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Archive for category: Effective Communication

Jitters Going Back to School?

It is a new type of school year for everyone, and that is bringing uncertainty to all ages. Typically there are some jitters going back to school, are we’re all well aware that this year will be like no other.

Below are some tips that may be helpful for your family as you all ease into this school transition. These will apply if your student is being homeschooled, learning virtually, or attending in person classes.

  1. Before your child starts school, have an honest conversation with them about what to expect. It will help them make the transition.
  2. Let your child vent. Everybody needs somebody who is their sounding board. Let them talk about what is on their mind and be sure to take the time to actively listen. Be there for them and guide them in their thinking. Let them know everything will be okay and that you believe this decision is the best for them. Be consistent in your reminders as they adjust to their new normal.
  3. Let your child personalize their space and supplies. Let your student pick out their new supplies and decorate their learning space if possible. The in person class might be different vs. learning at home, and make a learning space in your home for them to complete their work will support them. Allow them to decorate this space instead. Having a meaningful space will encourage learning.
  4. Places. Things. These offer foundational support:
    1. Your student needs people in their life who believes in them, is there to offer them a safe space to vent, and gently guides them whenever possible.
    2. Your student needs places to feel supported. Their environment or learning space is more important than ever. Let them design it, invest in furniture that supports their learning posture, and so what if they want to paint the walls – they can always be repainted at some time.
    3. The ‘things’ for the student is just that, their favorite ‘thing’. Whether it be a poster, book, toy, picture, etc – have the ‘thing’ in their space that they enjoy and that relaxes them.
  5. Have a daily routine will help and encourage positive behavior. Take time out to enjoy the outdoors and breathe in fresh air. Spend time together doing something fun that you both enjoy.

Take it one day at a time. We are all working with so many unknowns right now. We will get through this together.

Back to the Basics: Handwritten Notes

Take the time to slow down and think about who has been on your mind lately. We are use to communicating with others by sharing url’s, browsing through social media, and reading texts and emails.

However, those communications come and go.

As you’ll see on the image, this is a part of my office wall. It is filled with notes from people who have been meaningful to me over the years. I still reflect on the notes and the relationship with that person.

As another way to reach out, consider writing a handwritten note to the person you are thinking about. This doesn’t have to be difficult. Take in account the following tips when writing.

  • Schedule time to write in your calendar so it happens consistently.
  • Write or type your message. Get out your thoughts and edit your message. This way, when you write the message on the actual card you’re sending, you won’t waste 10 cards in the process.
  • Write with your favorite notecard and pen. This will help you to slow down and think about your handwriting itself. Think about how your writing looks as you go. I’m better off writing notes in the afternoon when my hand has warmed up!  We want others to be able to read it!
  • This may seem obvious, yet make sure you spell the person’s name correctly. It is often easy to forget how to spell somebody’s name without it being in front of you. This could diminish the effort you put into writing your note.
  • Let the person know you genuinely care about them and you are thinking about them.
  • Check out this link for notecards you may enjoy:

Think about these tips as you write your handwritten message. Take your time and have fun with it! Set a goal of 3-5 notes per week and notice what happens!

We would love to hear how this supports you and your relationships. Feel free to comment below.

Together Series: Creating Together

Most likely you’re reading this on your mobile or tablet, so we’d like you to consider now the genuine power that you’re viewing as one avenue of togetherness: Creating.

Here’s a Prime Example of Creating Together

Let’s review a simple case study in creating together: Apple. The year is 2007, there is plenty of hype, hunger, and hope with what could very well be the greatest technological advancement by many estimations. The iPhone is unveiled and it is, in an instant, widely produced, promoted, and purchased. In the first two days alone, 250,000 were sold. Some three years later, we were shown the iPad.

Each app is not created, produced, and offered by Apple. No, there are creators and contributors across the world who have chosen to accept the Creative Party invitation Apple sent out to the world. A decade ago, the App Store had more than 300,000 applications. A study done in September of last year revealed there are now over 2 Million apps in the App Store. That number, is of course as you can imagine, growing steadily.

As even this Apple product user would agree that life has changed quite a bit due to the functionality and friendliness of their products, what is far more impressive is these thousands upon thousands of apps available to us. This is the power of togetherness.

Why is this? It’s certainly not because experts are keen on inventing more and more software. As lucrative as that may be, it doesn’t reveal the almost magical reason why there are various app offerings. I’d like to propose to you it’s because Apple is making it very welcome to create together.

As even this Apple product user would agree that life has changed quite a bit due to the functionality and friendliness of their products, what is far more impressive is these thousands upon thousands of apps we can find in Apple’s App Store. This is the power of togetherness.

Amateurs and idea enthusiasts have found a safe place to explore their solutions and offer their findings. As leaders, we should be doing the same for those we have been assigned to.

A few helpful links:

Apple’s Inclusion and Diversity Web page :Click here

NY Times on App Store Content: Click here

How can we promote a more welcoming environment where people around us are empowered to take risks? What are some things we can say and do in each of our realms of influence to communicate I believe you have something to offer, be that a talent, a gift, an idea. I want to make sure your voice is heard and your ideas receive the validation they deserve.

As leaders, this is sometimes a challenge. If we think a person’s idea will overshadow our position as a leader, and we put up roadblocks for a person’s growth, then we really shouldn’t be leading in the first place. When we are leading, we must do all we can so that people become the absolute best version of themselves and have every available resource they need to do just that.

Let’s make the move. Deliver the truth. Set up others for success and, we might even find that our ability to create will become exponential when we do it: Together.

So, the question is, what are you willing to create in your community or culture that would require some bravery on your part? Have you been withholding any truth you want to declare to your people because, even in a small way, you think it would cause someone to shine brighter than you?

In the comments, would you be so bold as to share your greatest opportunity to build an environment that encourages creating together?

Together series: A Powerful Force

When you add the word ‘together’, a phrase and its meaning undergoes significant changes.

  • Working… becomes:   Working together. Which becomes an accomplishment.
  • Creating… becomes:   Creating together.  Which becomes an invention.
  • Thinking… becomes:  Thinking together. Which becomes an innovation.
  • Relaxing… becomes:   Relaxing together. Which becomes a regeneration.
  • Eating… becomes:       Eating together.      Which becomes a celebration.

When are leaders at their best? Could we be audacious enough to propose that the answer is, you guessed it, together.

Above are five examples of things we’ve all done alone. And yet, when combined with this reality that we are at our very best when we are accomplishing, growing, progressing… together. And now we have the opportunity to be together…apart…

As a leader, do you TRULY believe that you are at your best when you are relationally healthy, well connected, and including others in your vision?

This surpasses imagination, prose, and theory. When we do things and take action together, we instantly become a powerful force.

In your company or organization, do you have the culture of all the creating resting on the shoulders of one person, or do you create collectively? How would your own creativity transform and develop if you included others in the conversation?

Share your own ideas and things you’ve done to spark togetherness in your leadership.


Together. Eight letters that, together, create one powerful word.

Typically, people meet together. You talk together. You travel together. You work to solve problems together. You live together. You play together. You create together. …and so on…

People are endlessly invited into the experience of togetherness.

Over 7,500,000,000 people on the planet, and you are in relationships with a select number of them. As human beings across the globe, we are all now, in a very real sense, together.

As leaders, we truly are better – together. Before March 2020, it seemed that heart to heart connections with others may have been forced or uncomfortable. The broad range of electronic tools, apps, and screen related avenues to “talk” with people while connecting us in a more meaningful way, was eluding us.

And many of you are currently experiencing how the broad range of electronic tools available to us are creating togetherness now.

I’d like to propose that the word, which is firmly supporting these influential times in your own history, is the word: together.

  • The word is filled with meaning and inspiration. It makes all the difference between a group of individuals plotting their own course and a unified team.
  • The word symbolizes the culmination of actions individuals can take and fits them, piece by piece, into collective power.
  • This powerful expression describes how individuals can collaborate to achieve extraordinary results – together.

Leadership is about togetherness. It’s about creating as one, adventuring uncharted waters as one, learning as one, transforming as one, working as one, innovating as one, operating as one, and managing as one.

It’s quite possible that during this time we are currently in, you have the opportunity to re-evaluate the strength of togetherness in your family, in your community and in your workplace. Could a fresh vision for connections shift from an antiquated “command and control” model to a more empowering, supportive and successful “agile and adaptable” model?

What would your influence as a leader look like on a daily basis if you intentionally began using the word ‘together’ more?

We’d love to hear your ideas on how you are bringing people closer together, and how togetherness plays a role in your leadership. Please comment below with your supportive ideas and thoughts on the value of togetherness in today’s current global situation.

Tools for Making Meaningful Connections

Tools for Making Meaningful Connections

How we meet and make new business connections may have changed significantly with all of the technology now available to us, and it still remains a critical component to the longevity of small and large businesses alike.

The standard operating procedure for making contacts and generating leads may vary significantly depending on your industry, products and services – and there are still a few human communication basics that continue to apply to meeting new people who may become important contacts for your career and business success.

One key networking tool to know and keep relevant is the 30 second elevator speech. By practicing how to quickly share your company’s vision and its relevancy to the person to whom you are speaking is still an important tool in your networking toolbox.

Find out what the contact may need by

  • asking questions,
  • listening,
  • watching for non-verbal clues, and
  • hunting for how you can help or support.

Check out this article on the 7 Key Components of a Perfect Elevator Pitch.  Also, consider following up by reaching out to connect on LinkedIn so you can continue to deepen your business relationships when a communication opportunity presents itself.  This gives you the opportunity for ideas on how you may be able to help each other and helps you to create additional brand touch points which are essential when converting contacts to clients.

While we are on the subject of LinkedIn, we should also talk about making sure your profile supports your 30 second elevator speech by being current. Include examples of major projects that are relevant to your current position. Consider how you are leveraging LinkedIn to demonstrate your knowledge of your industry such that more contacts would like to connect with you. If you are new to LinkedIn here a few videos that can help you get started.

What is LinkedIn In 5 minutes

Building an Awesome Profile on LinkedIn

Connecting with Others on Linkedin

Remember, another classic is your business card. No matter where you are in your career or where you are headed, a business card says you are prepared. A great business card is another great brand touch yet can be forgotten. Need a little refresher on business cards? Check out this blog for the ABCs of Business Cards.

Keeping the brand alive means touching new contacts through social media, phone calls, face to face, and emails. You may be amazed to find your business growing by setting a goal of reaching out to 5 new contacts per week. Give it a try, along with these tools, and share your success with us.

7 Effective Communication Tips

7 Effective Communication Tips

Effective communicators talk about their ideas, by doing it in a way that speaks to their audience’s emotions and ambitions –listening whether it’s one person or a room of hundreds or thousands. Effective communicators realize that if their message doesn’t resonate with the audience then it likely won’t be understood, much less championed.  They are skilled at developing rapport with a person/group by sensing the subtleties, attitudes, values and concerns of those they’re communicating with.

Listed below are 7 Effective Communication Tips that may prove helpful during your next interaction…which just may happen immediately after you’ve finished reading this post!

1. Authentic Communication. There is great truth in this adage: “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Focus on being clear and real. When you are willing to communicate with the spirit of caring rather than the arrogance of ego, you will be demonstrating a level of authenticity that will be well received by others.

2. Be Visible. It’s easy to hide behind a computer or a closed door. Communication through technology is no substitute for face-to-face and voice-to-voice interactions. People are pulled in many different directions these days, and need to feel a personal connection to you and what you believe in.  MBWA is still relevant in today’s world.

3. Keep it Simple.  Learn to communicate with clarity. An effective communicator will take a complex message and simplify it for their audience. Don’t give them the opportunity to tune you out.  They’re probably being bombarded 24/7 by information, making it hard to hear your message. Simplicity has never been more powerful or appreciated.

4. Focus on Giving. Approach each interaction by being a selfless servant.  Give more than you receive and you will achieve your result. The more you focus on their wants and needs rather than making it about you and your agenda, the better the end result.

5. Have an Open Mind. Be willingly to interact with any ‘devils advocates’ or ‘naysayers’, as they may have a perspective that’s important for you to consider. Being willing to approach those who challenge you is an opportunity for you to stretch, learn and grow.

6. Listen Aggressively. The most effective communications take place within two-way conversations. Effective communicators know how to ask good questions, and then listen with both their eyes and ears.  They realize that both verbal and nonverbal cues are important. My clients really appreciate it when I coach them during a session – not necessarily on what they do say; rather, what they don’t say.  That comes from aggressive listening.  When you master this skill, you’ll be way ahead of the game.

7. Preparation Comes First. Effective communicators don’t just talk to hear themselves speak.  They are thoughtful about the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of their communication before any interaction. Have a clear message with the intention of communicating it so that it is of interest to others. Spending a little extra time on the front-end may save you considerable aggravation on the back-end.

Most importantly, keep in mind that effective communication is not about you or your opinions. It’s about helping others by meeting their needs, understanding their concerns, and adding value to their world. Taking action on one or more of these tips is a positive start to enhancing your effective communication skills.

Joy is an experienced Coach who has guided many clients towards becoming effective communicators.  Contact Joy today at (612) 227-8922 to begin providing effective communications to your people!

How to Cultivate Business Passion From Your Team

How to Cultivate Business Passion From Your Team

110 percentAs a team leader are you creating passion from your team or dread?

Creating a workplace that enables creativity and passion to flow is up to you–the leader. You may be thinking you are doing all the right things, but actually it is easy to slip into bad habits that can cause more harm than good. In order to increase productivity, happiness, and excitement from your team, the environment you create is key.

Are you ready? Check out the list below to get your business moving in the right direction.

15 Do’s and Don’t to Keep Your Work Environment Innovative, Healthy, and Creative

1. Do speak authentically and openly.

2. Don’t speak when someone else is talking.

3. Do listen and be open to ideas from others.

4. Do hold yourself and others accountable.

5. Do admit mistakes.

6. Don’t think small or allow others to think small.

7. Don’t take others for granted.

8. Do show your appreciation.

9. Do provide honest and genuine feedback.

10. Don’t give less than 100%.

11. Do show you care and are interested.

12. Don’t gossip or allow others to gossip.

13. Don’t stomp on anyone’s idea.

14. Do allow others to use their strengths.

15. Don’t be afraid to give up control.

Building a business that you and others are proud of starts with you. Create an atmosphere that enables your team to be passionate about where they work, which ultimately leads to your success.

Do you need to make changes? What kind of atmosphere are you creating? Share your thoughts and comments below–we’d love to hear.