Created: Wednesday, 20 April 2011 10:25
Some of my phrases come from others. Some come from observation. Some come from deep reflection. And some fall out of my mouth, and I observe, thinking, that was interesting! That was effective!
I'm attending training with people it's very good for me to network with. I find myself continuously saying things that create a sense of a group. For example, I got in the shuttle and said,
- Are your my training buddies today?
I referred to my table mates as my
I continuously and spontaneously find myself referring to the people around me in ways that referred to a relationship. Those words create a sense of being a part of a group - and I find it results in dinner invitations with people who might just have included people they already knew, people looking out for my interests and so on.
I admit, I don't know what I might say next. But it feels right and has a nice effect, so I won't interfere with my natural tendencies here.
Created: Thursday, 14 April 2011 02:17
A reader writes:
Meryl - I have long been embarrassed about women showing emotion at work, but at the same time proud that we aren't afraid to. I want to control emotions, and I'm not sure that will ever be possible for an authentic person. What do you think?
I agree – you can't be authentic and control your emotions. But you can manage your emotions authentically. Emotional honesty doesn't have to mean lying down on the couch and pouring your guts out. It can be simple things, like, "I'm trying something new and feeling a little foolish about stumbling." "I'm stretching my comfort zone to do this differently, so I'm nervous about how it will come off."
When I first committed to more emotional honesty, it came out pretty raw! Two reasons – I had no experience – didn't have the skill. And I had a backlog of emotion, so a simple thing could stir a huge reaction. My voice would get stuck in my throat – I'd get choked up. Felt like I was five years old. Now I don't tend to regress because I pretty much clear as I go. There are still occasions when I feel the need to control my emotions, but they're rare – and I hate them! I like being able to flow in who I am.
It takes practice. I assure you, I haven't always been perfectly poised when I practiced - but I did find low-stakes places where I could express emotion without being afraid of losing credibility. Phrases help a lot, too - they help you know how to communicate feeling without being too heavy.
Created: Tuesday, 05 April 2011 17:18
I'm back from my second big lean event - Shingoprize in Cincinnati. The short and mundane definition of lean is it's about eliminating waste. I listen carefully for ways to talk about lean that are less mundane and that bring lean to life. Too many people think it means layoffs and treating employees like objects. It's the opposite.
But I got my favorite phrase to explain it from the conference I attendeed after Shingoprize. It was a professional speakers' summit, and Kelli Vrla was there. She mentioned how her dear Uncle Johnny pours the cream in before the coffee. Why? So he can,
- Let the coffee stir the cream.
What a great phrase to describe more efficient ways of doing things, and what a great way to describe how lean optimizes performance. It will be a buzz word for me and my associates!
What works so well about it is it is highly visual and very familiar. I can picture Kelli's Uncle Johnny pour his coffee. I can picture him share his wisdom. I can picture the coffee stirring the cream. Can you? I already try to remember to do it that way to save the step of getting a spoon and stirring. So I relate to the image personally. Do you? From that image I can easily extrapolate into how simple life might be if I "leaned-out" other aspects of my daily operations.
Tonight my husband and I have a date to watch "Toast Kaizen". I'm sure it will change how we make toast, how I talk about lean, and how I observe and eliminate waste in my own life.
What phrases do you have that illustrate a better way of doing things? Those phrases are gold. Thanks Kelli - and thanks to Uncle Johnny as well.
Created: Wednesday, 23 March 2011 01:59
One executive tells his staff,
- I want nothing between me and the truth about what's going on.
Powerful words - IF actions reinforce the words when people do speak the truth.
Created: Monday, 21 March 2011 13:20
Dan Mulhern posted today about "owning the space" we stand in. He referred to actors owning the stage and how his wife Jennifer owns the front of a courtroom when she prosecutes. It's about where you belong and how you show up there.
It's not about posturing. It's not about pretending. It's about claiming and embodying expertise.
I commented on his post that when independent business owners find their brand, the brand is about the space they own already. For example, I own business phrasing. Not that others don't play in that field - and play well. But business communication and particularly phrasing is where I shine. It's an expertise I bring to the table. It's a space I continually own more deeply.
My phrase books provide phrases based on that ownership. For example, admins often don't fully speak in ways that say "I'm an administrative professional. I own this space." All the phrases in the Perfect Phrases for Office Professionals book are based on that kind of professional ownership.
What's your arena? Where can you say,
...and do you show up in ways that reinforce that claim?
Created: Monday, 21 March 2011 01:58
My husband Bob asked Lalena, the young woman who cleans our house,
- Is there anything you need to make your job easier?
Lelana replied that a new mop would be nice to have since the one we have falls apart.
Such a simple thing - and yet she didn't think to ask for an inexpensive tool that would increase her efficiency until Bob asked her what she might need.
Are there people in your life who make do with what they have when a simple improvement would make a big difference for them? Why not ask and find out?
Created: Monday, 21 March 2011 02:03
I find that when I can reply to an email quickly, I do. If it's something I need to study or research, I'll wait to reply, which could take a few days, or in very busy times, longer than that.
Bob's the same way. Some clients send him short emails and he answers right away. But if it's more complex and requires more time, he'll put it off until he has a block of time, which could take days.
When clients habitually send him long rambling emails, he will let them know. He'll say,
- The way my practice works, if I can respond quickly, I do. If it will take more time, I set it aside until I have a block of time. Just so you know.
He found that this information inspires some of his longer-winded clients to be more succinct in their queries.