If you have the power to advocate for the things you believe in… If you can make the compelling case for the idea… If you can influence the decisions and behaviors of others… If you can build consensus and persuade… You have competitive advantage. Period. Full stop. In the 21st century business world — where […]

So much of the psychology of our business culture is about teams, working together, looking for the “win-win” scenario… and that’s all good. Those are good things to work towards. But can we be part of a collaborative environment, and still be able to ask the hard and uncomfortable questions? I hope so, because it’s […]

A Universal Business Problem

Posted On February 9, 2023 BY

We have clients across a range of industries and on five continents. And no matter where we go, no matter what the industry is, everyone complains about the exact same thing. Everyone wants their colleagues, customers, vendors or partners to simply get to the point. We, all of us, have a chronic business problem of […]

Learning how to become an expert in anything is complex… mastering an athletic skill, inhabiting a character in a play, communicating in a powerful way, or anything else. Expertise, in any endeavor, is not easy to accomplish. Whenever I take a close look at the training and preparation habits of elite performers (something I do […]

The Key to Building Credibility

Posted On January 19, 2023 BY

Let’s talk about building credibility… real credibility. Not the short term version of credibility that comes from a referral or a common friendship or the personal courtesy of someone giving you a chance. No… let’s talk about the long-term credibility that is built by you, your actions and your performance. Real credibility is created in […]

The Psychology of Weak Language

Posted On January 17, 2023 BY

One of the things I listen closely for in our workshops is a certain kind of vocabulary that we call “weak” or “qualifying” language. And when I hear it, my coaching sensors start ringing loudly. Words or phrases like “sort of,” “kind of,” “pretty much,” or “basically,” can be toxic for the speaker and dramatically […]

As a coach, I see a lot of different kinds of speakers: those who are confident and controlled and others who are nervous and still figuring out how to get their point across. And I’ve had people ask, “Don’t you sometimes want to laugh at how bad some of these presentations can be?” It might be hard to believe, […]

An Unexpected Call for Help

Posted On December 27, 2022 BY

(Author’s Note: The following story happened on December 6, 2021 during a quiet afternoon at our office. I happened to be sitting at our conference table with my wife Emily. We were having lunch, doing Christmas cards, and just making small talk about all the things we had to get done between then and the […]

My colleagues and I always talk and teach about the importance of knowing your audience, and preparing for your work communication correctly. And at the center of that work is the ability to clarify the message and “the ask,” to try to anticipate what the audience will care about, and the questions or objections they […]

Making A Plan To Listen

Posted On October 10, 2022 BY

In business, we have all sorts of plans… strategic plans, sales plans, operations plans, marketing plans. Plans, plans everywhere. And for the last twenty years our clients have also heard my colleagues and me talk at length about message plans. There is no shortage of plans in the world of business. But how many of […]