Author: maripat

Listening re-visited: The closer you are, the less you listen

Recently my sister shared with me a stack of letters sealed in a plastic zip-locked bag she had found amongst my mom’s possessions.  They were love letters from my father written around 1952 in the year before they were married. The letters reveal sides of my father I did not know. Kate Murphy’s new book, You’re not Listening:  What you’re missing and why it matters illuminated how “closeness communication bias” may have prevented me from learning more about this side of my dad while he was still with us.

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Do leaders need to show they like their job and us?

When someone attains a leadership position – whether in politics or business – we assume they’ve worked hard to achieve that role and are likely being compensated well.  Should we expect them to like the job and us? I say yes. 

In his new book An Effort to Understand David Murray’s essay “We deserve leaders who act like they like us” caught my attention.  We’ve all had the experience of working with or for individuals who look like, sound like and feel like they’d rather be doing almost anything else than leading.  It can show up in any number of ways:

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Watch your tone, Missy!

“Watch your tone, Missy!” I heard that a few times growing up from my parents and I knew exactly what it meant and still cringe today thinking about those moments. It referred to the times I was being disrespectful or mean spirited in my comments. Speaking that way got me nothing but trouble.

As an adult and communication coach I recognize that “tone” is one of those important tools we need to be sensitive about when it comes to the way we communicate everyday. If we want to get traction for our ideas rather than trouble, we’ll watch our tone.

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