Top 5 Best 2022 Communication Habits

Top 5 Best 2022 Communication Habits

With 4 days left of this year it’s time to devour our best-of list – guaranteed to boost your communication skills even more in ’23.

◉ Find the humor. Even during drama-filled situations – funny stuff happens. Use this material in your conversations/presentations.

◉ Ask questions. You will be forced to listen more and you’ll learn more than if you’re doing all the talking.

◉ Read more. Fiction or non-fiction – you’ll gain insights and become even more articulate. Even a trashy novel can provide examples of how to use dialog, plot development, what makes for a good or dumb story.

◉ Reflect on your positive communication experiences in ’22. You do a great job of remembering in exquisite detail when you think you’ve failed at running that meeting, or facilitating the board discussion, or giving a speech to your shareholders. Think back on when you rocked on your platform(s). Not only will this make you feel great – but it has a positive rollover effect on your future gigs.

◉ Write more. I began writing this weekly blog years ago – kicking and screaming. I did not want to add this task into my weekly regimen. Now I realize it’s been one of my best communication habits. Writing makes you a better communicator. I am forced to observe with purpose… all the time… constantly mining for good info and stories. My friends live in fear of when they’ll be quoted here!

🥂 🎉   Thank YOU for being blog post readers and happy / healthy new year!  🥂 🎉

#communication #SpeakForYourself #KarenCortellReisman #Top5CommunicationHabits

photo credit: Robin Sachs Photography

4 Crisis Communication Strategies

4 Crisis Communication Strategies

See pic explanation below.

You might recall last week’s post of a snake in our toilet at our ranch. 😱 This prompted my blog about dealing with the unexpected as a speaker.

Today’s focus: expecting the unexpected as a leader.

How do you, as business and nonprofit leaders, do damage control during a crisis?

4 Crisis Communication Strategies

1️⃣ Be timely. No communication when crisis hits the fan creates a huge vacuum that fills with fear, anger and confusion. You want to avert that mushrooming emotional effect by being accessible.

2️⃣ Be transparent. Share what you know and share what you don’t know. When my beloved mother suffered from what would become a terminal heart attack my sister and I sat in the waiting room for three weeks. As difficult as it was to hear, the medical community gave us their updates including the known and the unknown. We valued their clarity.

3️⃣ Be empathetic. Always, always, always. Try to understand the craziness from your team/board/department’s point of view. Communicate your concern for them and about them.

4️⃣ Be solution minded. Pet peeve: people who complain without any ideas on how to improve the situation. Don’t be one of those leaders. Bring your facts, context, and thoughts on how to handle your crisis.

🔢 THE PIC: Not to detract from the serious nature of many crises, this crisis happened because #HandsomeCowboyHusband had back surgery (a few years ago) that meant I had to clean the chicken coup. Pic key: bandana to ward off the fumes; gloves to handle the mess and my rhinestone necklace because … why not?

The Onion Ring Got Cold

The Onion Ring Got Cold

The art of compelling conversations

The One-bite Onion Ring

My husband, Jim, asks our dinner host, “Herb, how did you get into your business?”, while our onion ring appetizer gets dropped off at our table.

Herb takes a bite of one big onion ring and begins his business origin story.

Herb goes back to his childhood days… talking with detours, tangents and sidebars.

As he talks, he gestures with this onion ring in his left hand – one bite in.

I’m mesmerized… but NOT with his monologue. Will the onion fall out of its sheath? Will this onion ring fly out of his hand? Can we start eating our main course – which arrives somewhere in between Herb’s second and third job?

While Herb has an interesting fun story to tell – he fails at the art of compelling conversation.

The Cold Onion Rings

  1. Conversations are dialogues, not monologues. As leaders you might feel justified in hogging the floor at your company happy hours, networking events, or even for those few minutes before your meetings.
  2. You find out nothing about your dinner mates if you’re doing all the talking.
  3. This onion ring appetizer gets cold. (Maybe a heart-healthy blessing – ok… delete the word “maybe”.)

Conversation Killers

  • Don’t pontificate.
  • Try not to be repetitive.
  • Stay out of the weeds. We don’t care whether it was Wednesday or Thursday when you got that email.

Compelling Conversation Guidelines

  • Be relatable. How can your info be useful to others?
  • Be timely. Is your topic relevant?
  • Be meaningful. Does anyone care about what you’re saying?
  • Be brief. Can you share your good stuff without getting sidetracked?
  • Listen. Can you stop talking and ask questions?

Onion Ring Manifesto

Herb* isn’t the only example of this monologue fiasco. Jim asks a great question. Herb, and everyone who receives an open-ended question, must keep the answer short and keep the ping pong ball in motion.

*False name, true tale, he finally ate that onion ring.

Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate & sell. She lives in Dallas, TX and tries not to eat onion rings anyway.

Photo © https://www.123rf.com/profile_bhofack2′>bhofack2

© 2022 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

All I’m wearing is a shower cap

All I’m wearing is a shower cap

All I’m wearing is a shower cap.

I’m 8-years old practicing the piano in our living room, in this non-outfit, and my Mom snapped the photo.

You’ll never see this pic – I’m chubby… and, well, not too much is left to your imagination.

We’ve laughed about that photo (OK – it’s pretty cute) and it resides in a pre-digital-age photo album.

Now.

“You’ve never asked me why I’d be practicing the piano wearing just a shower cap,” I say to my sister, Nina, the other day.

“Here’s the context,” I continue. “I was preparing to take a bath. It takes a good five minutes for the water to fill the tub. Rather than watch water coming out of a faucet I realized I could make better use of my time.”

“Nina, I’ve been multi-tasking my whole life!”

Have you ever wondered how you manifest your strengths?

Candice Fitzpatrick, Founder & CEO, and Gary Rifkin, Chief Learning Officer of Core Clarity run a thriving business using the CliftonStrengths Assessment to help companies build teams that work towards its full potential.

I have participated in one of their excellent workshops and their assessment tool uncovered my top five strengths.

Guess what my very top strength is? MAXIMIZER! What a surprise. 🙄.

How is this relevant to you?

You are busy leaders communicating in a crazy world.

You can take this core strength test as well… or you can think back to fun or pivotal moments in your life that exemplify how you solve issues in your business, create momentum around your vision/goals, or work towards your next big success.

What are your top strengths and how are you using them in a positive way? And how might they be getting in your way?

Lessons contemplated

Candace and Gary, and their Core Clarity team, are all about celebrating, understanding and using your strengths to move forward.

And that’s what I’m contemplating now … I have maximized my time and resources, as Founder of Speak For Yourself®, and in my fabulous personal world as well… and life is good.

But, sometimes (OK, most of the time) I squeeze too much into each day. Even though I’m having a blast personally and professionally, it can be draining.

I’m still grabbing those “extra” five minutes. But at least I’m aware. Stay tuned.

Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate & sell. She lives in Dallas, Texas and promises not to practice the piano, just wearing a shower cap, going forward.

© 2022 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

Photo Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_bonnontawat’>bonnontawat</a>

“We can’t find the captain.”

“We can’t find the captain.”

Celebrating Brett’s (our son) Bday in Denver

You finally board the airplane after multiple delays due to ____  fill in the blank here with either mechanical, weather or logistics issues. You’re late for your destination plans. You’re not real happy but you’re at least on your way.

The flight attendant then says on the loudspeaker, “We are ready to go but we can’t find the captain.”

My flight to Denver gets further postponed. Where is this captain?! Delayed in another city? Running to the aircraft from somewhere in the DFW airport? At the bar?

We are a group of 181 passengers (all seats occupied) on an Airbus 321 seeking a leader.

Reminds me of current times – businesses that can’t find their captain… leading to our present labor shortage everywhere.

Leadership skills needed TODAY

Communicate, listen & empathize

Let’s unpack the flight attendant’s comment: “We can’t find the captain!” At least this American Airlines employee displayed transparency. But there’s a better way.

  • First – understand your audience. (We are frazzled by this point in our non-travel story.) How can you relate to your valued team(s)? Where is their pain, what’s going well, what are their challenges? Know this upfront.
  • Second – listen to your Board of Directors, your SVPs, your constituents. Information talks and wisdom listens.
  • Third – empathize with your audience. Look at the reality from their point or view.

Have a strategy & vision

Good or bad times – effective leaders know where they’re going. AND they’ve communicated, collaborated and created a business with a communally shared picture of what success looks like.

Be resilient

Old cliché but it works: winning comes down to how fast you can get up from the floor when everything goes south (or something like that!).

Definition of resilience: able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.

Leaders figure out how to keep going.

The flip side to today’s leadership vacuum

Today offers a chance to shine as the leader of your business with a team that wants to be a passenger on your plane… so to speak.

We did make it to Denver. The Captain finally showed up.

Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate & sell. She lives in Dallas, Texas and had a great time in Denver with Jim celebrating their son’s birthday. 

© 2022 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

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