Archives for rules for communication

Using Active Voice vs. Passive Voice – Answer The Call To Conscious Leadership

When Lindsey Ackerman, Geotechnical Project Manager, came into the C3 community, she introduced us to a change that she made in her communication style that helped level up her conscious leadership. As it turned out, the C3 community proved very curious about this change, using active voice instead of passive voice, and so it became the last topic of our 1st year of these events, and what an event it was. Lawrence and I were joined by Lindsey and Jay Hurt, COO at The Academy of Creative Coaching, who came to serve as our persuasive communications expert and co-panelist.

The usual topics came up, but so did some things we realize we need to spend more time talking about in the next year.

Check out the highlights of our event listed below and be sure to request to join the C3 community so that you can get the replay link.

  • What was the feedback that spurred Lindsey to make this change?
  • Can you be nice and be an effective leader?
  • How quickly did Lindsey realize better results and what were they?
  • Why is it important for women to adopt active voice?
  • What is a tool that you can use to help increase your self-awareness of when you are using passive language?
  • What are some words that you can eliminate and add to activate your voice?
  • What are the costs of using passive voice and not communicating well?
  • How does active voice most effectively facilitate the sales process?
  • What are the two different kinds of closing in sales, and how can both active and passive voices fit in?
  • What is the value and the detriment of selling to people’s pain and what works even better?
  • What skills are leaders going to need in this century and in the next century to be successful?
  • How do we sabotage ourselves and limit our leadership capabilities when we use passive voice with ourselves, and what happens when we start using active voice in our self-talk?
  • How do we get people to care about making these changes?
  • How do we build up our vulnerability muscle as we become better at using active voice?
  • What does the new leadership narrative look like?
  • What is reframing and how does that help leaders better leverage self-awareness? Plus, how did Jay use reframing to lead his team to #1?
  • How do you e-mail like a boss?
Recommended reading:

Lindsey was hesitant to present herself as an expert on the topic because this was something she learned about, applied, and realized success. And guess what – this was a perfect example of how powerful sharing your knowledge with our community can be. We learned so much from Jay and Lindsey’s anecdotal experience and Jay’s expertise.

As Lindsey said, we’re all a work in progress, and it’s all just practice. As Lawrence said, it’s all about the reps. Aim for progress, not perfection. Perfection is an illusion. What matters is – Are we showing up? Definitely show up. Here’s how!

Join the C3 community, introduce yourself, and please share with us something you’ve learned that has improved the way you show up.

Then, join us next month to commemorate the end of our conscious community’s 1st year with a year-in-review. What a year it’s been! And, find out what we have planned for the C3 community in the coming year – we have very exciting news!

Adventures ahead!

Gimme Some Truth (Remastered 2010)

Provided to YouTube by Universal Music GroupGimme Some Truth (Remastered 2010) · John LennonImagine℗ 2010 Calderstone Productions Limited (a division of Univ…

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

When Communication Drives You Crazy

Help Point by Mark Hillary from Flickr

Help Point by Mark Hillary from Flickr

My brother-in-law in Kentucky sent an email out last week to his immediate and some extended family regarding referred methods of keeping in touch.

 

It spurred some very interesting responses and some very intriguing conversation between my husband and I.

 

I know I have my own “rules” about how I think its best for people to contact me. I try my best to explain them to others so that they can accommodate me, and I ask them how they prefer to be contacted. However, there are sometimes people that just seem to refuse to indulge my preferences, and furthermore, those that insist that their preferred form of communication is better than my preferred form of communication, which can be so frustrating.

 

I really want your opinion on this scenario:

 

As a result of my outreach and posting on LinkedIn groups, I get a lot of invitations from people I do not know, which to me is evidence that my content is engaging and that my profile is inviting. However, I explain to them that before we connect, I would like to get better acquainted and give them my CELL PHONE number to give me a call so that we can schedule something. For me, extending my personal cell phone number (which is my only number) is a way of telling them that connecting with them is important to me, because it is a number I do not make public and because it is the device that I respond to with the most urgency (however I do not answer it when I am with clients, unless it is my husband or babysitter.) Most people, I am finding, choose instead to give me their number or their availability in response via LinkedIn messages. The problem with this is that now their response has lost urgency, as has the scheduling of their meeting, because I get the notification via e-mail, which is a non-urgent form of communication. Furthermore, in order to resist any “time sucking” effects that social media can have, I regiment my time, setting designated times to post group messages, respond to network status updates, and reply to messages and invitations. I perform research for clients or business development on an as needed basis. I am a reasonable person who is happy most of the time to extend some flexibility, so I had made some exceptions, logging in to LinkedIn at undesignated times to respond to these individuals and schedule a time to talk. Unfortunately, I AM NOT STRONG ENOUGH to resist the distractions that abound on these social media sites (I try to do the same for Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.) I know I am not the only one with limited time to spend on social media; however, if you could see how my blocks of time depend windows carefully planned and vigilantly protected around my kids’ schedules (as most know, I work from home and take care of them – both full-time jobs.) You can probably see how problematic it is to waste ANY time.  If I waste any time, something else has to suffer, and I cannot let it be my clients. So, it may be inflexible, but I went back to regimenting my time and decided to make repeated requests of these individuals to move our scheduling conversations OFF social media to the phone, or e-mail if need be. One individual recently never acknowledged, let alone obliged, my request, so I thought I would explain my regimenting. Still, he insisted on giving me his availability via LinkedIn message. That particular day, even if I had chosen to make an exception, I was out of the office all day for personal business (it was my mom’s birthday.) So, his message went unanswered (as I had explained that it might unless we could schedule via phone or e-mail.) He sent me a message that read as follows:

 

“Karen, I am withdrawing my invite this has gone on since Aug 27. I respect your time but you must respect mine.”

 

Who is disrespecting whom here? I wanted to make connecting a priority, which is why I gave him my direct number and urged him to call me.

 

I know I will hear from some LinkedIn and social media evangelists who think that LinkedIn invitations and messages should be a priority, but let’s get real: EVERYTHING can’t be a priority. If you want to be a priority, use my phone number. If I gave it to you, it means you are a priority. If you tell me that you are best at responding via e-mail and that happens to be an appropriate venue for our exchange, I’ll be happy to accommodate you.

 

So, what is appropriate? Does each person decide for himself or herself? I know I have my own ideas, but a lot of them were inspired by efficiency experts who I have studied, read and followed on behalf of my clients who also have to make the most of their time while accommodating the communication preferences of their audience.

 

I hope this post elicits a LOT of responses, because I am hungry for feedback!

 

Here is a summation of communication media and what I have come to determine as the best practices of using each:

 

Email – a non-urgent form of communication. It is best for things that have to be documented and referred to on a future or ongoing basis, such as instructions or directions. Can also be good for communications sent outside of normal business hours. Efficiency experts warn of the time abyss of e-mail and recommend only checking this 5 times per day.

 

Text message– immediate/urgent, short. Best for sharing critical details, scheduling meetings, short sentiments. IT is not a good forum for debate, argument or describing complicated concepts

 

Phone – Personal, implies desire to connect on a “human” level, good for leaving an explanation of moderate length or when something needs to be expressed with inflection and sincerity. It is critical any time a decision has to be made that requires much consideration of both or all parties. My biggest complaint is when people ask you to call them back at a number different from the one that they called from and they say it fast. I recommend that if that is necessary, attempt to text or email the number as well, and tell the recipient that you are doing so. In the days of smart phones, when people check their voice mail from anywhere, including while driving (not condoned,) who has a pen handy to take down a number? How many would rather just click on the number to call the person back?

 

Social Media – Great for initiating conversations or instant messaging when others are on concurrently. For any of the above, move it off social media.

 

Snail Mail – If it isn’t a bill, it better be a thank you, an invitation, a greeting card, or an announcement.

 

Web conference/webinar – If I need to provide an introduction or more in depth instruction on a program, a service, a product, a methodology, a workflow, etc. screen sharing is an incredible asset, and being able to benefit from others’ questions and comments can be invaluable to reinforcement in learning.