Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

Highly effective retrospective technique

September 14th, 2017 No comments

Link to the sample Retrospective Trello board:

A while back, I did a blog post titled Online Brainstorming Technique about using technology to do effective brainstorming sessions. So it goes on that a similar technique can used for Retrospective sessions.

This blog post is an updated version that leverages tooling while still maintaining all of the benefits of the old manual technique; now enables simple and easy access for remote folks and simple record keeping.

If you are anything like me, you will have attended many brainstorming sessions that have gone horribly wrong where:

  • the person with the most senior title rules
  • people position themselves before the brainstorming in an effort to establish some credibility ( in my experience the largest time consumer)
  • someone has dominated the session with their diatribe(s)
  • people who won’t stop talking about their ideas
  • it has deteriorated into a session of I am right and you are wrong and it turned out that they were saying the same thing, just a little differently
  • the most aggressive / loudest person wins
  • people were so intimidated that they did not contribute
  • people belittle the ideas thrown up
  • it becomes more about who’s idea it is rather than what the suggestion is
  • remote employees are not able to participate fully
  • the documentation is always after the fact and late….

The purpose of a Brainstorming session is to capture as many ideas as possible. The term, think outside the box is often used when it comes to brainstorming. It is very common to have a totally unrealistic statement stimulate an idea with someone else that was just brilliant. In an effort to get ideas out quickly and without most of the preamble, here is a mechanism that is quick, fair, enables remote participants, and is personality sensitive.

Pre requisites

  • Online agile planning tool, I will use Trello for this blog post. I am currently biased towards Trello because I have successfully used  for audiences in excess of 100 people.
  • Create a board on your tool of choice so that people can capture their ideas – here is a sample Trello retrospective board
  • Depending on the tool that you use, you might need to adjust the visibility of the board. If you are using Trello and not have Business Class, you will need to create the Team first and then create the board under the Team. I have found that people need to trust each other in order to contribute fully. So be aware of that if there is one person that is not trusted, it will lead to some people holding back.
  • Depending on your tool, you might need to create a group and invite people to board that you created. Depending on the sensitivity of the topic, you might have to limit the visibility; however I believe that every retro should be public and visible to the whole team, even as people join the org because it allows them to see that issues are dealt with in an open and transparent manner.
  • Enable the ability to vote on the cards
  • If you are doing this session with remote folks, I do suggest some form of screen sharing mechanism so that everyone can be focused on the same screen. At minimum, a phone conference mechanism although video does enable the facilitator to be more personal.
  • Using the board, create some existing groups/lists such as the following to streamline the brainstorming session.
    • Timeline
      • laying out the timeline of everything related to the event often leads to observations that would otherwise be missed
    • What went well?
      • Don’t be tempted to skip over this one – wins are always good!
    • What needs improvement?
      • use this list of items that need improvement
    • Start Doing
      • sometimes, people have an ah hah moment and this list gives them the ability to capture and share their thoughts on something that needs to start happening
    • Stop Doing
      • again, observations of behaviors that the someone believes should stop
    • Vent
      • this list allows people to complain, knowing that complaining doesn’t help solve the issue but it does provide a release
    • Duplicates
      • allows duplicates to stored and allowing adherence with the guideline of don’t delete ideas
    • Parking List
      • sometimes things are just too big and need their own retrospective or drill down outside the retrospective
    • Collect Input
      • for items that too complex and need further investigation – just schedule a retrospective for each of these
    • Action Items
      • if there are no actions items – you’re perfect! (if you believe this, why was there a need for a retrospective?)

Participant Guidelines

  1. one idea per card (ideally 8 or less words) You can use the card description for more data or explanation.
  2. do not discuss what you write down
  3. have fun
  4. respect all ideas
  5. do not judge (especially your own ideas), just put them on a card
  6. think outside the box
  7. ideas can be added at any time time during the session (especially during the discussion)
  8. don’t delete any ideas

Instructions for the Brainstorming session

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the participant guidelines. How do you know this? Ask.
  2. Everyone needs to capture their issues as a card in the Issues list. One idea per card and if your idea needs data or explanation, you can include that in the card description.
  3. Prioritize the issues by moving the higher priority cards to the top of the list. Feel free to add more to the list as people understand other cards. Merge duplicate cards and move the old cards to the Duplicates list.
  4. Brainstorm – review the cards in the Issues list and add ideas on how put ideas on cards. One idea per card and if your idea needs data or explanation, you can include that in the card description.
  5. Read what others have put up remembering it is about the idea and not who created the card
  6. Put more ideas up, especially if they were stimulated by what you read.
  7. Now group the similar themed suggestions together. It sometimes helps to create additional list/groups in order to collate the similar themed ideas together. I have also color coded ideas with similar themes.
  8. Move the the duplicate cards to the Duplicates List, leaving one card on the list. It might be necessary to change the title.
  9. Have everyone vote on their top five items.
  10. Arrange the cards with the highest number of votes to be at the top of the lists.
  11. Variations
    1. Option 1: Now discuss all of the ideas; as an active participant, it is your responsibility not to belittle any idea or person. I put this step in as a transitionary step. As people get more comfortable with this approach, this step should be eliminated because it favors the talkers and over shadows the introverts. That being said, it also enables the talkers to think and do as a team, you will need to time box this step or it will never end. Create cards with Action Items for the next steps or actions to bring the ideas to fruition.
    2. Option 2: This is the more effective method. Have the team create create cards with Action Items for the next steps or actions to bring the ideas to fruition.
  12. Some suggestions will require additional input to be collected and they can be moved to the Collect Input list.
  13. To help with the flow from idea to Action Item, word tag the idea or color code it

Helpful Hints

  • To help the folks in the group that need time to think and process, it is advisable to include the brainstorming topic in the meeting invitations.
  • Provide a link to the topic and these instructions as part of the advanced notification.
  • Do not shoot the messenger!  Brainstorming is all about getting the most hair brained ideas out.  Remember that your crazy idea can stimulate someone else’s thinking that results in that killer idea.
  • Do not be afraid to screwup. Please refer to the point above.
  • The ideas can now be evaluated on the merits of the idea and not who’s idea it is.
  • If you have written it down, you do not need to talk about it too. It might make you feel better but it is also taking up time. This is especially difficult for first-timers.
  • For the discussion phase: Some folks need to talk in order to think. It helps to have these folks remote as they can mute themselves while they talk.  don’t worry, because you’re on a conference call it comes naturally. I would also suggest time boxing the discussion; you will see there is a rhythm and when folks start to repeat themselves, it is time to cut it off and move on.
  • It is pretty common to have similar ideas, so just merge them and move the duplicates to the Duplicates list.
  • Some folks will not be able to move off their points and will attempt to convince others that they are right. remind them that they are not respecting the ideas of others and are assuming that they are right. All ideas need to be able to stand. If explanation is needed, then add the collateral to the card.
  • For folks that are used to discussions, they might feel that this method is impersonal or that their voice is not being heard. For these folks, explain to them the purpose of this technique is to capture everyones input as efficiently as possible and they should not focus on the busy exercise of them being able to talk.


When time is a factor, I have had the participants complete steps 1 to 3 before the meeting. Alternatively, I have also split into two meetings by completing steps 1 to 4 at one meeting, sorted the ideas out off line and then conducted the discussion at a followup meeting.


Link to the sample Retrospective Trello board:

To copy the board for your own use:

  • Click on the Show Menu link in the top righthand corner of the board
  • click on the …More option just above halfway down
  • click on the Copy Board option

Feedback on how to improve the board is very welcome!!

An uplifting manifesto

January 10th, 2013 1 comment

I saw this manifesto as a custom subway poster looking for gifts late last year and am sharing.  The Holstee Manifesto was written by two brothers, Mike and Dave Radparvar and their business partner, Fabian Pfortmuller on the steps of Union Square.  They basically just wrote down what was on their minds.



You can download a 8.5×11 pdf version here or buy a larger more stylish version here


Passive Agressive Behavior

January 7th, 2013 No comments

Living in the Pacific Northwest means that I get to experience  a significant amount of passive aggressive behavior.   This post by Michael Schechter titled The Passive Aggressive Manifesto was a great reminder for me, a message can be delivered with humor and style.


The Passive Aggressive Manifesto

The Passive Aggressive Manifesto







Freedom of Speech

January 18th, 2012 No comments

I was raised in South Africa and as such I got to experience the apartheid era.  I saw firsthand what affect discrimination and censorship had on the population and as a result I support the concept that everyone has the right to make their own decisions, even if those decisions will have a negative impact on themselves.  Censorship is one of the first freedoms removed when a dictator comes into power, is that where the USA is going??  Let’s not just hope, but also take a stance and influence.  Here are some words of wisdom from Edmund Burke


All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.

This blog contains original content and therefore theoretically be supporting the fight against piracy and copyright infringement; which I do!  However imbedded in this law is the requirement for ISP’s to inspect traffic and block what they deem to be content that is infringing.  I’m sorry but I do not believe that they are qualified to make that decision and therefore I am speaking up.

Google is fighting this and you can sign their petition here


Here are some news and articles with more information so that you can make your own decision on this topic:



CNN Money –




Categories: Communication Tags:

Mind Reader – Not! …….. speak & listen to communicate

January 7th, 2012 No comments

A while back, I was asking a friend for guidance and she said something a not being a mind reader and therefore I needed to speak my mind.  We laughed, stayed on topic and I communicated clearer so that she was able to understand me.  I started thinking about this and noticed that when I don’t know what to do or have a difficult problem to solve, I get quiet and think.  This generally takes time……….and while I am processing away, what message are others around me receiving?  Or in the instance of when we are tying to communicate something, we assume that people are getting the message that we intended.

I brought this up at our cohort meetings and we have discussed this in detail.  We all agreed that for clear communication to happen, you need the following address the following areas:

Someone must talk

Despite the many technology aids that we have, face-to-face verbal communication still remains the most effective method of communication and therefore someone needs to talk.

The reason behind the face-to-face communication and not TXT’ing, email, telephone is that these communication mechanism are all single mechanisms.  Face-to-face is the only mechanism that provides us with the ability to get at least three communication mechanisms.  The key ones are verbal, non verbal such as eye contact, expressions and gestures, and environmental situation (noisy room).

However, if it is not possible for face-to-face dialogue, then it is far better to use a single faceted communication mechanism such as TXT’ing, phone, and / or email.

Someone must listen

Not listening is biggest challenge with communication because we are so focused on getting our message across that we miss what the other person is trying to communicate to us.  If you catch yourself formulating your response to what the person is saying, then you are not listening to them.  Make sure that you understand what they are attempting to communicate, so ask clarifying questions.  Depending on culture, paraphrasing what you understood them to say back to them.

The most important element of listening is to shut up!


Is the person ready to receive the message that you are attempting to communicate?  This is a big one that is often overlooked.  If you are not sure, just ask them.  If you upset someone and even if you are ready and willing to apologize, are they ready for the message?

Is doing nothing the default option?

For those that are disagreeing with me right now and think that doing nothing is the acceptable default option.  (Pacific Northwest and the Passive Aggressive Communication style)  I would ask you to think about the following:

  • What message is being received when you do not communicate one?  Are there others that are communicating on your behalf?  If so, are they communicating your message or theirs?  In my experience, they will communicate a message that is beneficial to them and not to you.  Only you can communicate the nuances of your message.
  • If you do not know what you want to communicate, it is OK to acknowledge that and communicate that.  Acknowledging and communicating your perspective will form the basis on which you communicate on.





September 29th, 2011 No comments

In a previous post titled: Simple Approach / Plan for Change, I brought up Awareness as the first phase for change.  This has been the stimulant for a number of conversations about what Awareness and requests for more clarity on the topic.
I have been having lot’s of conversations with managers about how to get people to modify their behavior. Behavior modification starts with making the person aware of the impact of their behaviors. The awareness state is the first step of a journey that enables us to change the situation or address the issue.  Getting someone to the aware state can be a rather daunting hurdle, mainly because our egos get in the way. Awareness is just having the knowledge about the current situation or state of affairs. So let’s look at the process that we all go through to become aware. Awareness Flow


Moving from an unaware state to an aware state is a journey that requires an event or trigger to kick start the transition process of moving from an unaware state to an aware state. For self-aware folks, you are able to generate this event without help from the outside. However for most of us normal folks, we require some outside help to generate the the event. Think of the event as your alarm clock going off in the morning. We might not particularly enjoy it going off but it can definitely help us from being late and is therefore very beneficial to us. Managers:  We might need to be the ones that create the event that kick starts this process.


In this phase we tend to ignore or deny the incoming data / perspective because the situation does not match our preconceived idea or notion of how we want it to be.   This phase can be traumatic and depending on the implications or if the situation it may have an emotional on us.  This phase is the most impactful all around because the personal that is doing the denying can feel that they are being picked on.  The people that are trying to help can easily just stop trying to help because they are getting told that there is not an issue.  People just get tired of trying to help and walk away.

Recognizing this phase:

  • Our perspective is different from other peoples.
  • Unwillingness to discuss the situation with others.
  • Denial will manifest itself as emotional spikes or silence.  The more passive the personality, the more the silence.

With practice this phase can be shortened but unfortunately not bypassed so make peace with it.  It is OK to wish and / or wonder why this is happening to us.  The circumstances of the event and associated emotional impact with have an impact of the duration of this phase. Managers:  Give people time to process the event and the implications.

Manager’s Note:

  • Work with your people and take them through the trauma.  In certain situations, they might need to get external help, so work with your HR representative and be aware of the manpower laws.
  • Do not mistakenly categorize silence as denial because analytical personalities take time to process the data and they tend to process in silence.


  • Getting stuck in this phase means that we are disconnected from reality and often leads to argumentative behavior.
  • People that just deny will find that people will stop trying to help them.


Redirecting the attention elsewhere is an attempt not to involve ourselves.  This phase is where people find the reasons and attempt to rationalize things why not to accept this information that is different to our perspective or desired state.

Recognizing this phase:

  • Redirecting the attention or blame onto others.
  • I can’t do anything about this situation / issue.
  • Raising points about similar behaviors / issues with others thereby justifying their perspective.

Manager’s Note:

  • Do not allow people to play the victim or to rationalize the situation as not theirs issue.  Accountability starts here.
  • Equality for all – do not treat people differently because it is divisive to the team morale.
  • Stay focused on the individuals situation and do not fall into the trap of discussing this issue as a relative issue.


  • This is the victim state because it is a lot easier to redirect the attention form us.



Yeah I know I talk too much We all start off in an unaware state where we do not have the knowledge in our minds. If we are lucky enough we manage to make it to an aware state where we have the knowledge and are then able to define our action plan based on the knowledge we have gained. Let’s look at the process of how we move from the unaware state to an aware state so that we can remove the luck portion and manage the situation better. People that are self-aware have the ability to generate the Event with little to no outside help.


Recognizing this phase:

  • Run out of excuses is the most common.
  • You have adopted or modified your perspective to include the points raised.
  • Able to list the points where your perspectives were different or the similarities.


Manager’s Note:

Acknowledgement is last step of awareness but for managers it is important to help our people use this new awareness to modify their behavior appropriately.  Help them and coach them through to the desired state.



  • It is important to differentiate between acknowledgement and a plan to address the issue discovered through the new found awareness.
  • When dealing areas of improvement, it is important not overwhelm the person and also to help with a plan to address these issues.  Without the help, they will quickly become demoralized.






Simple Approach / Plan for Change

March 26th, 2011 No comments

What’s the point of talking to anyone if you don’t tell ’em what you think?

– Jon Krakauer –

Categories: Communication, Quotes Tags:

Signs of Incompetent Managers

January 27th, 2011 No comments

Earlier this week I downloaded a paper titled “Eight Signs of Incompetent Managers”.  The link to register and download the paper is at the bottom of the post.

Based on research that Profiles International conducted to identify America’s most productive companies, they identified the following Eight Signs of an Incompetent Manager

  1. Poor communication skills
  2. Weak leadership capabilities
  3. Inability or unwillingness to adapt to change
  4. Poor relationship-building skills
  5. Ineffective task management
  6. Insufficient production
  7. Poor developer of others
  8. Neglectful of own personal development
To get the details, you can download the paper here:

Do you communicate clearly?

September 15th, 2009 No comments

OK, I know the image above is not visually clear and here is the paragraph again:

“I love mine.  It allows me to wake up refreshed every evening thereby enabling me to me be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the night shift.  The metallic retro design really goes with my cottage and I really like the squeaky springs and the new mattress just complements the whole package.”

Not much clearer, is it?

    • What is she talking about?   The answer is – Her bed.
    • What was she trying to say?  The answer is – She really likes her bed

      Fortunately there are two simple things that can help you ensure that statements that you make, written or verbal, are easily to understand.  Let’s take a look at the following two areas:

      • the number of points communicated  (Focus)
      • how many sentences or words are used to convey the message (Fog Factor)


      Let’s go back to the foggy statement above and see how many points were communicated?

      “I love mine”, “night shift”, “wake up refreshed”, “metallic design”, “matches cottage design”, “squeaky springs”, and finally we can work out that the collection of these statements are talking about a bed – all of these totals up to 7 different points mentioned.  Which of these 7 points are the ones that really need to be communicated?

      The statement should be clear and concise.  A clear version of the statement above could be: “I really like my bed”.

      A good rule of thumb is to have no more than 3 points.

      Fog Factor

      There is much research on determining the understandability of a sentence or paragraph.  For the technically savy or those writing,  I covered how to use Microsoft Word in this post on Document Readability.

      For the times when we do not want to use technology here is another way to determine the Fog Factor.

      Determine the average number of words per sentence, add the number of  words with 3-or-more syllables and multiply by 0.4.

      For the mathematically inclined or the detailed orientated folks, the formula is as follows:

      1. a = the average number of words per sentence (total number of words divided by the number of sentences)
      2. b =  the number of words that contain more than 3 or more syllables excluding proper nouns
      3. c = a + b
      4. Fog Factor = c * 0.4

      Comprehension and how it affects our professional life

      August 11th, 2009 No comments

      I have been reading various articles and books by ED Hirsch; his writing is thought provoking.  Although the most of his writings are focused on the state of the American schooling and how the reading and comprehension.  Naturally, I am trying to apply his perspectives to my life as a hi-tech professional.

      My takeaways from his writings are:

      • Reading is the comparatively simple exercise of deciphering the letters and words
      • Comprehension is the more complicated effort where the intent behind the words needs to be understood.
        • As part of our daily interchange we often need to understand what is being not said as well as what not being.  After all we need to understand what the person is trying to communicate and what what they say sometimes…..
        • We need to have a baseline level of knowledge about the topic to understand what is being communicated.  He used tennis example and conveyed the message very well because if you do not know that the games stops for rain or a baseline game is, you will not be able to follow the conversation.

      These points got me thinking about these points and the lessons that can be taken across to the work environment.

      Here are Ed Hirsch’s books on Amazon:

      Reference Guide on Freedom and Responsibility Culture (Netflix)

      August 5th, 2009 No comments

      One of the PMs in my org shared this with me earlier today.  Thanks Susan!   It is a slide show from Netflix titled: Reference Guide on our Freedom and Responsibility Culture. 

      Although I really enjoyed the deck, here are some of the messages that really resonated with me.

      Slide 19 – The 9 behaviors and skills: Judgment, Communication, Impact, Curiosity, Innovation, Courage, Passion, Honesty, and Selflessness.

      Slide 33 – It’s about effectiveness – not effort – even though effectiveness is harder to assess than effort.

      Slide 38 – The Rare Responsible Person – Self motivating, Self aware, Self Disciplined, Self improving, Acts like a leader, Doesn’t wait to be told what to do, Never feels “that’s not my job”, Picks up the trash lying on the floor, and Behaves like an owner.

      Slide 77 – The best managers figure out how to get great outcomes by setting the appropriate context, rather than by trying to control their people.

      Slide 78 – Context – Strategy, Metrics, Assumptions, Objectives, Clearly-defined roles, Knowledge of the stakes, Transparency around decision-making. Exceptions (emergencies, learning, wrong person) slide 79

      Slide 82 – Good Context – Link to company/functional goals, Relative priority (how important/how time sensitive), Level of precision & refinement (no errors, good enough, rough), Key stakeholders, Key metrics/definition of success

      Slide 115 – High performance people are generally self-improving through experience, observation, introspection, reading and discussion.

      The slides can be found here:

      Effective Communication

      May 11th, 2009 No comments

      I was discussing communication with a number of people this week where they were expressing some frustration around not achieving the results that they were expecting.  I have adopted a  fictional character called Larry who wants to communicate an idea to some key stakeholders.  In an effort to communicate effectively, Larry has adopted a structured approach where he has laid out the the problem, the options and finally the solution. In the graphic below, I have created a graphical representation of the flow of the communication.


      Now, let’s take a look at this this flow.  The black lines illustrate where Larry is communicating the problem, the options and finally the solution.   The yellowish lines indicate the flow from element to element.

      Although this is a very structured approach that is well laid out.  Unfortunately, as Larry found out his listeners wanting and he was not able to convince his stakeholders.  This is often the case when a new idea is being presented or when the listeners are unfamiliar with the background.  Because people need to catch up and from zero to where they can understand Larry’s definition of the problem.  Literally they need to from 0 to 60 in 2 2 seconds flat.  Also because they are still processing one element while Larry has moved onto the next element, the listeners missed portions of the options or solution definitions.

      Now let’s take a look at a modified version of this flow where Larry actually took a breath and checked with his listeners to make sure that they were grasping the concepts that he was trying to communicate.  Quite literally he slowed down in order to speed up.


      Just like the previous graphic, the black line illustrate the problem definition.  The yellowish lines indicate the flow from element to element.  Now let’s introduce some key elements that will change the flow drastically.  The green circles with the cross inside are there to provide the stakeholders with some time to think and process what Larry told them.  As the stakeholders process the information, they might have questions, as indicated by the question marks.  Larry needs to provide them with the opportunity to ask questions and/or provide feedback.  Why feedback, you might ask.  Well it is human nature that we all need to feel heard and respected and therefore it is common for the stakeholder want to add their 2 cents.

      This dialogue portion is critical to overcoming any fears or concerns that the stakeholders might have.  As the stakeholders buy into what Larry is telling them, he needs to draw them in, with open ended questions and encouraging them to provide input.  In the graphic, the blue line denotes where Larry has gathered the stakeholder input, feedback and incorporating it into the definition of  Problem, Options and Solution.  By getting the stakeholders to help, all that remains is for you to paint in the remaining black portion.

      This approach has some key benefits:

      • people feel respected because they were given time to process and ask questions
      • people do not feel dictated to
      • the options and solutions move from a single person;s idea to a collaborative idea
      • it takes less sales to get everyone on board because the baby is partly theirs and we all know that your baby is never ugly

      Try this technique and please let me know what you think.

      Categories: Communication, Emotions Tags:

      Lesson Learned: Document Readability

      March 17th, 2009 No comments

      I had the privilege of attending a talk by Dr Tom Sant,  author of  “The Language of Success” and “Persuasive Business Proposals” today and he shared a real nugget.  It is actually a feature built into Microsoft Word, though I was totally oblivious to it.  The feature  evaluates the document and creates a report on the readability of the document.

      The first trick is to enable this feature:

      • Open up Microsoft Word
      • Open Options – in Office 12 click on Office button and click on the Word Button
      • Click on the Proofing option from the menu on the left.


      • As indicated by the A – Ensure that the “Show readability statistics” checkbox is checked.
      • As indicated by the B – Ensure that these boxes NOT checked
      • Now execute the Spell checker as normal
      • Handle the notifications regarding spelling or grammar warnings.
      • At the end of the check a popup will be displayed similar to the following:


      Check the Averages

      • Words per sentence should be 15 to 17
      • Characters per word – for best readability this should be less than 6

      Check the Readability

      • Passive Sentences should be less than 10%
      • Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level should less than 10

      So as you can see, the first paragraph of this blog post does not rate very high for readability.  It must be the names of Tom’s books.

      writing presentations

      January 30th, 2009 No comments

      This week I watched people stress over an executive presentation.  Here are some of the simple guidelines that I follow when writing a PowerPoint presentation.  The key with writing a presentation is that the presentation is supporting the message that you are going to be deliver.  The presentation is not the messenger, you are!

      use templates

      general guidelines

      • keep the text on the lines short as possible
      • use spell check
      • no full sentences
      • no periods at the end of lines
      • don’t do repeats
        • if you are talking about toothpaste, don’t put it on each line, just put it in the page title
      • minimum font size = half the age of the oldest person in the room
        • do not do it by eye – use the font properties of the text box
      • communicate on three levels (data, emotion, me) as covered in this post

      If you are concerned about people being able to use the slides for reference after the presentation, there are two simple options for this dilemma.

      1. create detailed notes for each slide – this does have the downside that people need to see that there are notes as part of the presentation bt it does work well for printouts.  Remember to spell check.
      2. create a separate slide deck that is specifically written for reference purposes

      Book: The Leader’s Voice

      January 28th, 2009 No comments

      The Leader’s Voice: How Communication Can Inspire Action and Get Results!

      1st edition
      Authors: Boyd Clarke, Ron Crossland
      ISBN: 1590790162

      2nd edition
      Authors: Ron Crossland
      ISBN: 1590791525

      A manager is only as good as their communication with people.  After all, managers need to achieve results through the actions of others and therefore communicate is critical to their success.  I give all of my directs this book and I have read it 4 times.  Hopefully one of these days I will be able implement the behavioral changes needed for me to master communication.  Here are the key messages that I took from the book.


      I have been told numerous times that the numbers speak for themselves and if this statement was true everyone would be able to read a balance sheet….  That being said, the data is critical because it provides the quantitative information that is needed to convince people of your perspective.


      We humans are emotional beings, even though some us like to deny it.  Think of messages delivered by people that you liked. Or disliked.  I ask this because I believe that how we feel emotionally affects how we receive the message.  If you do not know the person then the emotional connection needs to be created during the dialogue. This is why sales people try to connect with us emotionally by asking us questions about sports, kids weather, etc.


      This one is simple.  What is in it for me?  There has to be some form of reward or value.

      1st Edition

      2nd Edition

      Categories: Books, Communication Tags: ,

      © 2008-2018 Gavin McMurdo aka SparkPilot All Rights Reserved