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January 2008


Random Thoughts To Help You Become
A Better Communicator

Gratefully adapted with permission from Michael Bryant of Career Transition Services who can be reached at (410) 444-5857.

  • Never underestimate the power of a kind word.  You may be the only one in a person's life who says "thank you."
  • You cannot say "thank you" too much, but you can fail to say it enough.
  • By and large, we really don't care if people agree with what we are saying; we simply want to feel understood.
  • If you have an issue with someone, speak to the person, not about them.  Triangles destroy channels of communication.
  • Resolve your differences.  Holding a grudge undermines communication.  (Only small children and pets never hold a grudge.)
  • An apology followed by "but . . ." is not an apology.  It's a rationalization.
  • Avoid the word "but."  It's an "erasure word" that negates everything immediately preceding it.  Instead use the word "and."
  • Criticism as a communication tool is useless.  If you want someone to change their behavior, tell them what you want not what you don't like.
  • Criticizing others without warning is the emotional equivalent of a "drive-by shooting."
  • Remember: praise publicly, correct privately.
  • There are two responses that are particularly aggravating - being judged and being told how we feel.
  • We humans have a funny habit of not telling each other what we want and then resenting it when our unspoken needs are not met.
  • You cannot think of the response that you are going to give and simultaneously listen when someone is speaking.  The brain is simply incapable of performing those two functions at the same time.
  • The best reason to listen to someone is because they are talking.
  • Don't lie.  Honesty is the cornerstone of effective communication.
  • When someone begins using the words "everyone, no one, always or never" meaningful communication has temporarily ceased.
  • Employees are either investments or overhead.  In your communication with others, make sure you convey their value to you and the organization.
  • Be positive in your dealings with others.  We need recognition more than we like to admit.

These are good thoughts, and we'd do well to act on them every day.  Which one are you going to begin with?

Michael Bryant - Corporate Trainer

Has twenty years experience facilitating organizational change by teaching how to improve communication, share accurate information, and involve others in decisions.  He can be reached by phone at (410) 444-5857 or by e-mail at mb3126@gmail.com.



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