Remember Your First Work Friend?

Remember Your First Work Friend?

When was the last time you called to touch base with a friend for no reason at all? Or you sent a text with no mission in mind other than to let someone know you were thinking of them? Or you shot off a quick email, just to say hi? You might guess those random contacts would be unwelcome interruptions in their busy day. Who has time to respond to a quick hello, a remark about the weather, or a waving emoji? Turns out if that’s your assumption, you’re mistaken. (And I was right there with you.)

Go Ahead … Pick Up that Phone

Go Ahead … Pick Up that Phone

When was the last time you called to touch base with a friend for no reason at all? Or you sent a text with no mission in mind other than to let someone know you were thinking of them? Or you shot off a quick email, just to say hi? You might guess those random contacts would be unwelcome interruptions in their busy day. Who has time to respond to a quick hello, a remark about the weather, or a waving emoji? Turns out if that’s your assumption, you’re mistaken. (And I was right there with you.)

When Communication Caves In …

When Communication Caves In …

Communication breaks down. There’s so much free-floating irritation these days, so many reasons to be peeved—and even outraged. I know they say, “feel your feelings.” I’m just not sure those feelings are that good for any of us. So, I offer my experience with the alderman’s assistant as a sort of template. When a conversation gets heated, we can realize we don’t know what’s been going on in the other person’s world. Here are some useful things we can all do …

Two Big Take-Aways for You

Two Big Take-Aways for You

They call it “retail politics”—reach more people, talk directly with voters, interacting with supporters, skipping the filter of the media, social and otherwise. It’s going out of fashion in some quarters, but in local campaigns, you still see candidates attending small gatherings, greeting people at commuter stations and grocery stores, even ringing doorbells for a chat on the front porch. In our own businesses, not unlike in politics, we look for faster, easier ways to reach more people in less time. And yet. That direct contact with customers, prospects, and referral sources is so valuable. When we do it well …

Zoom Hygiene Still Counts

Zoom Hygiene Still Counts

I staggered from the room bleary-eyed, frazzled, and wobbly. Frank took one look at my face and said, “Listen, Princess, maybe we should go out for a bite tonight. You don’t really feel like cooking, do you?” I must have looked like I’d been through the war. I felt that way too. I was finally emerging from a Zoom meeting. After six long hours.
I was Zoomed out. Maybe you’ve been there?

The Keys to Successful Selling

The Keys to Successful Selling

When I was at a consulting firm, we always suggested our clients consider their guiding values about work and about selling. Those are the deep beliefs that we may not even articulate often, but they’re part of our world view, and probably have been since childhood. Examining my own guiding values about selling, I concluded that I came by my reluctance naturally. I grew up hearing negative messages about sales. My dad used to call himself, with tongue only slightly in cheek, a public servant. I can remember his stories about guys coming into his office pushing some gizmo or other. Trying to persuade him that their big idea was just the thing he needed. Let’s just say his accounts were … not complimentary. His dad, on the other hand, was (get this) a classic traveling salesman.

The Path from Furious to Curious

The Path from Furious to Curious

No wonder organizations are asking for my expertise on civil discourse. It’s getting tougher all the time, isn’t it, to explore differing perspectives on issues without sinking to negativity and name-calling. I’ve been developing ideas about that since my days as a talk show host, and I had a chance last week to share them with some savvy professional women. So, howd o we go from furious to curious?

Talking, Teasing, and Triumph

Talking, Teasing, and Triumph

If I never came across the phrase “bullied over a childhood speech impediment” in another news story it would be a wonderful thing.
There it is, in the profiles of the Uvalde, Texas school shooter. The young man was a classic misfit who had, among his many other issues, “a stutter and a strong lisp.” Friends and family say the kids had always picked on him about the way he talked; it got so bad he didn’t want to go to school. They’re not excusing his murderous rampage, and I’m certainly not either. I am saying it’s a shame kids, and sometimes adults too, are so mean about speech difficulties. And it’s so sad when students don’t get help to deal with those difficulties.
As you might have guessed, I have a personal interest in this teasing about talking …

How Big is Your Voice?

How Big is Your Voice?

As important as our words are, our voices also send a message, quite apart from the language we use in any given situation. It’s worth considering what that message might be and whether it serves us well. The author of Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges says when we feel powerful our voices grow. “When we feel powerful,” Amy Cuddy explains, we initiate speech more often. “We speak more slowly and take more time. We don’t rush. We’re not afraid to pause. We feel entitled to the time we’re using.” Ahhh. That’s interesting, isn’t it?