Posts in Leadership
The Life-Changing Magic of Encouragement

I remember the moment very well.

It was sometime around 1999 or 2000, and I had recently announced my decision to leave my job at Blanc & Otus for the greener pastures of Scient. Word had made its way around B&O that I was moving on, and when I saw our CEO, Jonelle Birney, approaching me in the hallway, I assumed she’d heard the news as well.

As she got closer to me, a pit opened up in my stomach. How would she react? Would she be angry at me for abandoning my clients and the few folks who reported to me at the time? Was I even a blip on her radar screen? I mean, jeeze, maybe she didn’t even know how to pronounce my name!

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Hair(Shirt) Day

For anyone with daughters, I do believe we need to rename “School Picture Day” to “Hair Day.” Hair Day at my house has been a nightmare since preschool.

But something amazing happened yesterday. A seed I have been cultivating for years around authenticity and realness finally blossomed.

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How to Torpedo Your Talk: Memorize It

There are few things that scare me as a public speaking coach, but this phrase does it every time:

“Yeah, once I memorize my presentation script, I’ll be good to go.”

This is the point when my circuits get jammed, and I want to reach across the table and shake my client and warn them with language as strong as I can muster…

DON’T. MEMORIZE. YOUR. TALK.

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You Tawkin' Ta Me?

You know that moment. You’re in a meeting (or worse, on stage) and someone says something that hits you right in the solar plexus. Your face heats up, your heart races, you feel rage, or fear, or embarrassment, or sadness—pick your poison—and before you know it, you’ve missed the last 3 minutes of the meeting, lost in your own reaction. If you’re someone whose default reaction is to fight back, you consider your counter-attack. Or your default reaction may be to get out of the meeting as quickly as possible, and stay as quiet as possible in the meantime.

Either way, from my perspective as a communication coach, you are in a death spiral. Once you go into default-reaction mode, it is unlikely that anything good will come out of your mouth.

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