January 2010

"The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives." 

- Anthony Robbins

As I mentioned in my November newsletter, I wanted to take some time to refocus and decide what I wanted to do when I grow up - with one restriction - I have to not grow up to do whatever it is.

Over the ten years that I have operated my own training and writing business, I've adjusted and narrowed my focus each year. Recently, I had a bit of an obvious epiphany. Do you know what I mean by that? It's one of those "a-ha" moments that after you've had it, you think, "Well, of course, how could it be anything else?"

If this past year has taught me anything, it is that we live in a divided society. More so than at any time in my life (and I lived through the 60s!), people seem to be screaming at each other. The common manners that we were taught as children have been thrown out so that we can push our viewpoint on others.
Creating a Change
I love training. I love communicating. I want to make a difference in a world that has become shrill and angry. I want to see a change, and I want to help create that change. I want to help people discover that the best way to win people to their way of thinking is to find the areas of agreement. Only when we do that, will we accomplish anything, including solving the big problems we have in this country and this world.

So I will be focusing my training on communication and interpersonal skills. The new, revamped training sessions will focus on solving problems between people by paying attention to how we relate to each other. There will be a mix of Emotional Intelligence, Appreciative Inquiry, Conflict Resolution, as well as Effective Communication.
This newsletter will reflect that more defined focus. We'll talk about the basics of communication and spend time discussing the areas where many of us have problems. We'll discover ways to get through barriers and reach consensus.

We'll start with a little communication theory, just to set the stage. The definition of human communication is transmitting information from one person to another. Harold Lasswell, political scientist and communication theorist summed it up as "who says what to whom in what channel with what effect."

Four Elements of Communication
For actual communication to happen, there have to be four elements; sender, message, receiver and feedback. I can send this newsletter out to thousands of people, but if no one opens or reads it, there is no communication. And if I don't get feedback from you and others who read it, I can't be sure that I have communicated effectively (or that I haven't dropped into your spam filter.)

These four parts give me an ideal framework for discussing communication. What parts do I have control over? What am I responsible for? When I communicate, what do I need to be aware of?

These are some of the topics we'll be talking about this year as we work toward a successful, peaceful, and productive 2010. I hope you'll join me.

Feedback, Please
Help me fill in that last piece of this communication. Reply with your biggest communication problems. What drives you crazy? Is it talking to your spouse? Is it dealing with employees who don't listen to you? Is it communicating with people from different generations? Does the speed of communication cause you stress or do you hate when you have to communicate in "old-school" ways? Let me know you're out there and what you would find worthwhile on the subject of communication.

Upcoming Training

Watch this space for upcoming training events and speaking engagements. If you would like me to speak to your group or association on any area of interpersonal communication, please let me know.

Are your employees having problems with motivation or showing signs of stress? Often these problems result from a need for greater interpersonal skills. Call me for a free consultation to see if my training programs can help. I'll give you an outline of what I think will help or refer you to someone who is better suited to assist. Call 210-863-2250 or email crystal@crystaldarby.com to set up a time.


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Crystal Communications
6000 Trone Trail
San Antonio, Texas 78238