Cultivating Communication Curiosity

Have you ever heard this expression, “He knows me so well, he can finish my sentences”? I thought of this the other day after finishing one of my communication classes. In this class we are learning to listen out of curiosity – wondering what the other person has to say and where they are coming […]

The Problem in Communication

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” –George Bernard Shaw Think about the last conversation you had. The very last one. Was it with your spouse, your co-worker, your boss, your child? Do you believe it was a successful communication? Why or why not? As the Shaw quote […]

Be an Excellent Listener

I watched a show last night called “Suits” – an implausible premise where a guy who looks like he is 16 gets a job at a high end law firm even though he has never gone to law school. He teams up with another guy who looks a little older and apparently has gone to […]

Communication and the Importance of Understanding

Different people hear and understand in different ways. A major part of the miscommunication that occurs in our lives and businesses is in assuming the way we speak is enough to create understanding in everyone. The truth is that different people often speak different languages, even when they are all “speaking English.” If you don’t take […]

How World View Affects Our Ability to Hear Others

In communication, we can assume for the most part, that people mean well. But miscommunication is rampant and it is time-consuming. When we miscommunicate, we make mistakes, we burn bridges, we cause ourselves problems that we have to clean up later. I find that one of the main factors of miscommunication can be traced to […]

Dealing with Conflict, from “Coaching for Attorneys”

From “Dealing with Communication Failure,” “Step One: Manage Your Emotions. Self-awareness is critical in preventing and, when necessary, addressing conflict situations. The better you know yourself, the more you will avoid non-productive conflict. We all have certain “triggers” or hot buttons: things that cause us to get upset in any given situation. For example, you […]

Making Stuff Up – the Key to Miscommunication

I took a class once on communication and the instructor wrote on the board, MSU, saying, “Just because I am writing it in green, it doesn’t mean Michigan State University.” I always remember that. It was about 5 years ago. She was teaching an important communication concept. Stated very elegantly, it means “making stuff up.” […]

How Interpretation Affects Communication (From “Coaching for Attorneys”)

The Feedback Loop   Example: Ms. Jones and Bob Smith Ms. Jones is telling her associate, Bob Smith, about something that happened in one of his cases. Following is the type of feedback loop that occurs in most conversations when the parties are not tuned in and practicing effective listening: Ms. Jones: Bob, the way […]

When People Don’t FEEL Heard

I misspoke yesterday and it illustrated a very important point.  I was teaching a class on communication skills, particularly the skill of listening.  Listening is definitely not a skill we are trained in.  And true listening is a practice few of us engage in. I was talking about the myriad of reasons why listening is […]

Are you Speaking Your Customers’ Language? (Enrollment, Part VII – Teach)

Survey! In preparing for our 2014 series of newsletters, McLaren Coaching would like you to take a quick (2 question) survey to assist us in providing the best content for you. Just click on this link (or paste into your computer’s browser):AECXA3S8ZEWK Now, October’s enrollment installment: The Art of Enrollment, Part VII – Teach […]