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Real Communication. Real Results.

Author, speaker, and coach, Betty Lochner is a passionate leader, with over 25 years of experience specializing in improving interpersonal skills, building and leading teams, training supervisors, and working with different communication styles and generations.



How to Facilitate Good Meetings: My Top 7 Tips

I’ve talked alot about the importance of running a good, efficient meeting, including how to  improve meeting engagement and how to end them well.  But, a good meeting only runs well if it is facilitated well from start to finish. Ever Been in Meeting Hell? When I’m in a poorly run meeting, I get distracted and find myself doing unproductive things like calculating the cost of the meeting (number of participants x approx cost per staff hour x number of

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Appreciation

How to Facilitate an Appreciation Circle

You shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you really mean it. Then you should say it a lot. People forget that. ~ Jessica, Age 8 Studies have found that practicing appreciation can improve relationshps and motivate employees.  It can also increase wellness and lessen stress. In short, regular appreciation will not only boost performance and engagement, but also improve an employee’s health and well-being. There are certainly many ways to show appreciation.One of my favorites to use with a work group is to

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Lisa's Bird Nest

Lisa’s Nest: A Story of Limitless Love

This month marks the 6th year I have walked in Seattle’s SummeRun. My sister-in-law, Lisa, lost her battle with Ovarian cancer 5 years ago.  Our team, Limitless Love for Lisa, walks in her honor with family members and friends, to raise funds to benefit the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research. Our goal is to end this horrible disease. This year our team was a small, but mighty group.  Since some of us only connect annually at this event,  I always look

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Appreciation Notebook

Atta-Girl: Why You Should Have an Appreciation Notebook

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have access to all the kind words of appreciation and encouragement that anyone has ever said to us? You know, on those days where you wonder why you do what you do, or when life sends a curve ball your way. Or when you just need to be reminded that people do appreciate the work you’ve done. Many years ago, when I was having a bad day at work, a mentor of mine

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Cornerstone Coaching and Training

Lessons in Communication from the Great Sailing Adventure

“If we aren’t careful, we’ll be home ahead of schedule.” ~ Captain Randy While sitting on a deck at a local restaurant, watching the sailboats pass by, I had to laugh.  It looks so simple, so carefree, so unstressful. Just sailing in wind and enjoying the view.  But, I know better.  I remember my first big sailing trip with my cousin “Captain Randy”, and it was anything but carefree.  In my experience, sailing really comes down to this: a lot

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Cornerstone Coaching and Training

Talk with Your Kids About What They Won’t Learn in School

Note: This post was originally Published on the College Savings Plans Network Blog  School may be out for the summer, but it’s the perfect time to teach some financial literacy skills to help your students succeed. Recent research shows why kids need your help: • 62% of college graduates expect to complete school with an average of $27,236 in student debt (The Student Monitor). • More than 19% of American households have college debt (Pew Research Center). • Around 56%

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Cornerstone Coaching and Training

Clarifying Your Message: Three Steps to Effective Communication

I didn’t understand, based on the words that were said. ~ Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion One of the most common communication mistakes we make, and the easiest to fix, is how to better clarify what we mean to say. More often than not, when we communicate, the person we are talking to will not  really understand what you are trying to say. Or maybe they weren’t really listening.  Then they they don’t ask questions to make sure they understand. The

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When Life is Interrupted

When an Interrupted Life Becomes a Blessing

My husband, Ken, went to the high school to see his last group of former 6th grade band students play in their last concert, while I shopped for our grandson’s 1st birthday. Not long after I had returned home, my phone rang. It was Ken. He wanted me to come pick him up because he wasn’t feeling well. I didn’t think too much of it – probably a tummy or head ache. Then, as I saw him on the curb waiting

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My Mother’s Eyes

Mother’s Day is bittersweet for me.  On one hand, I am blessed to be a mom of two amazing children, a mom-in-law to their spouses I have come to adore, and a Grammy to our first grandchild. On the other hand, my heart aches for my own mom. Mother’s Day reminds me of all of the wonderful memories I have of my mom and it makes me sad for the ones we never got to make. My mom loved to make others happy.

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It’s a Wrap: Ending Meetings Well

Abrupt endings, or meetings that run over and don’t get finished can make for frustration, confusion and quite possibly end in a lot of re-work the next time you meet.  Or worse. It could mean that the meeting was perceived as a total waste of time. So it’s not only important to run your meeting well, but also to end it well. Here are some tips for making sure your meeting met your objectives, added value, and the next steps and follow-up

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Cornerstone Coaching and Training

How to Say Yes to Saying No

Have you ever made cookies at midnight for a classroom party because someone called you with desperation in their voice? Or ended up as the chair of a committee that you really aren’t interested in, but everyone said you would do a good job? Or how about helping with a charity yard sale on your sunny day off?  I could go on, but you “yes” sayers – well, you know who you are. So, admit it. You are over committed.

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Cornerstone Coaching and Training

They’re Counting on Us

Note: This post was originally Published on the College Savings Plans Network Blog  This month many of us become a little Irish as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The holiday is full of symbols that we hope will bring good luck to us and our families. Whether we’re covering every surface in Shamrock décor, or draping ourselves in every green article of clothing we own, we all hope we find the elusive Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow. Having

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Writing Performance Evaluations that Matter

Over the years as a subordinate and as a supervisor as all levels, I’ve learned that most performance evaluations are a better reflection of the person writing the evaluation than it is of the person being evaluated. I’ve recieve formal and informal performance evaluations that I have read over and over because they either 1) upset me by the language used , the way it was written, and the focus on the negative; or 2) because it made me feel

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shoe roundup

Breaking Your Bad Communication Habits

Have you ever gone through your closet and sorted out your old clothes? You know, ones that either don’t fit, or that aren’t your “color?”  I learned recently that I shouldn’t wear black. I think half of my wardrobe is black.  So, I decided it was time for some clothing reassessment. I grabbed a friend and a glass of wine and went through my closet. We used the color charts and tips and after a very productive session of closet downsizing,

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Cornerstone Coaching and Training

Connecting Through Kindness

In 1982,  a woman in California scribbled the words, “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” on a place mat in a restaurant. That simple note gained momentum and quickly spread as a message calling all of us to practice caring and compassion. Now, every year during the week of Valentine’s Day, there is an official Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week. This year marked the 20th year that a week has been specifically set aside to

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Cornerstone Coaching and Training

Communicate Your Love|Give Your Valentine a Heart Attack

Valentine’s Day is a great time to think about how to communicate how much you appreciate your loved ones in your life.  Communicating your love is sometimes uncomfortable, but always important. Communicating well can be the best way to improve and get what you want out of any relationship. Here are some really easy, inexpensive and tangible ways to do that. Give them a “Heart Attack!” Take heart shaped sticky notes and write love statements (why you love them, or

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Cornerstone Coaching and Training

10 Ways to be a More Positive Communicator

You never know when one kind act, or one word of encouragement, can change a life forever. – Zig Ziglar One of the most powerful ways to improve relationships is to simply be a more positive communicator. Positive communication is contagious and brings out the best in yourself and in those around you. When you practice positive communication, people are more likely to listen to you, the conversation goes better, and the results can be transforming. The following is an

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Keep Moving Forward

Today, as I enjoyed a beautiful walk with my daughter at Chambers Bay, surrounded by people from all walks of life and of all colors, I reflected on the life and legacy of  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  and the influence he has had on our country. He was passionate about all he did and believed it was our responsibility to work peacefully to better ourselves and the world around us, through advocacy and service.  And, he was a great

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Cornerstone Coaching and Training

Conflict Communication: Should I have this conversation?

Author’s note: The following is an encore blog – originally written Sept. 2010.  Since then, we’ve fallen in love with Kauai and return every other year… The first time my husband and I went on vacation to Kauai, we stayed in a studio apartment attached to a private home. We decided not to stay in a resort hotel so we could have some real peace and quiet. The first morning we were there, we were woken up by a rooster

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Cornerstone Coaching and Training

Babysitting Azzy: A Day in the Life of a Nanny Grammy

This summer I joined a new and wonderful season of my life when we welcomed our first grandchild, Azriel, “Azzy”.  He was born on to amazing parents and an extended family and friends that love him to pieces. As our daughter heads back to work, our sweet Azzy is just 3 months old. It’s a tough transition for a new mama, but with the support of my work, my husband’s retirement, and a flexible work schedule for his dad, Azzy will

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