"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!!!

Effective Communication Skill Blog

Alchemist in Meryl.150Communication skills are great in theory, but how are they in practice? This Effective Communication Skill Blog shows you how to walk the SpeakStrong talk. I'm Meryl Runion Rose. Join our conversation about Communication Alchemy, and saying what you mean and meaning what you say... without being mean when you say it.

The Communication Alchemist is IN. Are you IN too?

Speaking Strong: The Computer Catastrophe

computer screen showCassia, my assistant, wrote this story to demonstrate how she used the SpeakStrong Method in her daily life:

My computer had been whining for weeks, when Meryl finally advised me to take it to have it fixed. I took it up to a PC repair place and assumed the worse. I was relieved that the problem was most likely a busted fan.

I got my computer back the next day, but noticed immediately that it was having new issues. Bad issues. Naturally, I called the repair place to ask for them to look at it. I mentioned to the tech that this problems didn't start until after they had taken the computer apart. He dismissed this explanation and was confident that glitches were coming from the software. He ran several extensive scans, removed a few unnecessary files and handed it back with a bill of health. I paid him for his time but left uncertain.

I wound up doing this three times. On the third try, the tech finally followed my advice and began pulling apart the back panel to take a look. When he did, a screw popped out; it was apparent that the screw had been lodged in the RAM plates.

There was a screw screwing everything up!

I left relieved that my computer was finally going to be fine. It wasn't until later that I began to realize how many work hours I lost because of this, not to mention driving back and forth, and to top it all off, I was right! I knew it was a hardware issue and I mentioned it several times but each time it was dismissed.

Meryl came in again with her good advice, and recommended that I ask for a refund. She said that this was an opportunity to practice "speaking strong". It hadn't occurred to me to ask. I called the shop and calmly explained how much time I had lost because of this easily avoidable mistake and that I felt I ought to receive some sort of compensation. They issued me a full refund without hesitation.

The lessons are these: If I hadn't of asked, I wouldn't have received; and ALWAYS listen to your gut!


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Unconscious Limiting Decisons

Signal call 250The past several times I called Lucy, I left voice-mail invitations which she never responded to. When I saw her, she told me she received them after whatever I invited her to was over.

Yesterday we had plans to go dancing. I knocked on her door the day of to confirm, and she didn't answer. It almost didn't occur to me to call. But I picked up the phone shortly before we were due to leave and dialed. Lucy picked up and told me she wasn't able to go because she was "slaving" away at her work.

Her busy-ness and wording are one story I will explore at some point - but now I want to talk about how my failed attempts at reaching her by phone led to an unconscious decision to give up trying to call her. That was a decision I made without consideration. It was based on experience, and certainly had a foundation, but it wasn't a conscious choice that would serve me in this situation. The lesson for me is to be aware of those decisions I make and decide if they do serve me or not.

"Keep asking," Lucy encouraged me. I'm glad she said that. I don't take her responsiveness personally - she's on a fabulous quest that is very consuming. But after reaching out unsuccessfully, it's natural to put her on my unconsious "do not call list." Who else has gone on that list without my being aware?

How about you? Do you send those signals? And, do you respond to signals like Lucy's without conscious choice?

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Loving The Analyzer in Me

thank-youI bet you didn't know this. The term "Analysis" comes from the root "ana", which means "up", and lyst or lysis, which means "loosen". Analysis originally meant loosening up a problem or situation enough that it solves itself.

Ironic, huh?! Now we think of it as tightening. 

Okay, here comes a story. Sunday I went to a wake while my hubby paid bills. It ended with dancing and was incredibly powerful. I wanted to talk about the power of the experience. He wanted to talk about paying bills for two hours.

We were in different places, psychologically speaking.

But I woke up yesterday filled with gratitude for all the things I don't have to do because my Analyzer hubby willingly does them. I got out the sticky notes and posted thank-yous all over the house. For example, I put a thank-you on the financial statements in appreciation for all the work he did transferring our accounts.

All in all there were about 20 sticky notes. He liked it when he started finding them. By the time he got to the tenth, he was moved. There are still a few here and there he hasn't found.

The Analyzer may not embrace the dance in the same way I do, but he provides a foundation for it.

The SpeakStrong Method starts within. I've internalized a lot of my hubby's habits, and they increasingly establish an orderly world I can dance, work and play in. My sticky notes spoke to my Inner Analyzer too. I'm loving the Analyzer I live with more and more, and The Analyzer in Me as well. Life is good, isn't it?

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The Native Talent of Joy

balloon icon 300hIn Yann Martel's book Beatrice and Virgil, a music teacher tells his student:

  • The only native talent required to play music is joy.

While that overstates the power of joy in my estimate, I was thrilled to see it so clearly stated.

In my revisions of the communication style landing pages, I found myself blocked while writing The Achiever in You landing page. I was baffled about why - I have plenty of Achiever in Me. 

And then it hit me. The Achiever in Me was overreaching.

Writing these pages has literally been an ecstatic process for me much of the time. When the joy yields to effort and fatigue, it's time to take a break, not soldier on. I had pushed too long, so I decided to break until I felt my spirit ready to return. In my break, I found plenty to say both to and about The Achiever in Us, which I recorded for when the spirit moved me.

What is hard without spirit can be easy with it. And while I think there must be more needed to play music or write a creative landing page than joy, it sure does lighten the process.

Where has The Achiever in You overreached?

Remember: "An ounce of inspiration is worth a pound of willpower." Meryl Runion Rose. That was one of the gifts from my day of play yesterday.


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A True Power Nap Frees You From Ego

aspire icon cr 300One of my readers responded to yesterday's post about napping by affirming her power naps. I loved it. 

Today, I napped by sinking into a yoga pose while listening to Snatum Kaur sing Servant of Peace. When the song went into the Prayer of S.t Francis of Assisi, "Lord, make me an instrument of peace." I earnestly prayed that my SpeakStrong Method be an instrument of that peace.

That: Where there is hatred, let my creation sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is error, truth; Where there is doubt, the faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, joy.

I came out of that nap inspired. A true power nap takes you out of ego into wholeness. That was one great power nap.

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Proof That You Need a Nap

sleep zzzz 250An excellent article in Scientifc American called "Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime" affirms the need for life and work balance, not just as a quality of life enhancer, but as a productivity enhancer.

I knew almost everything it says and I practice almost everything it says. Actually, I think most of us know that pushing ourselves limits productivity - or we would know it if we would pay attention.

It's sad that we need "experts" to prove things that we could figure out through direct observation. But although I prefer first-hand knowledge, anything that gets us off overdrive is welcome. So thanks to the author, Ferris Jabr, for helping us break out of our self-destructive driven trances.

Okay, my work is done. Time for a nap. According to the experts, ten minutes is optimal.


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Seeking a Plan, Not an Apology

shake crop"Anne" is a dear friend who is fun to be with. She does overschedule herself, and years ago she stood me up often enough that I stopped scheduling with her more than a day out. She was more likley to know what she could commit to close in.

More recently, we began scheduling further out again. She would email an invitation, I would email my acceptance and then there would be silence. I'd confirm the day before the date and she would assure me she had it on the calendar. Not ideal - I would like to be able to count on her commitment to an invitation she offered without having to track her down, but it worked.

This week, however, when I emailed to confirm that she had received my acceptance, she replied the morning of our lunch date that she couldn't meet because she had to be with her family.

I told her it would help me plan if, in the future, she would let me know within 24 hours if she received my acceptance and had added it to her calendar, and if she would let me know as soon as anything changed.

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Read more: Seeking a Plan, Not an Apology

Entering a New Stage of Continuous Improvement

  • stepsWhat's your vision of a perfect practice?

I asked Bob that almost a year ago.

"I don't have one", he replied. He also wasn't ready to create one. If you're draining a swamp and have alligators biting your ankles, you can't afford to look up and aspire.

But things do change.

  • You should switch your focus from what you don't want in your practice to what you do want...

Kath told him yesterday. He heard it. Yesterday he was ready to be changed by it. The swamp is drained and the alligators are taken care of. (Metaphorically speaking.) He's ready to look up and find a guiding vision to aspire toward.

Continuous improvement happens in stages.

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If Your Conscious Mind Doesn't Choose a Goal for a Conversation...

target 250If your conscious mind doesn't choose a goal for a conversation, your unconscious mind will. And it might not be a goal your conscious mind would ever endorse.

Goals like retribution, covering your tail, impressing someone, or creating a distraction are just a few that we often strive toward unconsciously. If we don't have conscious intentions like finding solutions to problems or getting to know each other better, then our unconsious mind will default to one of these resolutions.

It's hard to hit a target you can't see.

This was a quote from my Quote and Tip of the Day. I was happy to be reminded of it.

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Dancing Myself to Clarity

dance tutu 200I'm beside and above myself with excitement today. I've been revising the landing pages for my communication style quiz, and it's been tremendously enlivening. My first revision was for The Visionary style, and reflecting on it has energized The Visionary in me.

I was up in the night, singing, chanting and dancing, connecting with "Star" - that aspirational aspect of my being. It was a lovely interplay, and I woke this morning feeling the barriers to effectively communicating what I know about intra-style communication had dissolved.

My style quiz is different from any other that I know of. If you haven't taken it, wait. I'll link to it when it's ready in its new glory. I wanted to share my joy with you today.  


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The Flying Rice Cake Icebreaker

rice cakeMy rice cake popped out of the toaster and into the trash.

I posted about it on my Facebook page.

I got more than my average number of comments on that post.

What does that say about my usual posts? Maybe I just learned something about how to engage people's interest.

Plus, I learned something about toasting rice cakes.

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Your Biggest Challenge in Communication Crisis is...?

barrier 200What is the biggest challenge you face when you have a communication crisis?

It's to be who you are.

I'm talking about being your most magnanimous self. I'm talking about speaking from your center. I'm talking about expressing your true self effectively.

Expressing your true self is challenging enough under the best of circumstances. It's all the more tempting to become petty when crisis hits.

One of the hardest things to do in a crisis is nothing. Yet often that's exactly what you need to do - even if only for a moment. Even a few seconds is long enough to stop, drop your reactions and choose a response that is worthy of you.

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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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