Posts Tagged ‘Pamela Jett Motivational Speaker’

Why Leaders Need to Stop “Making Changes”

by Pamela Jett, CSP

Group of successful young business persons together

A few days ago I had the privilege to work with one of my favorite clients, Norton Healthcare in Louisville, KY.  I’ve been working with them for the past several months facilitating their Women’s Leadership Academy.  This academy is made up of bright, motivated, and professional women leaders from around the healthcare system.  Discussions are consistently robust, thought provoking and lively. In addition to sharing communication and leadership skills with them, I always learn something from the attendees.  This session was no exception.

As leaders, the words we choose to use and the words we choose to lose can make all the difference in our effectiveness.  During this session we were talking about how to best navigate the pushback or resistance that teams will often display when a new policy or procedure is being implemented or when change is happening. An attendee, Beth, made a very astute observation. An observation that got me thinking and all of us talking.

Beth mentioned that she has learned in her leadership role that often team members have a very adverse reaction (notice, I didn’t say response) to the mere uttering of the word “change.”  This is true even if the “change” is a small one, or a change with extremely obvious positive benefits, or one that people have been lobbying for.  Team members often hear the word “change” and immediately go into resistance mode or become skeptical. Some team members can even become downright angry or hostile towards the change process before it even begins.

Has this been your experience?  It has been mine.  It also makes sense.  One of the things we know from neuroscience, is that the brain classifies “change” as “threat.” When humans feel threatened, all of the adverse reactions noted above are not only understandable, they are even predictable.

So, what can a savvy leader do?  Clearly, creating a team where nothing changes is not only a poor choice, it is not possible. Change is inevitable. Without change there is no growth. Change is necessary for teams, organizations, and even societies to thrive. The question becomes how to best manage change and lead people through the change process.

Good advice on that subject is easy to find.

Good leaders typically implement that good advice.

And yet, people still are resistant.

Here is where the Women’s Leadership Academy participant, Beth, made an astute observation and offered a savvy tip. Stop using the word “change” as often as possible. She shared that it had been her experience that if she could replace the word “change” with a different word, the resistance was less instantaneous and often less intense. Here are some of the words Beth and the other attendees agreed could work.

  • Adjust
  • Tweak
  • Upgrade
  • Enhance
  • Fine-tune
  • Refine

Obviously, this is only the start of what could be a very long list.  What words can you think of?

Words matter. From the receiver’s perspective, it is much more palatable to hear “we are going to adjust this process” or “we are going to upgrade this process” than “we are going to change this process.”

“It’s time to fine-tune our approach” sounds, and is, more positive than “it’s time to change our approach.”

The new wording sets people up for a positive experience and is less likely to trigger the “threat” reaction. It also allows people to know what they have been doing wasn’t all bad or all wrong. It allows leaders to stay positive (relentlessly positive), even when delivering a message that can sometimes be negative. 

Savvy leaders know that the words the words they choose to use can make all the difference. Making the effort to choose positive words as opposed to negative words (and change is often perceived as a negative) can become a key leadership success differentiator. Take the opportunity to replace “change” and watch resistance and pushback lessen and compliance and even enthusiasm increase.

Pamela Jett is a communication skills and leadership expert who knows that words matter! In her keynote presentations, workshops, books and online learning programs, she moves beyond communication theory into practical strategies that can be implemented immediately to create the kind of leadership, teamwork, and employee engagement results her clients want.

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Hyperbole – It’s “Killing” Your Career

“This project is the worst ever!”

“I have a million things on my to do list.”

“This is taking a ton of time.”

“Learning this new software is killing me!”

“If this meeting doesn’t end soon, I’m going to die.”

Do any of these phrases sound familiar? Have you ever found yourself using them or something similar in the workplace? If so, you may be unwittingly damaging your credibility by using (too much) hyperbole.

amazed woman with big head over grey background

What is hyperbole?

Hyperbole is an extreme exaggeration used to make a point.  We often use it to add “color” or “flavor” to our communication.  “This software is older than dirt” is a colorful statement and it allows you to make your point with emphasis.  Teenagers are MASTERS of hyperbole in my experience.  At least I was.  “Mom, if I can’t have these (name brand) tennis shoes, I won’t be able to show my face at school… ever!” Or, “I’m so embarrassed…I could just die!” That is hyperbole.

Hyperbole and Credibility

Communicating in a vivid and engaging manner can add to the overall impact of your message.However, reliance on hyperbole can “kill” your credibility. Notice what I did there? Of course you did.  Does hyperbole really “kill” your credibility?  Of course not.  Can it negatively impact your credibility?  Of course it can.

Unfortunately, “negatively impact” isn’t as attention grabbing as “kill.” And, in the information age, when we are inundated with messages, it is tempting to use hyperbole to grab attention, to get heard above the noise.

People Hands Holding Red Word Trust MeHere is where the problem lies.  If everything in your business is “the best ever” or “the biggest opportunity of the year” or even “the most challenging” then how do you separate the genuinely “great” from the “good?” How do you emphasize something worthy of more time, effort and energy if everything is currently positioned in the extreme? If you regularly use hyperbole to make a point, how can people trust you?

Remember the boy who cried “wolf!”?  When the wolf really did appear, he wasn’t believed.  Same thing with your credibility. If you consistently paint everything as a “crisis” or “a disaster!” how will you gain the much needed focus and attention of your team when the genuine crisis occurs?  Chances are, you will have a more difficult time.

caution-tape1Words Matter – Watch Out for These

Sometimes hyperbole is a habit.  We are accustomed to using words that smack of hyperbole.  Here’s a quick list of words that are currently popular.  We often use them without thinking and we may be inadvertently be hurting our credibility.

  • Amazing
  • Awesome
  • Unbelievable
  • Totally
  • Nightmare
  • Ridiculous
  • Fabulous
  • Killing
  • Crushing

If you use these words sparingly, you will likely make an impact.  If you use them too much you will likely be seen as less professional, less serious, and less discerning.  You will be hurting your credibility.

Ask yourself, how am I using hyperbole?  Too much? What price might I be paying?

Professionals know that communicating in an engaging manner is important.  However, to sacrifice credibility for the sake of exaggeration is likely a career killing, totally ridiculous, nightmare choice.

Pamela Jett is a communication skills and leadership expert who knows that words matter! In her keynote presentations, workshops, books and online learning programs, she moves beyond communication theory into practical strategies that can be implemented immediately to create the kind of leadership, teamwork, and employee engagement results her clients want.

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Stop Saying ” I’m Sorry” and Start Saying This Instead

by Pamela Jett, CSP

By now, yomedfr17018u’ve likely seen and heard the advice to “stop saying I’m sorry” in numerous blogs, seminars, books, and speeches by experts like myself.  In fact, I’ve even blogged about it myself before (if you want to read that blog click here.)  Many of us habitually say “I’m sorry.” Often for things we have no need to apologize for. It can be a habit. It can diminish our impact and credibility.  And, it can erode our path to success.

Most experts, myself included, will advise you to replace the “I’m sorry” with “I apologize.”  I apologize is more impactful, you are taken more seriously, and it keeps you from offering apologies where none are warranted.  This is a small change that can make a big difference.

There is another equally powerful replacement.  This replacement allows you build the other person up.  To compliment them on their admirable behavior instead of tearing yourself down or making yourself small.  The replacement for “I’m sorry” is to compliment or praise the other person.  For example:thank-you2

  • Instead of “I’m sorry I took so long to clear the meeting room” try “thanks for waiting so patiently as I cleared the room.”
  • Instead of “I’m sorry I was late” try “I appreciate your kindness in waiting for me.”
  • Instead of “I’m sorry to ask for you help” try “your willingness to help means a lot to me.”

Build the other person up.  Praise or thank them for their actions or response instead of tearing yourself down. While there are still plenty of times when an apology is warranted, often the best course of action is to praise the other party.

Pamela Jett is a communication skills and leadership expert who knows that words matter! In her keynote presentations, workshops, books and online learning programs, she moves beyond communication theory into practical strategies that can be implemented immediately to create the kind of leadership, teamwork, and employee engagement results her clients want.

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#1 Way to Deal With Difficult People

Java Printingby Pamela Jett, CSP

Difficult people are everywhere. There are exploders, snipers, steamrollers, and chronic complainers in our personal lives and in our professional lives. While it might be possible in our personal lives to avoid difficult people to a degree, it is virtually impossible to do so at work.

To make things even more challenging, we can’t make a difficult person not be difficult. What is helpful is to understand the #1 reason difficult people are difficult.

Difficult people are difficult because it is working for them.

They are getting some sort of reward or payoff with their difficult behavior. Perhaps it is attention. Perhaps it is a sense of power of control. Perhaps their reward is that they get their way.

While we can’t make them not be difficult, we can train the difficult person that while their difficult behavior might be working with others, it does not work with us. Ask yourself “what is the reward they are seeking?” And, then decide if you are willing to give it. Sometimes it is a simple as deciding not to commiserate with a chronic complainer or to not explode back (or give them control) when an exploder explodes.

For more techniques to deal with difficult people, check out the up-coming webinar “Snipers, Steamrollers, and Chronic Complainers” at JettWebinars.com.

 

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When Name Calling Works: Tips For Better Self-Talk (part 3 of 3)

by Pamela Jett, CSP

Keys for Better Self-Talk During Emotionally Charged Situations

Key#3 (part 3 of 3)

Have you ever tried to calm yourself down in an emotionally charged situation by using self-talk such as “I am calm” or “I am patient?” If so, great job! That means you are using key #1 (desired behavior) and key #2 (present tense.)

child yellingHere is key #3. Call yourself by name! The latest research shows that if you call yourself by name, such as “Pamela, you are calm” Your self-talk is even more effective. Case study after case study shows that superstars in sports, business, and even a Nobel Peace Prize winner (Malala) call themselves by name when trying to stay calm, cool, and collected. Try it!

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Self Talk For Emotional Control (part 2)

Keys for Better Self-Talk During Emotionally Charged Situations

by Pamela Jett

Key #2 (part 2 of 3)

We previously learned that self-talk during emotionally charged situations is more effective if you plant the desired behavior (I am calm) in your mind instead of the undesired behavior (I am not angry.)

i am strongHere is key #2. Make your self-talk in the present tense. For example, instead of saying to yourself “I will be patient,” say, “I am patient.” Even if you don’t feel patient in the moment, tell yourself you are.

Using “present tense” self-talk helps you engage in the desired behavior right at that very moment.

Key #3 coming soon!

For more tools to stay calm, cool, and collected during emotionally charged situations, register for Pamela’s webinar series Conflict and Confrontation: Critical Skills at Jettwebinars.com or by clicking here.

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“You Don’t Understand” – Words to Choose and Words to Lose

jettlogo2Have you ever found yourself in a difficult conversation feeling frustrated? Misunderstood? Devalued? These negative emotions can often lead to communication choices that are counterproductive. For example, have you ever said (or, let’s be candid, maybe even yelled) “you don’t understand” during a difficult conversation? Not surprisingly, this can trigger defensiveness and hostility in others.

Here are a few thoughts about what to say instead. First, check yourself. Are you sure they don’t understand? Might some of your frustration stem from them not agreeing? Sometimes, we accuse people of not understanding or not listening to us when the truth is that they likely understand, but don’t agree.

Next, choose to communicate in a way that accurately expresses what you are feeling in a non-accusatory way such as:

  • “I’m not feeling heard.”
  • “I’m not feeling valued.”
  • “I’m feeling frustrated.”

Or

  • “We see this differently.”
  • “We have different perspectives at play here.”

While none of these options will work in every single difficult conversation, they are alternatives to the accusatory “you don’t understand” and can often move a conversation forward in a less hostile, more productive way.

For more of the words to choose and the words to lose, read Pamela’s book “Communicate to Keep ‘Em” available here.

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Looking for a Speaker in 2015?

 

Get a head start on booking speakers for your 2015 conferences and events.  It’s not to early to starting thinking about how to give leaders and team members alike the communication tools they need to be better leaders, enhance employee engagement, deal with difficult people, and drive results.  Pamela Jett specializes in:

  • Keynotes that are energetic, humorous, and loaded with content that get your meeting off to a positive start and generate tons of “hallway conversations.”
  • Breakout sessions that are interactive and loaded with practical tools to solve real world problems.
  • Training sessions that are tailored to meet your specific needs and challenges.

Here is what a few satisfied clients have to say.

“Your speaker evaluations were off the wall! According to 3,000 attendees, your marks were excellent – probably the best speaker evaluations we have ever had!
–Susan Forrester, Central CA Women’s Conf.

“Our off-site was the very best ever! Your presentation was a large part of the success. You made an effort to understand our group’s unique needs and you tailored a session that was just what I was looking for!”     –Phil Marquis, Ameriprise Financial

“Pamela was absolutely wonderful and well received by all! She started the conference on such a positive note – and a sure way to guarantee its success. As I anticipated, her educational session was standing room only. Speaking personally, the information I took away from both her presentations was worth its weight in gold! And more importantly, her advice and suggestions are realistic.”     –Linda Berkerian, NAACO

To book Pamela or to get more information, contact Aimee at 866.726.5388.

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Leader’s Toolkit for Difficult and Disciplinary Conversations – Webinar

Leaders of every level, from first time supervisors to senior executives, agree that one of their most difficult responsibilities is having disciplinary or difficult conversations. In fact, many leaders often ignore problems and hope that they will go away (and, of course, they rarely do.) Having language patterns and tools to specifically handle these tough conversations is what every leader needs and what this program provides. Loaded with practical communication tools for senior level executives to first-time supervisors and even parents, this webinar will give you practical tools you can put to work immediately and relieve some of the stress associated with disciplinary conversations.

REGISTER HERE

CALL 866.726.5388 FOR GROUP RATE (2 or more)

Get the leadership mindset to make disciplinary conversations easier

  • Learn to differentiate between “can’t do” and “won’t do” issues.
  • Discover why people don’t do what they are supposed to do and how to ignite positive behavior change.
  • Master the art of staying calm during difficult conversations.

Master communication tactics and language patterns to prepare for tough conversations

  • Discover the 4-step process to request behavior change.
  • Learn how to use the “BCA technique” as a template for almost any difficult conversation.
  • Find out why you ought to stop feeding carrots to stick people.

Learn how to manage tense conversations with difficult people

  • Discover what to say/do when tears flow.
  • Learn what never to say during a disciplinary conversation – hint… it’s not what you think.
  • Discover the power of silence.
  • Learn how to keep records and notes so that you can hold people accountable.
  • Master the art of open ended questions to gain cooperation.

When: Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 at 12:00 pm PST; 1:00 pm MTN; 2:00 pm CST; 3:00 pm EST

REGISTER HERE

CALL 866.726.5388 FOR GROUP RATE (2 or more)

Additional Inclusive Webinar Materials

Participant note-taking guide for use during the event and for reference post event.
Access to regular communication tools and techniques via Pamela’s Words Matter blog.
The complete audio recording of the event.

Who Should Attend

Leaders, Managers, and Supervisors
Project Managers
Team Leads

FAST – Get right down to business with no time wasted.

This is a content-rich experience without fluff or filler.

CONVENIENT – Learn right at your desk.

No expensive travel, no time out of the office, and no time wasted. Can’t make the live webinar? Watch the recording when the time is right for you.

APPLICABLE IMMEDIATELY

This experience will provide time and money saving tools to use immediately.

 AFFORDABLE –

Priced at just $79, this is a fraction of the cost of other high-priced events or seminars. Plus, there is no additional travel expense. Ideal for multiple listeners too!

REGISTER HERE

CALL 866.726.5388 FOR GROUP RATE (2 or more)

What’s Next?

October 16: What Not to Say: A Guide for Keeping Your Foot Out of Your Mouth

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New Webinar – Crucial Conversations: Tools for HR Pros – Aug 27th

Human resource professionals are often tasked with having crucial or difficult conversations. These are the kinds of conversations when the stakes are high and emotions run deep. Wouldn’t it be great if you had tools to make those conversations easier? In this fast-paced,skill-building webinar you will discover communication skills to make every conversation easier, less stressful, and more productive – even with difficult people!

When?  Wednesday August 27th, noon PT (Remember, you get a full recording if this time doesn’t work for you.)

Register now here!

For Groups of two or more, register now here!

Get off to the right start – every time

  • Leverage the secret the most productive HR pros use – scripting.
  • Beyond the basics – savvy techniques for starting a conversation off on the right track.
  • Build rapport and minimize defensiveness with powerful personality insights

Language patterns and scripts for success

  • Discover the words to choose and the words to lose to increase cooperation and understanding
  • Powerful templates for disciplinary and other crucial conversations – stop winging it.
  • Increase buy-in and commitment with one simple technique

What to do when emotions run high – yours and theirs

  • Master simple strategies to stay calm, cool, and collected during to toughest conversations.
  • What to say and do with those who cry, blame, and other negative behaviors
  • Discover how to “stop feeding carrots” to stick people and minimize other self sabotaging behaviors for crucial conversation success.

Whether you have these crucial conversations yourself or need to coach managers and supervisors how to have their own conversations with employees, this program is loaded with tools to make it easier.

Register now here!

For Groups of two or more, register now here!

Additional Inclusive Webinar Materials

  • Participant note-taking guide for use during the event and for reference post event.
  • Access to regular communication tools and techniques via Pamela’s Words Matter blog.
  • The complete audio recording of the event.

Who Should Attend

  • Leaders, Managers, and Supervisors
  • Project Managers
  • Team Leads
  • Administrative Assistants
  • Support Staff
  • Anyone who works in a team environment

FAST – Get right down to business with no time wasted.

This is a content-rich experience without fluff or filler.

CONVENIENT – Learn right at your desk.

No expensive travel, no time out of the office, and no time wasted. Can’t make the live webinar? Watch to the recording when the time is right for you.

APPLICABLE IMMEDIATELY –

This experience will provide time and money saving tools to use immediately.

 

AFFORDABLE –

Priced at just $79, this is a fraction of the cost of other high-priced events or seminars. Plus, there is no additional travel expense. Ideal for multiple listeners too!

Bookmark and Share