"Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say Without Being Mean When You Say It" ~ Meryl Runion Rose                                ShoppingCart Plum NB 50

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Effective Communication Skill Blog

balance rocksI like balance by nature. So when something seems imbalanced, my tendency is to fill in what's missing. I'm getting better at it. I used to be considered contrary. Now I'm considered complementary. Or at least when I do it well.

A brilliant friend asked for input on a SlideShare. It was informative but not particularly engaging. I reworked it in a way that was highly engaging. My version was intended to highlight an engagement tone, not to show him what a balance would be. Rather than add engagement to his writing, I went to the other side of the polarity. My intention was to give him an alternative to marry to his version.

The last three sentences are the meta-message about my input. A meta-message provides context so people know how to take your words. I didn't want him to think I was suggesting my version as a final one.

A meta-message also helps you understand where you're coming from.  I wasn't always conscious of my tendency to fill in what's missing. I'd doubt myself and wonder if I really was contrary. I didn't know how to use that trait effectively. When I create my meta-message, I become more consious of my communication options. 

People like to put people in boxes. We all do it. Your meta-message guides people to put you in a bigger box than they might reflexively. That gives you more room to operate, and that's a good thing.

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©2015 Meryl Runion Rose. Meryl is a Certified Speaking Professional and the Creator of the SpeakStrong Method of Dynamically Effective Communication. Find her at www.SpeakStrong.com

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I blog daily when I have a lot to say. When I don't have much to say, I stay silent. Kind of how it outta be, don't you think? Lots of great communication tips.

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