"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

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?

Stop Living Life Like an Emergency

diane_siegI bought Diane Sieg's book "Stop Living Life Like an Emergency" a couple years back before I spoke to the Emergency Nurse's Association. I loved the book, but today I glanced at the title and the importance of it struck me. 

After the Arizona shootings, I had a number of people tell me I needed to act fast to get myself on the radio and TV to talk about my political communication book, "How to Restore Sanity to Our Political Conversations". I did send out a press release, but my first three interviews convinced me: my real audience will still be there next month and the month after that. The people who will influence change aren't the ones who are part of the 24-hour news cycle where the theme changes overnight. And interestingly, my favorite interviews have been the ones that were scheduled farther out, like the one I did on NPR Honolulu last night.

No, they didn't fly me out to give the interview. 

Living on high alert all the time isn't just exhausting, it's not efficient. So thanks to Diane Sieg for a great book that sends an important message even if you don't get past the title. To get that much just from a title is what I call effective communication. 

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Brene Brown Discovers that Authenticity Isn't Right or Wrong but it Is Neccesary

You wouldn't think learning to be vulnerable and authentic would be so difficult, but it is. It's also necessary to experience love and feel worthy. This is a great Ted talk. Speaking STRONG is about standing up for your whole and true self - in a way that gains your respect and recognition. 

Enjoy this powerful - and authentic - talk by Brene Brown on Ted. As a child of academia, I like the idea that so many researchers are considering personal experience as a legitimate and important area to pursue. I love the people who take the time to seriously study these things and to quantify them. I also know that often research spends a lot of money to prove things we can figure out with a little observation. 

Brown advocates letting yourself be really seen. Confident people, she says, are whole-hearted and vulnerable. I knew that! I'm glad she took the time to prove it!

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@DanMulhern says it right, after the assassination.


Jen Granholm and Dan MulhernDan Mulhern's motto is to lead with your best self, which he does yet again in his "After the Assassination" post. He writes a message that will inspire you to lead with your best self.  This is my favorite line.

“You can praise when the culture is decrying. You can point out troublesome facts when the rest of the team is in denial. You can laugh at yourself when everyone’s being a little too self-serious. Or, you can just offer a humble opinion to get the bus rolling (it’s a lot easier to steer a moving bus.)”

I particularly like the point about laughing. Saturday's shooting was quite sobering. It reignited my commitment to my “How to Restore Sanity to Our Political Communication” book. It also reignited my commitment to laugh.

I hope this sad event will get us – not just pointing fingers at the fringes and at how leaders misuse language and imagery – but at how we all can talk more civilly. How we can all focus on what we want more than what we don’t want. How we all can be a bit more authentic. How we all can shave violent terms from our language and be responsible for the imagery our words create. How we all can keep our hearts open, and our voices more compelling than those who would divide us for their own purposes.

We need to address the influences around us, but not to the point that we forget the influence we all have. Do we add to the violence or the civility? Dan reminds us which to do. 

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The unpaved path to opportunity

@Ned Disposable got fired on Facebook September 29, 2010. @Susie925 got her notice through twitter just a few days later. Their paved roads crumbled. They have since discovered unpaved opportunities.

Me? I wasn't even on the radar. I got my notice of a decision that impacted me heavily from someone I didn't know who assumed I had been told. Everyone else had! But don't you worry about me! I determined to turn my misadventure into a transformational life journey and I'm liking what I'm finding.  

Corporate ignominy might take you down, but don't let it take you out. When your paved road crumbles, you have lots of bad choices - and some really good ones, too.

Follow the adventures of Ned, Susie and me, as we find opportunity in some really challenging experiences. This is a book trailer for the books SpeakSTRONG and PowerPhrases. It's also great fun, and an invitation for you to think, live and speak transformationally. If you miss the lyrics or the life test questions, I post them for you here

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One entrepreneur publicly declares her intention to learn to SpeakSTRONG in 2011

WordStream PublishingInstead of publicly declaring to lose ten pounds or to quit smoking, (of course, she never started,) one business owner publicly declared her intention to learn to SpeakSTRONG in 2011, in part to help her meet the unique challenges she faces as a woman entrepreneur. 

Marti Williams posted about her resolution in her blog titled Speaking Strong in the New Year.

Marti and I have had the pleasure and privilege of Speaking Strong with each other many times in 2010. We've also recalibrated our relationship to each other on a few occasions, to both of our satisfaction. We've navigated through twists and turns in priorities, unforeseen business events and shifts, and continually tweaked how we relate to each other in mutually beneficial ways. Marti does me the honor of letting me be a part of her communication transformation - and she is an essential part of mine. 

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Indirect communication that works with depressed people

dance stepsI suspected my touch of depression was related to me being on the verge of being sick, but I wanted to talk about it anyway. I tearfully told my husband I needed to grieve my losses from 2010, celebrate the wins and set intentions for the new year. He listened and empathized as I spoke. He knows how to communicate with depressed people - even if I'm the one passing through depression. 

My husband is a natural health consultant, and he also suspected my emotion was aggravated inflammation from impending illness. So without a hint of dismissiveness about my rant, he prepared a cooling drink for me and asked me to try it. 

A few minutes later I sat down at my computer ready to rock and roll, marveling at how much sunnier the world looked to me. I assumed it was the sweetness of how my husband listened to me, but then it occurred to me that the cooling drink played a large role.

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Read more: Indirect communication that works with depressed people

Six Ways to Get More Respect on Beliefnet

Beliefnet.com published an article I wrote last week about how to get more respect for your personal development plans. You do get an ad when you click the link - which you can click skip for.

I've summarized the points for you below. We'll go into much greater depth about it at my New Year New You part 2 Webinar. 

  1. Create a clear vision. Picture what you and your life will be like once you’ve implemented your resolution. Make your vision detailed and concrete.

  2. Commit to action. Before you tell anyone what you intend to do, decide what steps you will take to achieve it.

  3. Identify your reasons. Make a list of benefits that motivate you to change.

  4. Anticipate objections. Anticipate the protests, belly-aching and doubts that are likely to come your way.

  5. Share your plans with prepared phrases. Have the phrases ready to use, and adapt as needed.

  6. Ask for support outright. Say something like, “I’d really like you to help me succeed here. Can I count on you for support?

Read the whole article here.

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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.

Communication Barrier #4: Assuming others see what you see

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I see connections other people miss.

For example, I see the individual and organizational communication as following the same principles, patterns and dynamics. For me, it doesn't matter much if an example comes from work or from home. I automatically see how the principle applies in other arenas.

Here's what I miss. I miss the fact that what is so clear to me is not as clear to others. I've learned to state the connection clearly. If I give a PowerPhrase to win trust in communicating with a spouse, I now clarify how to use it at work. I developed the habit of writing about the connections that I used to think were implicit but aren't. That's how I overcome Effective Communication Barrier #4: Assuming others see what you do.

What connections are obvious to you and not to others? There are plenty of things that I miss that are obvious to others. How can you help me - and others - see those things?

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Communication Barrier #5: Negating others' interpretations

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I found this dialog on Facebook amusing. 

Nikos asks if there is an easy way to embed video on the Facebook server. James replies, yes, there is. Karma asks, well, then what is it? Nikos responded that he didn't know. He had asked and gotten a rude reply. James said,

"Sorry for the misunderstanding, you didn't ask how...you just asked if there was an easy way. I wasn't being rude."  http://cit.ucsf.edu/embedmedia/step1.php 

That is about as easy as it gets, folks.

Well, James is right. Nikos didn't ask how. He thought how was implied in the question. And many would assume that, too. Plus there are plenty of people who passive-aggressively answer literally when they know full well what someone is asking. James was appropriately gracious to apologize, but would have done better not to shift blame or insist he wasn't being rude. A better response might have been,

  • Sorry for the misunderstanding. I didn't intend to be rude. Here's the answer.
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Communication transformation keys: a moniker, motto and motivating image

antique keyChanging habits can be challenging, but here are three keys that will help.

1. Pick a moniker for yourself. Pick something that sums up who you are and who you are becoming. A dear friend sometimes calls himself Dr. Sunshine. It's a fitting moniker for him. He brings sunshine into every consideration.

What is a fitting moniker for you? And how about a moniker for you as a communicator? I'm The Message Maven, The Perspicacious Phraseologist and The Communication Alchemist.

2. Get a motto. Three phrase mottos work well. My SpeakSTRONG motto is to be clear, sincere and effective. It was clear, kind and direct, but it has evolved.

On the other hand, I have another motto that is lighthearted. It's Collabracabra. What's yours?

3. Get a motivating image. My motivating image has been a picture of me putting one foot in front of the other. When I get overwhelmed or fall into an old habit of thinking and speaking, that visual brings me back to my next step. It's like the twelve step one-day-at-a-time image applied to each moment. It brings me back on track every time.

On the other hand, now that I'm past the roughest terrain since my paved road crumbled, I'm finding a more lighthearted image that is connected to Collabradabra. It's more magical - yes, I have a wand - but I'm not performing magic on others. I'm inspiring the magic IN others. OMG - it gives me shivers!

Don't stress yourself about getting the perfect moniker, motto and motivating image right away. Once you apply a less-than-perfect one, you'll naturally develop refinements. You'll go deeper into what your choices represent for you. And even if you're completely at home with your choice, one day you'll wake up and discover you're ready to shift them - either because your circumstances and aspirations change, or because...oh my gosh... you've grown into and beyond the vision you set for yourself.  

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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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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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