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

Be Strong. Be Clear. Be Kind. Be Free. Be YOU!!!


Once you know who you are as an individual and you know what your unique contribution is to the team, family and group, you have the foundation to SpeakStrong from The Synergy Center. 

Honey - we need to recalibrate. Don't eliminate when you can recalibrate.

powerphrase_icon2What are you taking into 2011 and what are you leaving behind? I read Sandra Martini's post tiled A Different Way to Plan for 2011 with interest. Martini lists things and people she won't be taking into the new year with her. I think we all can relate to the frustrating behaviors she names and the boundaries she sets to makes 2011 even more joyful and productive than 2010. From vendors who don't deliver and clients who don't implement and companies that don't service and associates who complain incessantly, Martini is moving on.

Like Martini, I've moved on from relating in ways that don't work. And I have dropped some associations that don't fit. But I've done more recalibrating than eliminating. Many of the vendors and clients and associates ARE moving into 2011 with me - but in whole new ways. We renegotiated our way of working together.

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Read more: Honey - we need to recalibrate. Don't eliminate when you can recalibrate.

Reader seeks PowerPhrases for Teachers

Question iconA reader wrote: 

Hi, I would like to encourage you to have some articles specifically for teachers.  I think that there is a market for it.  Often there are power struggles with students that make everything more difficult and could have been avoided with better communication tools by the teachers.


I had spoken to someone about writing a book like that, but there is a phrase book for teachers. You'll find it here.

I’m in the process of writing a phrase book for office professionals and when I finish that, I think I’m done!


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PowerPhrase: What will I still need once you've done your part?

powerphrase_icon2It's often a challenge to picture what you're getting with a product, job or service from the initial description. My friend Wendy mentioned that in one of her interviews, she asked,

  • Picture six months from now. I'm sitting in your office saying 'why didn't you tell me..." How might I complete the sentence?

I was talking about how difficult it was for me to picture what my website redesign would include. There are so many elements, and I take some for a given that others might not. In retrospect, here's a question I could have asked.

  • When you turn the site over to me, what will it still need.

That would be a great question for a builder, too!

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Holiday PowerPhrase: Let's give gifts out of choice, not obligation.

powerphrase_icon2I hear a lot of obligation mixed with the holiday celebration. My community and I are clear that we don't believe in obligational reciprocity. We give gifts and accept invitations out of choice, not obligation.  It's very freeing.

I read a blog post yesterday abut regifting. It talked about strategies to regift without risking the original giver finding out. I figure, once I give a gift, it's not mine anymore. I'm delighted if the receiver gets pleasure from passing something I gave them on.

So the PowerPhrase? 

  • It gives me joy to give this to you. There are no strings on it at all. 
  • Let's give gifts (or not) out of choice, not obligation. 

A gift with strings and obligation can become a burden, In fact, it's not really a gift at all. 

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PowerPhrase: You're right

PowerPhrase IconI love using the phrase:

  • You're right

for three reasons. 1) People love to hear it. 2) It defuses conflict quickly. 3) It forces me to figure out what IS right about what they're saying.

There is almost always some important message for me, and often more than I realize at first. Discovering that is very good for communication.

I'm not saying they're right about everything. I'm not saying I'm wrong about everything. I'm just letting them know that I can see some value in their point. If I can't say you're right sincerely, then I modify it by saying,

  • You may be right.

Read my responses to communication questions below (link here and here) to see how I recommend using it. 

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question_smREADER COMMUNICATION QUESTION: Meryl, my manager and I exchanged several emails about budgets for an event. Then he asked me to research hotel prices in the area, which I did. I cc'd a contractor on the hotel information, forgetting that the budget discussion was in the email. My manager replied saying "We don't send budget information to our contractors." I fired back, "Oops. I missed that. Sorry!" He emailed back, "'Oops' is not an appropriate response."

I responded by noting that I had apologized, and that I had forgotten about the email trail, and if there was a better reply, please inform me. How else could I have replied?

MERYL RESPONDS: His response sounds scolding and parental, and the natural reaction to accusation is to get defensive. What if you started by telling him he was right instead? What could you have sincerely followed that up with? ..

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Read more: COMMUNICATION QUESTION: An "inappropriate" OOPS!


questionREADER COMMUNICATION QUESTION: Meryl, would you recommend an appropriate response for me regarding "misconstruing" a tone of voice?  After coming come from my job one evening, I asked my husband if he had a moment so I could show him something.  He'd been watching TV and I was interrupting.  He replied in a nasty tone: "What is it?"

I said in what I am sure was a neutral tone", "I don't appreciate your tone of voice.  Let's talk when you can spare a moment". He said: "Don't start with me." I said:  "I'm not starting anything.  You started being rude".

He said:  "Your the one with the problem.  You misconstrued my tone".

BUT, he immediately jumped up from the sofa and came to see what I had to show him.

As you may have guessed, our communication history does not follow your positive guidelines.  His constant retort when I assertively say, without blame, "I feel ____ when you ____" is:  "That's your problem!".

MERYL RESPONDS:  Did his tone express irritation? I don't know. But what if instead of insisting he started it by being rude, you said,

  • You're right. I did take your tone to be nasty. 

What if, when he said "don't start with me," you said,

  • You're right - I don't want us to fight.

What if, when he told you you're the one with the problem, you said,

  • You're right, and I'm asking for your support in dealing with it. Here's what I'd like... Could you do that for me?

What if you refused to get adversarial with this man whom you chose to spend your life with? If you got over any sense of needing to respond in kind when you don't like his tone, and to win - unless it's to win by being the first to get to the heart. If you did that, I think you'd bring out the best in him, and that would be a real win for you. 


Send your communication questions to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Article Use

Please copy, quote, distribute, share and publish these articles with the following credits.

©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

Let me know how you use them. Thanks!  

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