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Thursday, August 7, 2014

10 Things Great Communicators Do Well

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Author, Judson Edwards, identified several universal principles that great communicators practice on a regular basis.  Although the principles he identified are excellent, I have made some modifications to his list. In addition, I have also contributed several of my own thoughts in order to speak more clearly about the personal communication and relationship difficulties you may face on an every day basis. I am convinced that if you consistently apply these principles you can become a great communicator both at work and at home.

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Todd

1. Agree more, argue less

Contentious people are simply more difficult to get along with. While you may have strong opinions (and may be right much of the time), it will not matter if it comes across as combative or argumentative. Learn to respect people’s ability to have their own opinion and beliefs. Be understanding, forgiving and gracious in your dealings with others. Know that often, the most important thing is not to make sure people know you are right.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Why Most People Avoid Conflict… and Why You Shouldn’t

If you can think and talk, and if you ever come in contact with other people, there is the potential for conflict. Conflict is an inevitable, completely normal part of the human condition, yet most people readily admit that they intentionally avoid anything that even remotely resembles disagreement or confrontation.  In fact, much of my work in relational counseling and coaching involves helping people to understand – and even embrace – the value of conflict and overcome the fears that feed their aversion.

avoid conflict

There are a number factors that can influence conflict avoidance, such as self-doubt, lack of assertiveness, inadequate communication skills, fear of rejection, disapproval, criticism, loss of security and more.  In other words, people avoid conflict in order to minimize perceived threats to their self-esteem and sense of well-being.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Sherlock Strategy: Guaranteed to Improve Communication

Do you want your personal and professional relationships to be stronger and more satisfying? If, like most people, your answer is “of course”, then I want to share a very powerful communication tool that has the potential to transform your relationships.

Magnifying Glass and question signs, Isolated On White BackgrounI refer to this communication tool as the Sherlock Strategy.  Named after the famed detective, this practice of effective inquiry simply involves the ability to ask timely and relevant open-ended questions for the purpose of increasing accurate understanding of another person’s thoughts, feelings and needs.  The great Sherlock Holmes could always dig past the obvious to see what was really going on.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Discouraged? How to Stay Up in a Down World

Looking at all of the bad news, tragedy, and hardship that floats through the world today, be it on television, the Internet, or word of mouth from friends and neighbors, there may be times where you feel overwhelmed and discouraged. Sometimes, you may even just want to curl up into a ball and stop all the noise from creating such a catastrophic uneasiness.

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For many, the challenge of rising above the pain and discouragement of life is very difficult. Although you can not eliminate grief and disappointment from your life, the effective tips below can help you in your effort to stay up in a down world.

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sticks and Stones: The Power of Words

When most couples begin marriage counseling they typically report experiencing very low levels of marital satisfaction, which is not surprising.  It’s also not that surprising to have some couples tell me upfront that they are already giving divorce serious consideration, but thought they needed to at least be able to tell their children and families that they gave counseling a try.

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One such couple recently told me that the majority of their conversations were filled with sarcasm, criticism and other negative forms of communication and neither one could stand the hurt and anger any longer.

Monday, July 14, 2014

10 Tips to Help You Stop Interrupting

In a recent coaching session, a client asked if I could help him break the habit of interrupting.  He told me that several team members had confronted him about frequently talking over them – interrupting.  They were honest enough to tell him just how much it had become a consistent source of frustration for them.  In collaboration with my client, we came up with several strategies that ultimately helped him to virtually eliminate his “communication destroyer” habit.

One of the quickest ways to shut down communication is to interrupt.  When someone repeatedly interrupts others it not only derails communication, but it also diminishes the trust and respect people have for them.

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If your relationships are compromised due to a habit of interrupting I encourage you to read and practice the 10 Tips to Help You Stop Interrupting below.

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day – They Paid the Price

On July 4, 1974, Paul Harvey aired his commentary, They Paid the Price, on his The Rest of the Story radio broadcast.  I have posted it today because I believe it is a great reminder of some of the sacrifices that were made in order for us to experience the freedom and liberty we have and celebrate this July 4th.

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

Independence Day

July 4, 1974 – Paul Harvey, News and Commentary

Americans, you know the 56 men who signed our Declaration of Independence that first 4 of July–you know they were risking everything, don’t you?–’cause if they won their war with the British, there’d be years of hardship and a struggling nation. If they lost they’d face a hangman’s noose. And yet there where it says, “We herewith pledge, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor,” they did sign. But did you know that they paid the price?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Getting Control of Your Anger – Part II

In my last blog I shared the first four of seven practical tips for managing your anger well. They were:

1.  Understand what anger is

2. Control your initial response

3. Acknowledge your anger and its source

4. Tell yourself the truth

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Those are the critical first steps to balancing the inner issues (thought processes) that set you up for either success or failure in anger management. Now let’s look at some external actions and choices you can make to help you put a stop to unhealthy reactions to anger.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Getting Control of Your Anger – Part I

One of the major roadblocks to strong relationships, both at home and at work, is the inability to effectively manage one’s emotions. Of all the emotional, psychological and physical responses we experience in life, anger is perhaps the most challenging to process and control on a consistent basis.

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How you choose to respond to your anger will make a difference in the quality of your relationships, your physical and emotional well being and your effectiveness in bringing about positive and constructive change in your life.

Today we will look at the first four of seven practical tips you can use to help manage your anger more effectively.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tips for Holding Team Members Accountable

If you want to jeopardize the productivity and performance of your team and at the same time compromise trust and respect, DON’T hold your team members accountable. Before you protest, “But trying to get my co-workers to do anything always causes trouble,” let’s look at some facts.

accountableIn his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni lists the fourth dysfunction as Avoidance of Accountability – ducking the responsibility to call peers on counterproductive behavior that could harm the team.  Failure to maintain an organizational culture that values and demonstrates a high standard of excellence invites mediocrity, low morale, mistrust, and employee disengagement. Those are not the characteristics of a winning team!