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best way to communicate

If You Don’t Get Them on the Swings, Get Them on the Merry-Go-Round: The Platinum Rule of Communication

Gerald Rosen, a Contracts professor at Loyola Law School used to say “if you can’t get them on the swings, get them on the merry-go-round; if you can’t get them on the merry-go-round, get them on the slide; if you can get them on the slide, get them on the monkey bars.” Having heard those words lo these many years ago, I haven’t a clue as to…

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woman giving feedback to a man at work

Tips for Successfully Communicating Performance Feedback

“How many supervisors like to give performance feedback?” When this question was posed to over 500 leaders in one of the nation’s largest municipal water and power companies, a scant few raised their hands. When asked to explain why, the answers boiled down to three responses: “Because I don’t want to hurt their feelings,” “She’s my friend; I don’t want her to feel bad,” and “I don’t want to  deal with the anger.”

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focus on the issue

“Focus on the Issue, Situation or Behavior, Not the Person:” How a Zenger Miller Basic Principle Informs Consequential Communication

While employed as the Human Resources Director at Times Mirror, a former holding company for a number of media groups – newspapers, television stations, radio stations, magazines, book companies, and training companies – I had the good fortune of becoming a certified Zenger Miller facilitator, which the company considered the lead Times Mirror training organization…

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technology at our fingertips

Technology at our Fingertips: Intentional Communication

In this day and age of technology at our fingertips, methods, and modes of communication come in a variety of formats: emails, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, and websites, including personalized websites, to name some of the many. The list goes on and on, and it’s growing in leaps and bounds. While technology is…

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neutral language in one-on-one meeting

The Importance of Using Neutral Language in the Workplace

We, humans, are a bundle of many things: We are intellectual, rational, and emotional beings. A good rule to follow in the workplace is that “it’s okay to have emotions since we all do, and it’s okay to describe those emotions. However, it’s not okay to display those emotions or to act them out.” There…

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workplace diversity

Diversity and Communication: The Fork in the Road

Diversity is a wonderful thing. The benefits abound: a McKinsey study found that diverse boards of directors generate better returns and more money; a Tuft’s study concluded that diverse groups uncover more angles when serving on mock juries (which underscores the value all the more so); a combined study by Columbia, MIT, University of Texas-Dallas…

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two women using active listening

Active Listening: A Leadership Superpower

In 1956 when Dr. Carl R. Rogers and a fellow psychiatrist coined the phrase “active listening,” were they prescient? Did they know that 65 years later the skill would be needed more than ever? Did they have a crystal ball, enabling them to see how communication – the basis of all human interaction – would…

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