He can Compress the Most Words

“He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met.”

—Abraham Lincoln, referring to a lawyer

Image saying "Effective Communication = big ideas expressed in small words"

How would you like to be the one talked about in today’s quote?

In a world in which efficient and effective communication is paramount to keeping up with or staying ahead of the pack, this characteristic won’t do.

One of my clients is an expert in the area of cyber-security. He has an amazing ability to communicate big and important ideas on this complex subject in simple, everyday language we can all understand. As you might guess, he has a line of people at his door, hoping he can help them navigate their cyber-security minefields.

EXERCISE:

What changes can and will you make in your communication efforts to pack the biggest ideas into the smallest word packages to better realize the levels of achievement and success you desire?

Friday Review Silence

FRIDAY REVIEW: SILENCE

How long has it been since you’ve spent time in total silence? Here are a few silence-related posts you may have missed. Click to read the full message.

 

“The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy. They come when the mind is still, when silence speaks loudest.”

 

 

 

“Silence is one of the great arts of communication.”

 

 

 

 

“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.”

 

 

 

 

Raise Your Words

“Raise your words not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers not thunder.”

-Rumi, 13th-century Persian poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic

Image from www.stuckindc.com

Image from www.stuckindc.com

A fundamental conversation I have with each new coaching client involves the qualities and characteristics of effective leaders.

The characteristics describing effective leaders include: visionary, passionate, inspiring, empowering, service-oriented, having integrity, and being approachable. The words these leaders use to speak about their views of a better future are like the rain to a flower. They help people and organizations grow.

Alternatively, we have all seen the “Thundering Taskmaster” types who repress and suppress those around them and often create environments of fear, intimidation, and retribution.

EXERCISE:

What can you do to be the kind of leader that attracts followers by raising your words rather than your voice?

“Live in such a way…”

“Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it.”

-Author Unknown

Image from thestar.com

Image from thestar.com

During the very early stages of a new coaching relationship, I often give my clients the assignment to describe their best future self. This exercise forces each individual to look deeply at the qualities and characteristics they wish to develop and expand upon during the course of our relationship and beyond.

We employ a strategy in which they examine past and current role models they admire and respect, knowing that if others could act and achieve such remarkable things, it is possible for them as well.

EXERCISE:

Upon your passing, what would you like others in your personal and professional worlds to say about you?

What adjustment will you make in the way you live today to guarantee this as your legacy?

“Be brave enough…”

“Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.”

—Author Unknown

QC #889

One of my favorite and most recommended books on effective communications is titled “Fierce Conversations” by Susan Scott.

The word “fierce” can be defined as robust, intense, strong, powerful, passionate, eager, and unbridled – all of which point to the impact the conversation can make if held with positive intent and mastery.

The problem on many occasions is that most of us avoid such conversations due to the fear that often accompanies high-stakes situations.

EXERCISE:

Where is it necessary in either your personal or professional life to summon the courage to have more fierce conversations?

Consider reading and studying Scott’s book to tackle tough challenges, tap into your deep aspirations, and enrich the relationships that matter most in your life.

“Be a voice, not an echo.”

“Be a voice, not an echo.”

-attributed to Albert Einstein

Image from Flickr by Shawn Harquail

Image from Flickr by Shawn Harquail

For many years I have been a fan of TED talks. The subtitle for these 15-20 minute presentations is “Ideas Worth Spreading.” In recent years, this format has expanded worldwide through the TEDx format. Most major cities have held numerous conferences where local leaders and influencers give voice to their best ideas.

In a world of social media and sound bites, many of us often find ourselves reposting and retweeting, echoing ideas from others that certainly inform and entertain.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you better capture your voice and share your best ideas with others in your professional and personal communities?

If you were asked to give your own TED talk, what topic would you choose?

“People change and forget…”

“People change and forget to tell each other.”

—Lillian Hellman, American dramatist and Broadway screenwriter

Photo from onthejob.45things.com

Photo from onthejob.45things.com

Coaching as a profession has been around for over 20 years, and is estimated as a two billion (or more) dollar industry. Fundamental to the coaching process is the desire for both individuals and organizations to change for the better.

Rooted in this change process is the strong desire for a better future, and in particular, a high level of social support by friends, family, colleagues, and of course, coaches.

Open communication and clarity around this desire, along with some description of what behaviors are to be expected, are critical for optimal success.

EXERCISE:

Where are you currently trying to change something in either your professional or personal life? How can you communicate this intention to those around you to rally the social support necessary for this change to occur and be sustained?

“Although we are responsible for…”

“Although we are responsible for our own happiness, having a friend who opens more doors than we close is truly one of life’s greatest blessings.”

-Author Unknown

 photo from ilicoreleadership.org

photo from ilicoreleadership.org

If you happen to believe the adage, “No man is an island,” today’s quote is for you. In virtually no area of human achievement do you see any great, overwhelming examples of the “Lone Ranger Approach” succeeding in the long run. And come to think of it, even the Lone Ranger had Tonto by his side.

EXERCISE:

How can you further your own happiness journey by fostering better, deeper, and more satisfying personal and professional friendships?  Where can you be an even more valuable friend and blessing to others?

“Surround yourself with people who…”

“Surround yourself with people who make you hunger for life, touch your heart, and nourish your soul.”

—Author Unknown

Photo from lovetoknow.com

Photo from lovetoknow.com

Over the years I have repeatedly heard that each of us is a close reflection of the five people with whom we spend the most time.

If this is true—or at least somewhat accurate—examine your five most prominent personal and professional relationships to see how they make you hunger for life, touch your heart, and nourish your soul.

One way to progress in this area is to give the same support back to those five people, simply because you can. By making such an investment in others, I hope you will discover the wondrous gift of reciprocity that will leave you with even more than when you began.

EXERCISE:

Share this quote with at least one person in your personal and/or professional life. Please share with them your sincere desire to contribute to their life. Be prepared to let them know how to best support you when they ask.

people who make me forget to look at my phone

“I like to hang out with people who make me forget to look at my phone.”

—Author Unknown

Photo from Flickr by Michael Coghlan

Photo from Flickr by Michael Coghlan

Although the smart phone is one of the most amazing devices ever invented, it does have a dark side.

Walk into any restaurant and you’ll see people out to eat as a family, yet tuning out of the experience by looking down at their phones, texting friends or scrolling through social media feeds. What does this mean in terms of the relationships and interpersonal communications that “make the world go round”?

In this YouTube video from Global Report News, we learn that those who are so deeply attached to their phone that they can’t turn it off no matter where they are or what company they are keeping, are less likely to be happy than those who can resist a ring or turn their phones completely off.

A Kent State University Study of 500 students showed that those who were avid mobile phone users suffered from higher anxiety, and their class work was inferior to those who were able and willing to switch off. The phone heightened their anxiety, and many felt obligated to keep in constant touch. I would expect the results to be similar, if not even more profound, if the study were replicated in the workforce.

What if you were to give particular attention today to how often the people around you tune out the rest of the world by focusing on their “magic box”? Great observation spots for this activity would be at the conference table, walking to and from a parking lot, during meals at restaurants or in your home, the library – even in houses of worship. What do you notice?

EXERCISE:

If you could have a meal with any fascinating person in the world – current, or historical – whom would you choose? How likely would you be to answer your phone in the midst of this meal? How would you feel if they cut you off to take a chatty, informal call? How can you become so interested and engaged that you would never think of of answering or checking your phone, without good reason, in the presence of another person?