Tips for More Effective and Constructive Communication

How do you listen if someone is upset, annoyed and off-loading on you?

Listening is a much-lauded but greatly under-used skill – and not because we don’t know how to listen well.  Instead, it’s that so easily fall into the trap of trying to ‘fix’ the situation rather than taking the time to let a person talk (and think it) through and in doing that, find their own way…

Going Around in Circles in a Conversation? Here’s How to Break That Cycle

A common question in ‘Difficult Conversations for Managers’ workshops is what to do when it feels like you are in one of those fruitless dialogues, repeating the same thing without achieving anything. The other person isn’t listening or taking on board what you need them to hear or understand. A recent example was where a…

Relationships that Endlessly Frustrate: Can the Dynamic Be Changed?

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ~ Anaïs Nin The above quote neatly captures the psychological phenomenon, that while there is a factual and concrete reality out there, none of us have a truly objective view. There can be many different perceptions of the same situation. As an…

Emails…Are you Trigger Happy? Read this Before You Press ‘Send’

In the late eighties I taught in Germany on a two-year Business English programme. One of the course handbooks focused solely on writing business letters in English. The students were schooled in great detail on the etiquette and nuances of letters and memos in a variety of business contexts. These ranged from sales to commissioning…

Frustrated trying to deal with difficult behaviour? Try these 3 simple shifts

Frustrated trying to deal with difficult behaviour? Imagine you had a magic weather wand. A simple wave and you would have glorious sunshine, a gentle breeze with a cloudless blue sky above. With your magic wand you would lighten people’s moods, you’d lift people’s energy and motivation. In one swoosh, you could banish the grey…