Personal Development & Success

/Personal Development & Success

Start an Elevator Conversation; Forget the Elevator Speech

The elevator speech is dead. That was my pronouncement in last week’s blog. The reasons: Elevator speeches are too vague, too canned, too boring. Hearing an elevator speech, people feel that you’ve tossed them “bait.” They resist “being hooked.” They push back just like you resist the salesperson who approaches you as you walk in [...]

10 Tiny Things That Create Big First Impressions

Whether it takes 7 seconds or 17 minutes to make a first impression, people always seem astonished at what idiosyncrasy causes the gut reaction. That reaction may be positive or negative, but it pays to know how others perceive you. After more than 30 years of personal coaching and studying the topics of interpersonal skills, [...]

How to Skip Small Talk and Get to Know Someone

Noticing the time on a text message (3:04 a.m.) that came in from a Millennial one morning, I asked if he had been working that late. “No, I went out to meet someone at a coffee shop about midnight. Just thought I’d answer your earlier text as I walked home.” “Out to meet someone after [...]

5 Communication Practices Touted As Effective—That Really Aren’t

No matter the topic, there’s always the flipside. Politics? The liberal view versus the conservative view. Religion? Scores of interpretations. How to build the better app? Fee versus free, with imbedded links. So when it comes to communication, the same is true. What you’ve always heard as conventional wisdom may not be “best practice” after [...]

5 Mistakes Leaders Make in Responding to Questions

Whether delivering a presentation to clients or your own executive team, delegating, or passing someone in the hallway, leaders get questions. Some challenging, some trivial. But all responses leave an impression: As a leader, you know that people either trust you for the truth—or think less of you than before they asked. What makes the [...]

How Real Leaders Inspire, Build Culture, Stay Happy, Make Money

Given a half hour to kill in a shopping mall, I prefer to spend it reading greeting cards or books of essays. Not silly or trite sayings and philosophies, but those astute observations that slap you upside the head and make you think: “Hmmm. That’s squares with my experience. I’ll tuck that away for future [...]