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Entries for the 'Awkward Communication' Category

Listen In -> Awkward Communication #5: The Diplomat

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Some people are so nice that no difficult decisions ever get made.

Instead of focusing on the issue at hand, these people are concerned that everyone involved is happy. Nice but ineffective. Safe but exasperating.

There are important advantages to having strong diplomatic skills. One can communicate difficult news more effectively. One can keep dialogue going with impossible personalities. The list goes on.

There comes a point, though, when the diplomat’s need for smooth waters and happy people supercedes actual effectiveness.

For example, when it comes time to make an important decision that is going to upset some people, the diplomat will postpone the decision in hopes of creating an alternative with which everyone will beg happy. For time or opportunity sensitive decisions, such prevarication can be costly.

Is there a way to weigh the costs and benefits of choosing to be the diplomat? Are you diplomatic out of a professional conviction that such a course is the most constructive or out of a need to avoid conflict, disagreements and bargaining?

Listen in.

Just now joining the conversation? Catch up on the entire series here.

Listen In -> Awkward Communication #4: The Nagger

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Is there anything more annoying than a supervisor that doesn’t trust you? They hover over your shoulders, check in repeatedly, and ask petty follow-up questions so often that there’s hardly time to act upon the previous interruption.

We call this person the nagger.

Maybe this person is you!

The problem is different depending who on the team is the nagger.

When you are the nagger, you would be well-advised to take another look at its “effectiveness” as a communication approach.

When your boss or someone else on the team is the nagger, then you have to explore what drives their need to nag. Once you understand where they’re coming from, you’ll be better positioned to communicate why it doesn’t work with you.

Listen in. (Before you go crazy!)

Just now joining the conversation? Catch up on the entire series here.

Listen In -> Awkward Communication #3: The Intimidator

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Some people begin communications with threats, manipulations, or posturing.

These bullies shut down communication before it gets started.

Intimidation is a tool of the insecure to head off discussion, criticism, and/or reservations.

If this is you, then you are inadvertently robbing yourself of the expertise, passion and experience of those on your team.

If this is your boss, you need to find a way to keep the conversation going without getting defensive or giving up.

Many intimidators don’t consider themselves intimidating, and are mystified by the silent acquiescence of those around them. Other intimidators interpret the silence as affirmation and agreement, furthering their impression that they are right.

Is there anything you can do?

Listen in.

Just now joining the conversation? Catch up on the entire series here.

Listen In -> Awkward Communication #2: The Time-Bomb

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Where did that come from?!

She just exploded, seemingly out of nowhere, in a flood of harsh expletives.

You’ve been skipping the Tuesday planning meetings for weeks now. You’ve been under a lot of pressure, and you needed the extra time to stay on top of demands.

All these weeks your boss never said a word… that is, until today. And now the words are loud, angry and hurtful.

What went wrong?

In this week’s podcast discussion, Claudia and I discuss these ticking time-bombs.

Some people quietly let misunderstandings, disappointments and problems simmer and stew until they eventually explode in an eruption of venomous fury.

Is this you? Your boss? There are alternatives!

Listen in.

Just now joining the conversation? Catch up on the entire series here.

Listen In -> Awkward Communication #1: Learning to Embrace Messy Realities

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Communication is a messy business.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying or trying to sell something.

Yes, in a perfect world all communication would be clear, direct, concise, sensitive, and persuasive. But we do not live in a perfect world.

Instead of wishing vainly that our communications were ideal (or at least our boss’s were), what if we approached communicating as a messier, more awkward dynamic?

Claudia and I begin a new series this week entitled, “Awkward Communication”, where we explore several common communication styles.

Maybe you’ll see glimpses of yourself in these dynamics. You’ll definitely see aspects of your boss and co-workers.

More importantly, we hope you hear insights into why people slip into these ineffective practices and take away some alternatives that will serve you better.

Awkward Communication
Week #1: Learning to Embrace Messy Realities
Week #2: The Time-Bomb
Week #3: The Intimidator
Week #4: The Nagger
Week #5: The Diplomat

Listen in.