Communication | 1558568148 | Kent State University


Having a Disagreement? Ask Permission to Have a Conflict Conversation

Chess BoardAsking for permission to have a conflict conversation? Ned, I thought you were nuts when you suggested we get in a circle for our meetings, now I know you are.

Breaking Through Defensiveness: 5 Steps to Help Employees Hear Constructive Feedback

Program ParticipantsProviding difficult feedback to an employee is one of the most challenging tasks for a supervisor. Nobody likes having to tell someone that they are not doing a good job. And certainly nobody wants to hear it. Employee defensiveness, even complete denial of the situation, can often be a typical employee response. 

5 Guidelines for Dealing with Difficult Behaviors

Photo of a MeetingHave you ever seen an adult engage in a tantrum usually exhibited by a toddler? Have you ever been the recipient of someone’s silent treatment? Have you ever found yourself doing a favor for someone while wondering how you allowed yourself to be maneuvered into doing something you really didn’t want to do? Most of us have had experience with people who regularly break the rules of polite decorum and who frequently disregard others’ boundaries.

Just Do It: How to Identify and Address 8 Levels of Accountability

Accountability LadderIt seems that in every class I teach, I’m asked, “How can I get my direct reports to do what they are supposed to do?” I hear comments like, “I feel like I’m a babysitter” or “No one takes initiative” or “Everyone comes in and dumps their problems on me and expects me to fix them.” These comments are all too common. So how do we get our employees to take initiative and get the job done?

How to Think On Your Feet

Program ParticipantsOne of the most common questions that is asked during my presentation skills training program is “How can I better think on my feet?” You see, people may feel well prepared to deliver content, yet they feel unprepared to elaborate further on that content or they may fall apart when answering questions. Thinking on your feet spans three important areas that will be covered in this article, including: When presenting information, when elaborating and when answering questions. The key to thinking well on your feet is to decide the best approach to presenting information in a clear, concise and thoughtful way.

Why Change Management?

Program ParticipantsFifteen years ago twenty-five percent of major business change initiatives impacted less than fifty people and cost less than $100,000. Today, that same twenty-five percent impacts more than 5,000 people and costs more than $10M. This is a one hundred times increase in fifteen years! This growth has been driven by globalization and an increase in technology projects. That means projects have become one hundred times riskier.

Less is More: Strip Down Your Slides

Presentation StandEveryone has heard the quote “Less is more” - but few know who said it or what it refers to. Regardless, it perfectly applies to PowerPoint. Most presenters, though, follow the opposite school of thought that “more is more” and stuff their slides with too many words and pictures. The result is summed up in another quote by author, entrepreneur and presentation expert Seth Godin who said, “Almost every PowerPoint sucks rotten eggs.”

The #1 Way to Control Emotions During Conflict: Focus on the Issue

Issue Focused Blog Image

Emotions interfere with our ability to identify and maintain focus on the issue during conflict. The reason we are so eloquent after the conversation is over is because emotions have subsided and rational thought is now in command of our thinking. Now we know exactly what we should have said. Sometimes the emotion subsides quickly, allowing us the immediate opportunity to identify the real issue, make amends and resolve the issue. Sometimes the emotion lingers, however, resulting in grudges, plans for evening the score and counter attacks. When this happens, the original issue may be lost in an on-going drama that can last a lifetime.

When Delivering a Presentation, Look at Both Sides of Nonverbal Language

Delivering PresentationsIt’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Part of the “how” is nonverbal language. When you deliver a presentation, people observe two things: Your verbal language – the words you use – and your nonverbal language – what your body language says about you. In this article, I will present nonverbal language from two different perspectives: Your own nonverbal language that you use while delivering a presentation to others and the nonverbal language that your audience shows to you while you’re presenting. 

Making people do what you want, through writing!

Writing Action Items Blog PostNo, I’m not talking about mind control, but something much easier. Follow the below steps and you can greatly increase the probability that your reader will do what you want. First, I believe that people, in general, are helpful (but to a limit). They are willing to spend some (short) time to do what you ask of them. The key is how much time they are willing to spend.