MISS OUT! Over 2,000 people are already registered, so don’t wait!  To register, or get more information, go to  Don’t thank me, thank the generous folks at PDNet!

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