Category: Communication Tips

  • “Yes, but…”

    When someone presents an idea that has some good elements and some bad elements, it can be tempting for me to say: “Yes, but [whatever I think is wrong with their idea]” instead of: “Yes, and here’s how you could build on that idea”. “Yes, but…” can make them feel like you don’t understand what…

  • Framing

    One of my clients was trying to charge a setup fee to figure out what needs to be done for software projects before agreeing to do a big project. He got push-back on the idea of a setup fee from clients and few, if any, paid it. While working together we reframed the “setup fee”…

  • One Question for You (and testing a tip).

    Would you rather read writing like what I’ve been sending (that’s more general), or would you prefer writing that’s more specifically about communication in closing deals and navigating difficult conversations? Tip: It’s best to ask one question at a time. You’re more likely to get a response, and a more likely to get a good…

  • Read less, do less, be consistent.

    And you’ll accomplish more. I was talking to my Uncle today about how we’re both dealing with health problems and what God was teaching us through that.  One thing we are learning is to take things we used to be able to do in an hour or two of focused effort and break them into…

  • Summarize

    I take turns coaching or being coached with another new coach. He coached me recently and made little summaries as we went through our coaching call, but didn’t summarize and tie in the last part of our conversation back to the main topic at the end. We’re both learning, so it’s fine, but that gave…

  • “Do whatever you will keep doing.”

    When I was in high school, I competed in speech tournaments. In my last year I focused on the delivery of speeches rather than just the content of them. Before the second tournament that year my speech coach told me to practice my speech 5 times a day. I didn’t. I knew I wouldn’t practice…

  • What is your body telling you?

    I get ancy sometimes if I haven’t moved enough. That tends to make it easy for me to ramble in conversation, or lose concentration and miss something that was said. Pacing the hall or going for a walk helps me concentrate and be a better conversational partner. What might your body be trying to tell…

  • Sleep is an underrated communication skill.

    Getting a good night’s sleep can be the difference between successfully negotiating a deal and setting good expectations, or failing to do any of that. When we are sleep deprived, we don’t think clearly, and offen can’t find the right words. The worst part is that like drunk people don’t know when they’re drunk, sleep…

  • Assume for a moment that they’re not crazy

    If someone does something that seems crazy, it’s worth asking yourself: Assuming for a moment that they aren’t crazy, why would they do this? I’m in a leadership group online and came across a question and answer that went like this: Question: “How can I show them x when they’re missing something so obvious?” Answer:…

  • What do you mean by that?

    What do you mean by that? The  “warning signs” of the big problem my client dealt with in yesterday’s post were there, he just didn’t see them. A team member was acting like everything was under control, but almost as an aside they mentioned they were overwhelmed. He later found out that they were very…