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Showing posts from June, 2014

Why Monopolizing a Conversation is a Show of Arrogance

You've likely been in a conversation or at least overheard a conversation where one person talked and talked and talked or continuously interjected their opinion at every breath taken by the other side.  You've probably been in a training class and heard one particular participant constantly have something to say every time the facilitator asked a question or tried to move on with a point in the training.  You found it annoying and no doubt so did the other people around you.  Yet, the individual seems clueless that they are monopolizing the discussion.  Everybody in the room wants to say, "Just shut up already!"
     Facilitators like myself have to work harder in these instances to maintain control of the room.  We know that the other participants are looking to us to keep order so that they can get something out of the precious time they're spending in a training class--sometimes classes they've paid for themselves.  Out of politeness, most people--wh…

What Leaders Should Do to Speak Enthusiasm (When It's Not Your Thing)

Countless surveys have been done that show teams want leaders who inspire them.  They appreciate working with a manager who motivates them with their own enthusiasm and zest for life.  This is not a skill that's learned very easily if at all.  It's actually a personality trait that a lot of people have naturally, and to act counter to it would be a strain for them.  They love life and have a penchant for seeing experiences in a positive way even if things aren't going well.  Not everyone can do this and come across sincere.  Some people have to work at it.  On the contrary, as much as the optimistic person does not have to work hard at being excited about life, the pessimist does not have to work hard at seeing the hardships of life--and living in them.
     Pessimists see optimists sometimes as phonies.  They don't believe anyone can be that enthusiastic all the time and be sincere.  They believe they're hiding their pain.  Pessimists try to search below the …

3 Ways to Sound Empathetic When You're Not Sure How

Empathy is a little practiced emotion in today's communications.  Many people I've talked to admit that they tend to forget to be empathetic when they should be.  They also get confused about when they should be empathetic and when they should be sympathetic.  In fact, they hardly know the difference between the two and aren't quite sure how to show either.  So let's start there.  Let's distinguish between the two.  Empathy is the ability to be able to understand what other people are going through because you've experienced the same thing or something similar.  Sympathy is feeling compassion for someone else when something unfortunate happens to them.  Therefore, empathy is about, "Hey, I know what you're going through" and sympathy is "I may not fully know what you're going through, but I'm sorry it's happening to you."  Our focus today is to know how and when to be empathetic.  To avoid the awkwardness that can arise…