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Business communication

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 hours/minutes). And if I’m distracted, there’s a good chance others are as well which means a whole lot of time

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How to Facilitate an Appreciation Circle

Appreciation

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 facilitate an appreciation circle. Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable Participating in an appreciation circle can be uncomfortable for some at

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Clarifying Your Message: Three Steps to Effective Communication

Cornerstone Coaching and Training

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 result can be misunderstandings, hurt feelings, unanswered requests, and even damaged relationships.  You can increase the understanding by learning three

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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 are clear. Good meeting, everyone! Include in your agenda time at the end for the meeting to wrap up.  If

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They’re Counting on Us

Cornerstone Coaching and Training

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 luck and a pot of money waiting for us to use for college costs would be nice, wouldn’t it? This

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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 good about the work I was doing and my goals for the future. Pretty radical extremes. The difference? How well

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Communication Skills and the 55 Percent

Cornerstone Coaching and Training

I didn’t really say everything I said. – Yogi Berra It’s been a while since I’ve gotten back to basics so I’m refreshing one of my early blogs that really hones in on that.  It all starts with this: successful communication is a package deal. It’s in the words you speak, in the tone of your voice and in the language of your body. One study conducted at UCLA found that the impact of communication is: 7% = words spoken/written + 38% = percent tone of voice + 55% = percent body language  Let’s talk about the 55 percent If most of

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6 Steps to Help you Handle Conflict

Cornerstone Coaching and Training

Conflict is unavoidable. It’s all around us. It happens every day. And, if you are like most of us, you try hard to avoid it. Most of us aren’t comfortable dealing with conflict when it happens. We remain silent and hope it will go away – letting a small thing eventually turn into a bigger one. Others like to jump to anger right away. Recently I backed out of a parking lot and “almost” scrapped a really nice convertible.  In my defense, he was parked crooked. As I started to pull away a man came running towards me yelling at

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5 ways to improve your work relationships

Cornerstone Coaching and Training

Do you have people at work that you have trouble connecting with? Do you wish you could improve some of those relationships? It’s all too easy to get into a rut at work and find yourself unhappy with the behavior of others, or maybe even the way you react to it. As a leader, you can set the tone for encouraging good relationships by making some small changes in your behavior. Here are 5 strategies that will help you do just that. 1. Be courageous with open communication. This is the absolute best way to connect and also to reduce

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10 Easy Appreciation Exercises that Will Change Your Life

Cornerstone Coaching and Training

It may sound overly simple, but adding purposeful appreciation towards others can be one of the most powerful communication tools you can hone.  People want and need to feel appreciated.  People will respond better, and perform better when they are genuinely valued.  Try any of the following appreciation exercises and watch what happens. 1. Caught Ya! Catch someone doing something right and call them out. For example, say thank you when someone does something nice for you.  You can go one step further, even giving them a small gift, like a small bag of candy, and leaving it with a short

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