Posts in Communication
Is Your Work Culture in Discord or Harmony?

Whether in the workplace or at home, when people remain caught in the swirl of their unspoken stories – stories comprised of fear, angst, “what ifs,” and “they shoulds” – it creates a culture heavy with discord. But when people are trained and skillful in setting those emotional stories aside to speak their truth based on facts, there is a culture of harmony.

Read on or listen in for a case study about peeling away the emotions and getting at the facts, plus two simple ways to identify the truth.

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Emotional Literacy: What’s the Cost?

The more I engage and do consulting work with organizations, the more I see that the core thing causing us to get into conflicts, waste time, create drama and chaos, and have a strong negative impact on productivity is that people are less and less skillful in the emotional literacy realm.

Listen in or read on for a definition of emotional literacy plus a story that showcases low emotional literacy skills and how they can affect an organization’s bottom line.

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“If It Were Me, I Would Have…”

Recently, I was at a gathering of people who I love being around for their vibrant interaction, and I found myself growing annoyed with a new member of the group who pushed his perspectives at every opportunity. Apparently, others felt the same because, before too long, he was standing by himself.

Read on (or listen in) for how I stepped out of annoyance and into the neutral Observer Mode, what I saw and learned from that position, and how I used curiosity to change the dynamic for him and around him.

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10 Strategies for Feeling More Connection

I often hear from people that there are friends, coworkers, and even family members who they no longer feel the same level of connection with because of disagreements, differences of opinion, different worldviews, or conflict.

So, today, I want to focus on some simple strategies that will help you experience a deeper sense of connection and a deeper sense of peace. So, here we go with 10 strategies for feeling more connected...

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What's Your Story?

Stories play a powerful role in our lives, and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves are the most impactful. Positive stories can help us launch our dreams, achieve our goals, and propel us to the next level, while negative stories can do quite the opposite, and most significantly, create disconnection from others.

Listen in for the three types of negative stories, the six reasons we use them, and how to slow or stop the endless cycle for someone who has become stuck in their own story.

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Plug the Leaks ... and Fast!

We put so much effort and attention into counting dollars, tracking expenses, investing in the newest technology, and charting our strategic pathway to the future – and those are all valuable activities. But it is the rare leader who connects a dollar value to every minute spent in putting off direct feedback and clearing up petty conflicts, confused communication, and ongoing office drama.

Listen in or read on for more on where time (and therefore money) gets wasted and what you can do about it.

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It's Just Like Sugar!

Gossip is as addictive as sugar. It can also be damaging and slowly wear and tear at the vital framework that keeps a group or a team cohesive, a family solidified, and an organization moving towards its goals. Breaking the gossip habit is a powerful way you can positively impact your own happiness, even when you’re feeling powerless. Here's how...

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Are You Feeling Boxed In at Work?

Not every dissatisfied employee can easily walk away from their job. Government employees especially can find themselves with accumulated benefits such that it’s in their best interest to stay. But even in the private sector, you can leave behind a challenging employer, coworker, or supervisor, but unless you see how you contributed to the challenges, you’ll likely find the same situations at your next job.

Listen in (or read on) for 3 questions to ask yourself when the going gets so tough that you’re thinking of going.

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Unblock Your Perspective: Listen More, Learn More, and Get More Done

Our ego wants to protect us from being wrong, and in our effort to be right, we may close our mind to other perspectives, supporting our isolated view even when we would benefit from seeing what things look like from someone else’s perspective.

Listen in (or read on) for two stories on perspective-taking – one imaginary and one true – that demonstrate how listening better and more often can help your organization move forward and get more done.

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How Office Drama Costs Your Organization, Part 2

The story about a meeting meltdown and its aftermath continues...

In this second and final “episode”, you’ll see how the chaos spread through the management tier all day and well into the night.

As with last week’s Part 1, as you listen to or read the tale, notice how – and how many – people were affected, and think about all the places where you hear time (and, therefore, money) leaking out of this organization due to a single moment of drama and the subsequent distractions and confusion.

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How Office Drama Costs Your Organization, Part 1

This story about a meltdown in a meeting and the chaos that followed is based on a situation that occurred in an organization I worked with. As you listen to the tale, notice how – and how many – people were affected, and think about all the places where you hear time (and, therefore, money) leaking out of this organization due to a single moment of drama and the subsequent distractions and chaos.

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Unwritten Rules

Unwritten rules are rules that we’ve created or adopted that govern our decision-making and our behavior patterns. They’re barely noticeable to anyone else, but when they’re challenged, they cause us discomfort, bring up conflict within us, and make us wonder – and judge – why other people don’t follow the same rules we do.

Listen in (or read on) to see how unwritten rules impact your relationships at work and at home and, maybe, hold you back from your full potential. And to hear the thing about my Christmas tree...

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CommunicationBeth Wonson
Don't Take It Personally

How many times during the course of your day do you overhear things, see things, read things and take them personally? Choosing to be curious and to ask questions is the pathway away from drama and chaos. Join Beth as she uncovers why we take things personally and how you can disrupt that tendency. Just proclaiming “I will not take things personally!” isn’t enough to switch us. Instead, Beth explains how taking things personally is a practice, a choice.

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Listen Up!

Hearing what someone said isn’t always enough – you may need to actually listen. Active listening takes a bit more work but will save you time and energy in the long run.

Listen in (or read on) for: an explanation of active listening, three questions you can ask to encourage a deeper conversation, how little of your undivided attention is needed to satisfy others, and how one of my daughters taught me all this when she was just two-and-a-half years old.

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Shut the Dang Door!

“I have an open door policy.” Oh my gosh, those words just make me shudder. Why am I opposed to an open door policy when it’s often pushed as the way to be a “connected leader”? Because an open door policy has the opposite effect. When you have an open door policy, you’re not connected to or present for anything.

Listen in (or read on) for how an open door policy hinders your productivity, robs the people around you of learning opportunities, and nibbles away at your time, plus 5 simple tips for setting things right.

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“You can only call me for three reasons…”

Exhaustion and fatigue are common themes with many of my clients, and I’ve realized they haven’t given themselves permission to set boundaries. In fact, the tendency is quite the opposite. Somewhere along the way, we get the message to give all of our kindness, time, and energy to others and to keep none for ourselves. But nurturing ourselves first is the only sustainable way forward. Listen in for the surprising boundaries that set me free, a few words that create space, and one word that takes it away.

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CommunicationBeth Wonson
Anger’s Many Disguises

Anger is not a pure emotion, but a mask for painful emotions such as sadness, fear, and disappointment. At the same time, anger can hide behind numbness, defensiveness, or a feeling of power. Anger plays tricks on our ego, distances us from others (and ourselves), and can have a boosting effect as powerful – and as short-lived – as a sugar rush.

Read or listen in for more on anger’s many disguises, and learn how to dissipate your anger by asking yourself a few simple, yet powerful, questions about your situation.

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How to Get Rid of Your Anger

When at work, many of us try to deny anger we’re experiencing because, well, it’s just not appropriate. But through that denial, more anger and resentment are generated, and our suppressed anger has a way of sneaking out when we’re least expecting it. Ultimately, suppressed anger can destroy our working relationships, stall our careers, and have our reputations going in unintended directions.

Listen in to learn three questions you can explore to get rid of your anger and two emotions that hide beneath it.

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Six Quick Tips for Living with Ease

Here are six tips for exhausted humans to help you be more effective, particularly in the places where you’re considered the leader – whether that’s a formal title, a role you’ve taken on within family or friendships, or you may simply be the leader of your own life.

You may be pleased to find that all of these techniques ask you to do less – less managing, less acting, less engaging. When you begin to switch over to a place of ease, you will be amazed at how the entire energy shifts in your environment.

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The Lens and The Ladder

We often believe that what we see through the kaleidoscope lens of our experiences is the correct view, although the mirrors we put into our kaleidoscope are merely assumptions or stories we invented based on what we’ve heard, learned, seen, and done. The risk (and the challenge) is when we look at a situation through our unique view and then make decisions, try to give advice, or try to convince others that our personal view is the correct one. Listen in to hear how we leap from the facts to flawed assumptions and into faulty action, and also how to climb back down that Ladder of Inference to what’s both real and true.

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