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  • feedwordpress 04:07:31 on 2021/06/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , screen presence, , stage presence,   

    Quick Tip #106: Up Your Stage Presence in Person and on Screen 


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    In this month’s interview with Dr. Jennifer Caudle, I outline how to up your presence in person and across a screen.

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  • feedwordpress 05:01:00 on 2021/05/09 Permalink
    Tags: business comunication, , , , Policitcal correctness   

    Political Correctness in the Workplace 


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    I answered the phone to hear my client’s normally confident voice sound a little hesitant.

    “I’m not sure how to make this call, she said. First, know how much we enjoy working with you and that your evaluations are always top notch.”

    “What’s wrong” I asked.

    “Remember Tom from that training you did last week” she asked?

    “Sure, I said. Nice guy”.

    “Well, she responded, someone complained about what you said to him.”

    At first, I had no clue what she was talking about and then it hit me. As we introduced ourselves in the virtual room, I was shocked at how much Tom looked like my younger brother. I said I’ve heard everyone has a double and told him he was a double for my brother, then joked, that Tom was better looking. Everyone laughed.

    Apparently, it was no laughing matter because a woman in the program complained that it was a sexist remark.

    The definition of sexist is “prejudice or discrimination based on sex or gender, especially against women and girls.” The definition of gender discrimination is a “situation in which people are treated differently simply because they are male or female, rather than on the basis of their individual skills or capabilities”.

    I do not consider myself sexist or discriminatory toward any gender. Initially, I dismissed the woman’s offense as ridiculous and a complete overreaction. Perhaps it was. However, as I thought about it for a moment, I realized that what might not seem offensive to me can unintentionally offend someone else.

    I asked my client if she wanted me to apologize and she said no, but she was obligated to tell me that someone complained.

    In today’s environment, everyone seems to have a different tolerance level for what is being said. What upsets or offends one person may not bother someone else. It’s understandable how people can be offended if someone calls them an ugly name or makes fun of their disability. Yet, if someone told me I should not pursue a singing career because I can’t carry a tune, should I be offended? Maybe you would be, but I would appreciate their honest opinion, whether I agreed with it or not.

    So, I’m wondering if political correctness is bubbling out of control. Are we teaching the next generation to be offended by anything that bothers them? How softly do we have to walk on eggshells?

    Before you become offended by what I’m suggesting, that is, if you’re not already offended, hear me out.

    In singer-songwriter Jason Mraz’s song, Did you get my message, he asks:

    Do you ever wonder what happens to the words that we send
    Do they bend? Do they break from the flight that they take
    And come back together again? With a whole new meaning
    And a brand new sense completely unrelated to the one I sent

    Our words and the way we use them are frequently misinterpreted and taken out of context. Sometimes, it’s not what we say, but how we say it. Sometimes, how a person reacts to something we say is not our fault. So, I’ve developed a few rules of my own that I want to pass on to you.

    • Ask the right question

    For starters, if you are offended by something someone said, determine if that person was deliberately trying to offend you. Then tell them why you were offended so they develop a greater awareness and may refrain from doing it again.

    A few weeks ago, I heard a friend ask a group of friends where they get their nails done. A woman answered, “at the Asian place”. There was a discomforting silence. Then someone spoke up and said you really shouldn’t say things like that, to which the woman who made the remark responded, “say what?” After it was explained why her comment was offensive, the woman apologized and told her friends she never realized that referring to someone in those terms was discriminatory.

    • Embrace the learning opportunity

    Instead of trying to convince yourself that someone is overreacting, try to understand their      viewpoint before lashing out. You may still decide they’ve overreacted, but you may also discover why they feel the way they do.

    As an example, recently a female client told me her male manager constantly tells her not to show emotion, to speak up and be more assertive like her male colleagues. She has told her him she doesn’t want to be someone she’s not and is uncomfortable with the way he phrases feedback. He says she is too sensitive. To her, this is sexism. Other people do not have the right to invalidate your feelings by telling you how you should feel.

    • Don’t respond emotionally

    If someone is offended, don’t minimize their feelings with more words. Apologize and let it go. But don’t apologize over and over again as that continually reminds someone of your mistake and prevents the two of you from getting past it.

    • Pay attention

    Often, when someone is uncomfortable at something said, subtle body language signs such as crossed arms, raised eyebrows and facial expressions are clues that they may have been offended. Instead of continuing, take a moment to read visual clues so you can stop and assess what is happening.

    • Know when to get help

    Most of the time, the above suggestions will take the edge off, but if you can’t resolve the issue, you may need to ask for help. At work, tell your manager what happened so they can help mediate.

    I have heard some refer to those who are more easily offended than others as “thin skinned”. Some people go out of their way to be diplomatic when speaking and others simply don’t care who they offend.

    While political correctness may mean different things to different people, it is not intended to halt free speech or squash someone else’s opinion. Rather, it’s about trying to understand how certain words and how they are used can be hurtful. If those words unintentionally portray you as sexist, racist or homophobic, instead of making it about you, try to understand how these words affect others.

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  • feedwordpress 22:36:15 on 2021/05/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Quick Tip #105: Storytelling Secrets 


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    Storytelling is a big business buzzword but what does that really mean and how do you tell a story when time is short? Karen Friedman reveals game-changing secrets in this interview.

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  • feedwordpress 13:12:35 on 2021/05/01 Permalink
    Tags: , , driving, , Florida, , ,   

    How to Apply 4 Rules of the Road as Workplace Lessons 


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    On a recent trip to Florida, I observed three types of drivers.

    • Older adults. Many appear to struggle seeing clearly and have decreased reflexes which results in slow driving and slower reaction time.
    • Younger adults. Often, they speed, cutting off other drivers as they weave in and out of multiple lanes without using turn signals.
    • Out-of-towners. These people are driving unfamiliar rental cars on unfamiliar roads .Taking their eyes off the road to fiddle with their navigation apps equals a lot of distracted drivers.

    Adding these behaviors together is akin to navigating a minefield. Stressful. Frightening. Hazardous. It made me wonder if driving styles and personalities are related. According to numerous published studies, they are, and people are genuinely interested in why. Tom Vanderbilt’s book Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do and What It Says About Us, examines the psychology of human beings behind the steering wheel is a best seller. Vanderbilt observes driving is one of the most complex things we do in our lives and when we forget that it’s not as easy as it seems, we get into trouble.

    Wanting to learn more, I came across a quiz at LittleThings.com asking readers to determine which driving style best matches their personality. For example, the quiz positions an “Adventurer” as a risk taker who enjoys thrilling activities like bungee jumping and skydiving. I imagine that means this person is a more aggressive driver who will grab the road with gusto.

    Then there is the opposite labeled “Nervous Nellie”, an anxious person who shies away from high-risk activities. On the road, Nellies probably takes it slow and plays it safe and may take longer to make decisions.

    Then I began to wonder how this translates to the workplace. If someone who is a perfectionist was taught to keep their hands at “10 and 2” on the wheel and always does, does that mean they are more likely to be as exacting at work? If so, how does their pursuit of perfection affect their ability to interact with others? Are they more likely to decide their way is the right way?

    While there is a good amount of literature on how personality affects driving behaviors, statistics vary according to age groups and countries. However, in my experience working closely with leaders and their employees, I believe habits of all drivers regardless of age or location can also offer us valuable lessons when handling life’s lanes.

    Don’t take it personally

    While you might be horrified by the driver who pulls in front of you with very little room to make a left-hand turn from a right-hand lane, even though their behavior puts you in danger, their aggression may not be directed toward you. At work, you also can’t control what others say and do. You can only control what you say and do and that should be your focus.

    Set an example

    If someone is tailgating you and blaring their horn, it’s imperative to stay calm and if you can, move out of the way. On the road and at work, you may prevent the situation from escalating. You are also setting an example and taking responsibility for your own actions. Attitude matters.

    Adapt and adjust

    If traffic is backed up for miles and you are going to be late to an appointment, do you sit for hours or do you look for alternative routes? Probably the latter. Developing problem solving skills and the ability to change lanes is not something that comes easy to everyone. Improving these skills can build confidence and improve credibility at work.

    Be present

    It’s normal to check our rear-view mirror or glance at a billboard because most of the time our gaze is on the road in front of us. When we fidget with our phones and other technology, accidents are more prone to happen. At work, it’s also important to focus and be present when others are speaking to us.

    Finally, while older, younger and out-of-town drivers are not limited to Florida, regardless of where the road takes you, it’s important to remember the rules of the road apply to everyone regardless of title or position. Having your own unique style is great as long as expressing it doesn’t put others in harm’s way.

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  • feedwordpress 15:20:43 on 2021/04/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Quick Tip #104: Talking to the C-Suite 


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    Talking to senior executives can be intimidating for even the most seasoned presenter. In this interview, Friedman reveals quick tips to help you make the most of your next C-Suite conversation.

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