I have dreamed of surfing since I was a teenager. One problem – I grew up in Minnesota. My state is the furthest from any ocean in North America, so waves were not easily accessible. Having been recently invited to speak on the island of Kauai, where surfing originated, this bucket-list opportunity was primed. On top of that, my wife Lisa’s childhood friend, a school teacher and surfing instructor, now lives in Kauai.
12 Tips for Clear Communication
In the world today, clear communication is hard to maintain. People trust the clear and mistrust the ambiguous. Much of the time, communication is done via email, phone, or messaging. Clear communication is a hard skill to learn and it has become increasingly more difficult in the technological climate of today. Many of us struggle to finish a conversation without glancing at our phone, watching the TV in a restaurant or any number of other distractions available to us today.
Anyone familiar with the academic side of communication can tell you, it’s very difficult for any two people, much less groups, to accurately convey meaning to one another. Our minds are too filled with our own assumptions. For example, suppose I asked you to think of a person riding a horse. Some of you, by virtue of your background or imagination, might picture someone galloping through the mountains. Others of you might instinctively envision someone else, jumping gates in an arena. Your mind’s eye colors things differently than others based on your experiences. No two people ever perfectly communicate. However, the more clear our communication, the greater the ability to trust.
Now think about your life. Whether you are having a face-to-face conversation, talking on the phone, or responding to an email, it can be extremely difficult to set your ego aside and show the other person that you care about what they have to say. All the variables that go into clear communication need to be practiced. Even if you are a naturally good listener, it still is something that you need to continually work on to become a great listener. If you are great at asking questions, you may need work on simplifying or deciphering the answers to those questions.
12 Tips for Clear Communication
3. Avoid manipulation. Don’t overstate or understate
4. Speak honestly and without exaggeration
5. Stay focused and avoid distractions
6. Ask questions
7. Glean information from the non-verbal communication
8. Keep an open mind and do not jump to conclusions
9. Do not criticize
10. Simplify the complicated
11. First seek to understand, then to be understood
12. Mean what you say
Clear communication is difficult for another reason. Some studies suggest that over 90% of the meaning we derive comes from non-verbal cues that one person gives to another. That means only 10% of communication is based on words we say! Clear communication is work.
“The vision is really about empowering workers, giving them all the information about what’s going on so they can do a lot more than they’ve done in the past.”
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Hyper-Personal & Shared Experience Culture | Trust Trends 2014 Series
Increasingly, Americans desire to be entertained, fulfilled, and transformed, and they want to share these experiences with their friends.
Americans are stressed-out, staying obese, and becoming more self-focused and unhealthy. They are often distrusting critics, especially younger anti-institutional generations who have been influenced by scandals in hierarchies, and this makes them increasingly informal. As consumers, they are demanding and difficult to please. They trade their money and options for what they want, when they want, and how they want. Increasingly, they desire to be entertained and fulfilled, and they want to share experiences with friends. In 2014, American consumers desire hyper-personal products, services, experiences, shared experiences and transformations.
Conflict is Unavoidable | Trust in Relationships
Most conflict occurs because of a lack of clarity in communication, so I feel it is important to address here. Expect conflict. Learn to deal with it. Anytime there’s more than one person, you’re bound to find conflict. It’s only natural. We all have separate backgrounds, different tendencies, and unique perspectives. It’s no surprise we disagree from time to time. I am always amazed at the splits in friendships, churches, and businesses over a little conflict. Who do you agree with 100% of the time? Nobody. I don’t even agree with those I love the most, all of the time.
Alliance Academy International | Trust in Schools
It didn’t take long for me to see the impact of trust at one of the biggest schools of its kind—Alliance Academy International(AAI). The impact of an AAI education and experience is powerful. The English Speaking School in Quito, Ecuador educates students from thirty-two nationalities this year alone. The nearly 200 faculty, staff and board are multinational. A student might be a general’s son, a pop star’s daughter, or a scholar-shipped child from the Amazon jungle.
How does AAI build trust that impacts so many lives in the face of such diversity?
The Greatest Example of Trust Rebuilt! | Trust in Leadership
Perhaps the greatest example of trust being rebuilt globally is Rwanda. Only two decades after the genocide of 1994, when nearly a million Tutsi’s were atrociously killed, often by Hutu neighbors, trust is being rebuilt in a genuine way. Just a boy at the time, my Rwandan friend, Father Remy, hid in a neighbor’s shed for three months with his younger brother while his mother, father and little sister were beaten to death in their home. This morning, before flying back home, Father Remy shared the details of Rwanda’s path to forgiveness, reconciliation and trust with my family over a long breakfast. He offered four steps and a few keys to reconciliation and trust.
Get Out and Enjoy the Frigid Weather | The Trust Edge
We’ve endured and even enjoyed one frigid winter in Minnesota this year. From –55 F windchill to plenty of snow, I’ve found the best way to survive the winter is to embrace it. Our family loves to skate, ski, snowmobile, and sled. Take a look a Isaiah’s new jump.
It is easy to stay inside and complain about the weather. I takes work to put on snow clothes and get outside. But, when you do, you feel better every time. It is easy to complain about not getting a good nights sleep. It takes work to go to bed on time, stop drinking caffeine, or shut off the TV. It is easy to complain, but it takes work to do what you can do about the situation.
For many things about which we complain, the worst part is taking the first step. Next time you want to complain, ask yourself, “What one step could I take to do something about that?”
Now get out and enjoy the weather.
Collaboration-Conducive Work Environments | Building Trust with Gen Y Series
Situate them in workspaces conducive to collaboration. (5 of 9 in series)
Millennials are also known as “generation we” because of their strong social mindset. Despite growing up in the most individualistic nation in history, American millennials think and act quite socially. They know that better results and meaning come through collaboration. They’re used to the flat connected world and used to working with people from varying cultures. Gen Y knows that strategizing and executing with 3 or 8 or 21 varying perspectives leads to high caliber and balanced results. Consider setting up your office in a way that’s more conducive to collaboration and get increased productivity by letting millennials work and compete on teams.