Archive for the ‘Business Communication’ Category

#42 Communication Self Talk Personal Motto

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

When things go wrong, what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Is it “I don’t get paid enough to put up with this?” Or “Why me?” We all have a personal motto, just that most of us haven’t said it aloud. Does it serve you or sabotage you? It might be something hanging on your fridge or it might be in your daytimer or even your screen saver.

Your self-talk can hurt or harm you if you continue to keep it negative. Switch it around with something like “This too shall pass.” Or my personal favorite “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.”

Whether it is a cranky boss, miserable co-worker, aging parent, difficult child or spouse or nasty neighbor, what you say in your head will dictate the kind of day you have. Have some fun and ask others what their motto is. Post it where you see it and reframe your days.

Keep your self-talk postive. Would you say the nasty things you say toyourself to others? Of course not. Be kind to yourself.

 

#39 Reframe, Change How You Think, Confront Problems

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Sometimes we wonder why we are doing so many things. Does anyone notice or care? Often this happens as we become more and more tired.

Has anything I’ve done today made life better for another human being? These are questions we might ask ourselves as we are trying to fall alseep.

Falling asleep? Who can do that easily with so many  ‘little nasty voices’ circulating in your brain. It’s time to reframe those thoughts. How can you make an idea or thought into a postive instead of a negative?

It’s takes mental elbow grease to change how you think. As soon as you hear a negative thought coming into your head, stop and ask yourself “Is this true?” Often we exaggerate. Then state what is true and do it in a positive manner.

“I’m so tired because I did all the work to make that presentation happen” might become “Isn’t it lucky I could do the work to make that presentation so successful.” or “Why does the boss always ask me to do the crappy jobs?” might become “The boss must really trust my ability to ask me to get these things done.”

Instead of fretting about what is happening, if you can do something about it make a plan. If you can not do anything, let it go.Think about a balloon filled with helium and release it into a clear blue sky. Don’t let it clutter your brain and poison your thougths.

If you are making a plan, think it through, run it by a trusted colleague, practise what you are going to say out loud and when you are confident, talk to the person. Be thoughtful as you plan. Keep your thoughts to two or three key points. NO MORE! Keep it brief or they will give you grief!!!

No one is mind reader. So if you are unhappy, you must let the person know. If you present your thoughts in a non-confrontational, honest, caring and short way, the person will listen and try to understand. Try it today!

 

 

#37 Stressed, Tired and Unhappy At Work?

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

“It’s not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy. The bee is praised. The mosquito is swatted.”

Mary O’Connor, Romance Writer

I love quotes that make me laugh. That’s exactly what the one above did for me and then… it gave me a slap upside the head. Why are so many people SO busy and SO stressed and SO tired?  And why are other people, who are just as busy, happy and content?

I wonder if some aren’t like the mosquito, sucking all the blood out of others by negative attitudes and never looking within, for answers or help. If we keep pointing at others and pointing out how they are upsetting us, we will never stop and take an honest look at ourselves.

Do most of your sentences start with ‘but’?  Get rid of that word. Catch yourself and substitute the word ‘and’.  If ‘but’ is in your self-talk you might be using it to make excuses for your own behaviour.. ‘But he never listens to my ideas’. “But I was hurt at my last job, that’s why I won’t try again.”

How do you speak to yourself? Are you looking for trouble before it happens? Are you blaming the past? Are you setting yourself up for failure? If we keep enough negative words circling in our heads we become like the mosquito. People see us coming and they wish they could reach for the spray.

If you find yourself making sweeping negative comments, stop and ask yourself, ‘Is this true’, ‘what is true’. Those two phrases will help you reframe your thinking. Often we use phrases like ‘he ALWAYS’, or ‘she NEVER’, when in fact if you ask yourself ‘what is true’ the situation is far less earth-shattering.

When dealing with difficult people, we are told to ask questions for clarification. ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Why do you say that?’ Perhaps it’s time to point your finger back at yourself and ask yourself those same questions.

Learn to listen to yourself and think about what messages you are sending before you start to judge others. Ask yourself, ‘are you a bee or a mosquito’?

Joan Craven’s bookGot It! 21 Communication Tips for Busy People is available on Amazon and as a Kindle.

 

I Got It! #32 Want To Enjoy Change?

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

I’ve just spent two days with the fabulous Sam Horn, The Intrigue Expert and author of Pop!

The workshops were sponsored by the Calgary Chapter of CAPS and what a mind expanding experience.

I am thinking about all the interesting people I met and the words I heard and then puzzling how to put it all together into a “what’s next” for Joan. Aren’t I just the luckiest person to have that opportunity?

Change is like riding in a white water raft – you are floating along enjoying the scenery when all of a sudden you hit a wild rapid and you hang on for dear life and eventually make it through to hit those lovely calm waters again. Ahhh….. relax and then you start to anticipate the next rapid and begin to prepare……change – it is fun, exciting and it is scary.

Today I’m going for a three hour coaching session with Sam. I can’t imagine what I will come away with – it’s sort of like Christmas when you meet with Sam. You know it’s going to surprise you – you just don’t know how. It’s always thought-provoking and thoughtful in a way that causes you to smile and you go away with  an “I can do it” attitude.

I’m glad the sun is shining in my heart and in Calgary!

I Got It! #31 Coping With Change?

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

How does one transition from a job they love to a new stage in life? That question has been circulating in my head for the past two years. Today I go public with my thoughts. I am no longer accepting new speaking and workshop opportunities. I am happily fulfilling the obligations I have for the 2012 year and passing my work to a talented woman who will bring her wealth of experience, knowledge and  sensitivity to the role.

It is a strange feeling to be declining work and not actively seeking more. For those of you who run your own business you will understand. We never know when the next opportunity will arise so to to say no or talk about change to clients, who you trust and enjoy working with, is scary!   And while it is sometimes daunting, it also feels right to me.

What will I do? Once a writer, always a writer so I will write and look for new ways to promote my book Got It! What will I write? So many ideas… to settle on one right now is impossible. Will it is be a book? Probably not in the form of my others. What form? Humm…good question.

Why now? Why not! So over the next months I will write about “the change.”  It just might help me crystallize  “what next.”

 

I Got It! #30 Would You Like Shorter Meetings?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

If so, cut yourself off. Too often we go on and on thinking the more information we give, the more the person will understand or want. (more…)

I Got It! #28 Want To Improve Your Communication Skills and Your Job?

Monday, October 24th, 2011

In a recent survey of recruiters from companies with more than 50,000 employees, communication skills were cited as the single more important decisive factor in choosing managers. Communication skills, including written and oral presentations, as well as an ability to work with others, are the main factor contributing to job success.Source: www.mindtools.com/CommSKLL/CommunicationsIntro.htm
Before you start working longer hours and improve your technical skills your first step to getting ahead at your job should be an assessment of your communication skills. Do people frequently misunderstand you? Are you easily frustrated by others? Do you talk more than listen?
People often say that communication skills are soft skills. I disagree. Communication skills are essential. Think about a successful leader you know. My bet is he or she is a good listener, is able to get along with most people and works collaboratively with others.

I Got It! #26 Would You Like to Reframe and Listen to Your Self Talk?

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

I had an interesting chat with Erica Jefferson, host of Be Inspired,  in mid June about the power of words in communication. Do you listen to what you are saying to yourself? Are you striving for perfection, when good enough is good enough? As the summer winds up, you might like to hear a portion of the interview.

Just click on the following link:

Joan on Be Inspired radio show June 16, 2011

I want to thank Erica Jefferson for having me on her radio show – Be Inspired.

I Got It! #25 Sharpen Your Listening Skills

Friday, July 29th, 2011

When I hear clients recounting negative interactions with others I often say, when in doubt, say nothing. When upset it is best to listen and before answering or commenting, think before you speak. As many before have said, “you can’t regret something you haven’t said.”  When you do speak, think about your body language, your tone and then the actual words.

Saying ‘should have’, ‘can’t because’ you never’ or ‘you always’ will lead you down a path that is not good for your soul or your career. Each day we make a choice about how we will communicate. Only you have that power. Use it wisely.

Remember what Abraham Lincoln said, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

I Got It! #24 Can’t Get A Direct Answer? Quick Communication Tips

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Doesn’t it drive you crazy when people won’t give you a direct answer? People who use noncommittal language such as ‘perhaps’, ‘maybe’ or ‘sometime’ are often avoiding being honest. For the receiver of the message you don’t get closure or direction. What can you do? Try phrases like “When you say ‘maybe’ what exactly do you mean?”  They may hedge so ask another more specific question like, ” What conditions would need to be met for you to be able to say yes?”  or “When you say ‘perhaps’ you are telling me you haven’t come to a decision yet.  Am I correct?” Then  you could say ” When will you be ready to decide?” or “What will it take for you to decide?” Then stop talking, look the person in the eye and wait for an answer.

The most difficult part is to wait for an answer. Sometimes if the person says “I don’t know” you can look at them and say “what would the answer be if you did know?” Your face must match your concern for an honest answer. While not perfect, I’ve tried this and it often works. Good luck!