The danger of “how to” scripts

There’s growing awareness that excellent communication is a make-or-break factor for success, whether for an individual leader developing their career, or an executive team running a large organization. But just how can a leader become more empathetic and more prepared to have these challenging, often difficult, yet essential conversations-that-matter? One could start with books; there are plenty out there, many …

gljudson Better conversations, Empathy, Leadership

Are you part of the 69%?

Sixty-nine percent. That’s how many managers say there’s “something about their role” that makes them uncomfortable communicating with their employees. It’s from a research survey conducted in 2016 by Interact Authentic Communication. I’d be very interested to know how many non-managers are uncomfortable communicating with their managers. I’m guessing it would be at least 69%, and probably more. I find this …

gljudson Better conversations, Empathy

Are you okay?

Simple questions. The answers seem straightforward. But are they? It’s a matter of interpretation. And misinterpretation can lead to fractured relationships, undercut credibility, and delayed projects. The question: “Are you okay?” Pat: “No.” Devon: “Yeah.” What Pat really means: “I have a headache and I’m tired; I don’t feel well, and that’s not okay.” What Devon really means: “I have a headache and I’m …

gljudson Better conversations

Does empathy belong in the workplace?

What’s your biggest challenge in feeling understood? Not just thinking or believing that the other person understands what you’re saying. Truly feeling understood. Does that seem like a weird question? I ask because for each of us as individuals, the deepest goal of communication is to feel (not just “be”) understood. This is more than intellectual understanding; it’s the experience of connection with another person …

gljudson Better conversations

Are you … manipulative?

What do you think: are you manipulative? I wish there was an easy way to pause the display of this page for 60 seconds for you to think about your answer – and not just your answer, but the whole experience of reading the question and then answering. What does the question feel like? Where does it land in your body? …

gljudson Better conversations, Values

Words matter

Recently, a friend mentioned that her partner had written her a note before heading off on a business trip. “Please remember to water the baby peas.” My friend told me she’d have no problem remembering – and, more importantly, doing – this. If the note had read, “Please remember to water the garden,” it might not have ended well for the seedlings. The words …

gljudson Better conversations

An alternative to “safe space”

“This is a safe space.” We hear that a lot in coaching, counseling, consulting, and even in business meetings. Groups on Facebook and on LinkedIn are touted as “safe space” where we can feel comfortable in the company of like-minded people: no one will push our buttons. Educational institutions are under pressure to create “safe space” where students and teachers …

gljudson Better conversations, Conflict

Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer

It’s an old saying. “Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.” Despite the passionate counter-statement “There are no stupid questions!”, there absolutely are questions that invite a stupid answer. How does that happen? All too easily. A question asked without providing context for how the answer will be used significantly reduces the likelihood that there will be a real …

gljudson Better conversations