No. 108 – 7 Benefits of Your Positive Attitude

Posted on December 6th, 2016 by in Executive Charisma

If you “sing” at work as Warren Buffet says he does, it shows in person and online. When you look, think, and act with deep cheerfulness, you:

• Lighten yours and others’ burdens
• Increase your physical, mental, and emotional energy
• Have a better chance of fighting off a cold (scientists say)
• Make experiences delightful
• Have more fun than pessimists
• Live longer (research supports)
• Are remembered when you’re gone

One long time friend and mentor, Jim Rupp, told me before he passed away, “Every morning I wake up thinking something wonderful is going to happen to me today; and when it doesn’t, which is often, I think, it will happen the next day.”

~Debra

P.S.  If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.


No. 107 – Virtual Meeting Prep Pays Off

Posted on November 29th, 2016 by in Effective Communication

Before you join in a video conference or virtual meeting of any kind, think through the ramifications of what’s about to happen. Take at least a little time to create a positive impression with your visual surroundings and make the exchange productive for all. Outline your objective. Rehearse your points so that you can:

• Inform and “tell, not sell”
• Relate a compelling story
• Be exciting
• Be entertaining
• Talk with the viewers, not at them

With prethinking, at the very least you’ll relax and show respect to others, but in addition, you’ll minimize freezing, failing, or fumbling in front of viewers.

One CEO told me his prep: “I breathe deeply because it helps me talk when my lungs are full of air. I suck my gut in, get on the balls of my feet even though I’m seated, and get ready to be fired at.”

~Debra

P.S. If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.


No. 106 – 12 Reasons Why It’s Important to Ask Questions

Posted on November 22nd, 2016 by in Effective Communication

Asking questions is a basic leadership requirement. Whether you are leading, managing, job interviewing, negotiation, selling, influencing or just engaging, your question asking is more important than your question answering.

Here are some ways you can benefit from asking the right questions:

  • Find out what the other people care about, value, like, and dislike
  • Distinguish yourself from the know-it-alls
  • Flatter others, and maintain their self-esteem
  • Show interest in others rather than coming across as just trying to get what you want
  • Get a more honest assessment of the situation
  • Avoid jumping to conclusions and making false assumptions
  • Help guide people to arrive at the answer you want
  • Buy yourself time
  • Handle surprise and attack by asking for clarification instead of jumping into a defensive mode
  • Persuade better
  • Reinforce, clarify, or correct what you think you know
  • Test and verify what they know

~Debra

P.S. If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.


No. 105 – Communication Chaos

Posted on November 16th, 2016 by in Effective Communication

With all the communication tools available to us, there is still massive mutual mystification when it comes to clearly understanding each other. Many factors contribute to that, not the least being the languages people speak in our diverse workforce. A US Census report on findings from 2009-2013 found that sixty million Americans speak languages other than English at home; they speak some 300-plus different languages.

For example, in:

-New York = 192 different languages

-San Francisco = 163 different languages

-Dallas = 156 different languages

So in addition to the more common German, French, Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese, you have: Havasupi, Swahili, Onondaga, Bengali, Picuris, Hindi, Tungus, Hawaiian, Bengali, Pima, Amharic, Serbian, Tamil, Indonesian, Malayalan, Kiowa, Pidgin, Croatian, French Creole, Samoan and Mandarin — as a small sample.

Even if you speak English you have to work at being understood, as writer David Burge, puts it, “Yes. English can be weird. It can be understood through tough thorough thought, though.”

~Debra

P.S.  If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.


No. 104 – International Personal Bonding

There is about a 100 percent possibility that in the course of your day you will be communicating with someone from a different country who has had a different cultural upbringing and who speaks a different first language than you do.

As one of my coaching clients explained, “I was with team members on a call today in which one person was in California and one was in Nepal, and I was in Washington, D.C. I’ve worked with these people for three years, and I’ve never met them.”

There are as many ways to behave toward and with people as there are countries on the earth. And even within each country, there are regional variations of the larger culture. You cannot cover every single base, but you can have an approach that works with every single constituent:

  • Accept differences.
  • Be respectful and extra polite in words and tone.
  • Use an appropriate level of formal title: Dr., Professor, Mr.,Mrs., Ms., Madame, Mssr., and so on.
  • Use lots of “pleases” and “thank-yous.”
  • Don’t be loud and pushy.
  • Minimize being overly direct and abrupt.
  • Use straightforward terminology, not big words.
  • Slow down; speak up.

That same coaching client said, “My secret to success is to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in the other person’s language. Even if my pronunciation is clumsy, people appreciate the effort.”

~Debra

P.S.  If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.


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