"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?

Barrier #1: Guessing when you could be asking

check markI've stopped working with some generally competent and likeable people because we couldn't get past Barrier #1 to effective communication skills. They guessed when they could have asked.

I think of one fellow who told me a week after I sent him a PowerPoint mock-up of what I wanted that he couldn't open the file. That's why what he delivered didn't match what I wanted. I get - I do it, too. But it's still a barrier.

I establish a policy with some of my associates of asking each other three questions about every task, even if we think it's clear. Amazingly, we almost always uncover some assumption.

Just ask. It's pretty simple. And yet, since we don't know what we don't know, it can be hard. But not as hard as ending a valued work association because you never quite got aligned with each other. 

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Barrier #2: Common violent language

check markMy friend mentioned that he was slammed that afternoon. Running the risk of being a PIA, I said it sounded painful. He replied that it was all good. I suggested there would have to be a better word than slammed for being busy with work you enjoy. He came back with,

"I'm going to be spinning the wheels of commerce and industry at a break neck pace until sometime this afternoon.  Driving commerce in a manner not heretofore known."

Clever, but still sounds violent. Broken necks and driving commerce create strong visuals. 

If you think I'm being picky, you're right. But our Izzies (reptilian brainlets) hear everything and react. The words we choose do matter. I don't let my own response to be more violent than the words I note - I'm always lighthearted about it. But I do believe the words we choose affect us, and I like doing business in a non-violent way. 

He liked my replacement words. I said: "You're not slammed, you're highly engaged. And you're not driving commerce at break-neck speed, you're attracting business at the speed of light."  

What's keeping you busy?             

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What's up with Meryl and SpeakSTRONG?

The news about effective communication skillI've been at a loss for words because I've had so much to say. I went for many years sending out a newsletter each week, but have been very intermittent lately because I've been creating a new foundation.

As some of you know, last spring I had a major set-back that I vowed to turn into an opportunity. Life threw me lemons and I've been busy making lemonade. I kept putting one foot in front of another - kept moving forward - and now, finally, things are coming together. I'm about ready to come up for air and relaunch.

I had five new book releases this year. I'm working on another book now, with Susan Fenner at IAAP. (International Association of Administrative Porfessionals.) Susan is amazing, brilliant and fun. 

Most exciting is I have a new structure for my SpeakSTRONG Method that makes my information much more accessible than before. I have more clealy defined the style of communication I teach. You can learn about that in my SpeakSTRONG Method Handbook

I am launching programs to take people through the steps of Speaking STRONG one step at a time. I'm clear - this style of communication isn't for everyone - but it is for me - and maybe for you? I know are plenty of people value it, too. 

If you're reading this, you're seeing my new site. It's a Joomla site, and I'm really enjoying discovering the new bells and whistles. Joomla is an open source content management system that allows non-techies like me to do interesting things. I invite you to catch the errors as you enjoy the information. Please pass your ideas along. 

It's been and continues to be a huge learning curve. Now the tide is turning and I'm ready to show what I've been up to. This post is just a beginning. The fact that it feels right to be posting it now is wonderfully exciting for me. I hope it is exciting for you, too. This is just the beginning of a new me, and for many of you, I would like it to be the beginning of a new you, too. In fact, I'm offering a free introductory webinar to talk about how to create a communication makeover for 2011. Join me, will you?

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How to Delight a Client in 30 Seconds


A simple communication can go a long way.al-todd

My new webmaster emailed to tell me he would be out of the office for the last two days of the week and wondered if I needed help with anything before he left.

There is so much involved in implementing a new site, that he knew I was likely to need him.

Vendors and consultants often disappear in the middle of projects without warning, so I don't know if I will get help from them or need to find other resources. Lack of follow-through and consistency are common barriers to effective communication. In fact, it's so common that when I told a friend what Al had done, he marveled. It's the kind of quality customer service you would hope would be customary, but isn't.

In fact, I didn't have any pressing questions, but the email told me he's on my team. It probably took him 30 seconds to write the email, and it resulted in not only my delight, but my kudos

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There are no good excuses, but there are good reasons.


Excuses for bad behaviorWhy were you late? Why didn't you get back to your caller? Why didn't you go home for Christmas? It's tempting to look for excuses. It's tempting to find a believable story or twist of the facts that will allow you to "get away" with something. But, of course we never really "get away" with anything. People usually can smell an excuse, and that kind of pretense undermines trust. 


The irony is, often we look for excuses when we have very valid reasons for our choices. You may have been late because you were enjoying watching the sun set and you made a choice. You may not have returned a call because you needed to focus to get a project done and were afraid if you returned the call, you'd get so involved in the conversation you'd lose your focus. You may not have gone home for Christmas because you'd rather see your family at a less hectic time.

There really are no good excuses, but there are really good reasons. There are some bad reasons, too, but hey - don't decide a reason isn't good enough because someone else might not like your choice. They weren't there! They didn't see how really special that sunset was. You were, and you did, and you made a choice. Own your choices. 

Character-based Communicators are honest. That's part of why people trust what they say. And that's part of why they are so effective. 

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Coming at it backwards: Unavailability notice

Chain barrier to effective communicationIt's nice to know when someone is not available. But it's more useful to know when someone is. Roger responded to Joe's email with a question, and then proceeded to tell him the hours he would not be available to answer the phone. 

Of course, letting someone know that you won't be able to answer the phone at certain times is far better than simply letting them try and fail to reach you during those hours. But speaking about unavailability is speaking about barriers. Informing of availability is speaking about openings. So instead of coming at it backwards and saying you can't take calls at certain times, come at it head on and say when you are likely to be available. It's a simple way to overcome a barrier to effective communication, and it's much warmer and fuzzier. 

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The first person to make it to the HEART wins.

heart icon for character-based communicationOne of my favorite teachers likes to remind people that when conflict occurs, the first person to make it to the heart wins. Of course, if you're jumping up and down shouting, "I made it to the heart! I won!" you didn't make it to the heart at all.

And if you're selling yourself out to avoid conflict, you're being unkind to yourself, and you didn't make it to the heart either.

The race to the heart is one of the greatest conflict resolutions techniques imaginable. 

Oh, the ego is such a trickster! If you haven't downloaded my SpeakSTRONG Method Handbook, I invite you to. It makes some fine distinctions about ego and heart. It will help you win.

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A real communication red-flag

SteveSteve was at a retreat with 20 other CEOs when the topic turned political. His colleagues were complaining about how the current administration raised taxes. Steve replied, "Why do you say that? What do you base your conclusions on? I don't believe that's accurate."

Instead of explaining, five of Steve's colleagues started screaming at him, three just stood and watched, and the rest left the room. 

Steve commented, "The fact that you're yelling at me and won't let me talk is a real red flag for me." Kudos to Steve for talking about how they talk rather than trying to beat them at their own game.

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Read more: A real communication red-flag

Speaking Strong isn't for the lazy

lazy cat lying on sideWhy don't you SpeakStrong? Could you just be lazy?

 What? You?

The first step in The SpeakStrong Method is to seek significance. To find significance you need to stop doing what you're doing and see what is as is.

And for some of us, that means discovering a little laziness. 

Since I use myself as a laboratory, I'll share some of my own discoveries. 

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Read more: Speaking Strong isn't for the lazy

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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