Emotions and Communication

Emotions, we all feel them, every single day.  Some of you feel them deeply while others prefer to ignore.  Regardless, they happen all the time and they have a marked effect on your behaviour and communication.

An emotion is “a strong feeling coming from your circumstances, mood, or relationships with others”, or an “instinctive or intuitive feeling that is to be distinguished from reasoning or knowledge.”

Emotion can be like noise; it can confuse you, distract you and confound you.  Have you ever felt an emotion so strong that you literally did not know what to do?  It can be a very overwhelming experience.  But your emotions are necessary.  They are part of who you are.  Learning to go with them, to feel them and then let go of them is a really healthy way to work with you.

Emotions need to be felt, acknowledged and processed.  If you try and avoid them then they only grow.  A feeling that is small can grow into a large beast that wreaks havoc if you try and ignore it.

A slight frustration can turn into rage if you allow it to grow, if you don’t feel it, experience it, process it and move on.  Emotion can change how you relate to others also.

Have you ever noticed that as your emotion escalates, particularly negative emotions like sadness, frustration, anger, sadness, disappointment, confusion and grief, your ability to communicate slides downhill very fast?

It’s really poor timing because just when you need to communicate at your best, you are potentially performing at your worst.  It’s critical that you understand for you how emotion affects your ability to communicate and what impacts you have when you are emotional.

For some, when they become emotional they tend to become angry toward others.  They are perceived as negative, aggressive and confrontational.  It is important to become aware of this and work to process your emotions in a way that does not harm your communication with others.

In coming posts we will share ways that different communicators can be perceived and how to ensure that you process your emotions in a healthy way so that they don’t affect your ability to connect with others.  Your relationships and professional life is worth it!

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.

Surfing and Communication?

Surfing and communication, what could they possibly have in common? More than you know. I have been learning to surf and it has been a wonderful and humbling experience.

Here are some of the similarities I have noticed since this amazing journey began;

You never know what the conditions will be. Each day is new and different. Don’t assume but start each day grateful, with respect and full of appreciation.

Be prepared – anything is possible. The conditions in the ocean can change from moment to moment. You do not know what lies ahead or what the other person is facing, so be prepared for anything.

Make the most of the moment. After all this is really all we have. Live in the present, appreciate what is happening now, leave the past where it is and don’t step into the future, you have no control there.

Enjoy the process. Just like surfing, relationships can be challenging. They will stretch you out of your comfort zone and teach you things about yourself you may not like. Be patient it is worth it.

When you get dumped; get back up and try again. Now I don’t mean this physically but it works. Next time something bad happens just get up, dust yourself off, learn from it and move forward.

Be patient. Ahhh this one is especially for me, but I will share it with you. Mastery may never happen in surfing but also in relationships. They are ever changing, every growing, so you never “arrive,” just stay humble.

Skills like this take time. The skill of surfing is a lengthy process to develop. I foolishly thought I’d master it after a few goes. Hah! Yeah right…..   Anything worthwhile takes time. Just like developing a healthy relationship or becoming a better communicator, it takes effort, patience and focus.

Be present. If you are thinking back to another time, worried about something coming up you lose the beauty of the moment you are in. As far as surfing goes, the process actually forces you to be present of you will be floating in the ocean quicker than you can say uh oh. In your relationships and communication it is critical to be present. One of your greatest needs as a Human is to be seen and noticed. So ensure you are present when with others, it is the least we can do.

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.



The signs of great friendships – Pt 2

What are the signs of great friendship?  At Teamology we are always talking about the benefits of great connections or friendships. Great communication leads to great connections. If you had a great connection or friendship do you know what it looks like?

I believe we were designed to be in relationship, and connections are necessary for us to survive and thrive in life. You know what you are looking out for I decided to share some characteristics of great connections. If you have not read Part 1 and would like to, please read it here

In Part 2 we will be covering two more components of great connections. The first being Guidance.

Guidance, involves being connected with mature and wise people who have been down many of life’s roads.

In life you will face many situations that require decisions that don’t have a simple answer. When you are connected to mature people who have grace and who you identify with, you will naturally lean into their guidance.

This is where you are able to share new ideas and advice solutions and brainstorm together thus bringing guidance and wisdom about your difficulties or struggles. Such friendships are always willing to share authentically with you.

For example, I was recently speaking with a parent who said to me I may need to speak with my son about some of the comments he was making on social media.  I was unaware of these comments and was full of gratitude that she alerted me to this issue.  My son had not said anything to me. My friend advised she had noticed he was making some comments that may have meant he was having a hard time.  She had noted it through her son (friends with my son)  who had mentioned his concerns to her.  This allowed me to connect with my son, find out what he was going through and support him.

I was really impressed that this parent had been so willing to share with me. This allowed me to solve a problem that was really affecting my son and many of those in his world.  How many times have we noticed something and said nothing? Or thought, “they must know what is going on.”  I am so glad she reached out.

Finally the last component of great connections is reality. It’s really important to be connected with people that keep you grounded and centred in reality. Whenever you are going through difficult times it is easy to lose your compass and grounded people help to stabilise you.

I was speaking recently with a colleague who shared with me that they had been struggling with a very difficult situation at work. They did not feel supported by their manager and sales that there were unrealistic expectations being placed on them.

Over a cup of coffee we spoke about some strategies she could put in place to let her Manager know how she felt, what she was capable of getting through and what was unrealistic for her to do at this time. We also made sure that she was able to explain her achievements to her Manager and also explain what was stopping her from full productivity.

Armed with this information she felt so much more empowered to do something about his situation rather than feeling helpless and hopeless. I explained to my friend that in most situations her manager was likely unaware of what was going on and how she was feeling. The first thing to do is to ensure that her manager has relevant information and knows how she is feeling.

Many times as our stress builds we forget that people do not know what is going on internally for us. We begin to assume, and as we do this our communication gets more and more off-track.

Find people who will give you reality people who aren’t black-and-white thinkers and who don’t pretend that they have the answer for every problem.  People like this who live in reality can live with conflict, failure and pain as these are normal part of our human existence. Next time you are in the middle of a crisis and can’t think past the next 10 minutes phone a friend who will be real with you give you a fresh and helpful perspective.

Keep an eye out for our next post which will cover the most common excuses we use for not being well connected.

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.






Did you know that you can master your emotions? Emotions should not run your life. Yes, we all feel them all of the time, but they should not control you.

I have found in my years of consulting, counselling and training that in many cases people are on auto pilot and are reacting out of emotions that have not even been acknowledged.

When you are reactive you are not in control and are giving all of your power away to the situation. This only creates more frustration, confusion and also emotion.

A very wise woman said to be once that the word motion is part of emotion because you need to feel it and then let it move. There has to be an element of motion. When you feel emotions and allow them to move on that no longer control you or your behaviour.

I sat with a lovely man a few days ago after speaking at an event. He looked me in the eyes and asked me “How do I stop feelings things so much?” This lovely man with tears in his eyes was completely lost. He wanted these really strong emotions he was feeling of being helpless, feeling out of control, feeling burdened to just go away.

Here are some simple tips to manage emotions so that at that critical time when someone has pushed your button you are able to remain in control.

I shared with him what I have learned over many years and that is to allow yourself to feel. It is only when you suppress or try and hold the emotions inside or ignore them that they grow.

He looked at me like I was slightly whacky and said “surely that’s not it?”

I asked him to give it a go and see what happened. I then shared with him these tips to help him become the Master of his own Emotions.

1) Identify What You’re Really Feeling

When you’re experiencing this negative emotion or Action Signal, ask yourself, “What am I really feeling right now?”

Get clarity on the emotion.  “Am I feeling angry, or is it something else?”  The power of acknowledging what you are feeling is so powerful.

 2) Acknowledge Your Emotions

Be thankful they are sending you a message. Cultivate the feeling of appreciation for all your emotions. They are there to serve you.  They are great gauges of how we are doing, do we need to rest? look after ourselves? listen to our intuition? and much more.

Next time we will continue with some more useful ideas on how to manage your emotions.

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.


Sydney’s light bulb moment

Did you see it? Sydney’s light bulb moment?  Check out the picture to the right care of the SMH and Reuters Jan1 2015.   It was truly beautiful.  However, light bulb moments can be beautiful, scary, shocking or saddening. Sometimes all at once.

As we leave 2014 in history and forge ahead into 2015 and what lies beyond it is always important to stop and take stock. Notice what has happened to us and around us (being enlightened, being aware). Learn from the past, whilst being kind to ourselves.

The light bulb in the fireworks display was to represent The International Year of Light – as endorsed by the United Nations. This symbol is to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health (as stated in the SMH Jan 1, 2015)

At Teamology we “love it” when we notice the light switch on for someone in how they communicate or connect with someone. It is why we exist, to facilitate this process.

It can be as simple as someone realising that when they interrupt a colleague at work their colleague interprets that as disrespect and that is why there is tension. They never intended to be disrespectful but to help.

Similarly, a spouse bombarded by hard questions from their partner freezes up not knowing what to say. Their partner interprets this as them not caring. Again, we have growing tension. When the true meaning is understood by both parties we have real and powerful connection.

We call such realisations “light bulb moments” and we live for them. We get so excited when we see this happen to someone and for someone.

So I ask you to take the time to think of what has 2014 taught you? What were your light bulb moments? Please share if you feel up to doing so.

I had many, particularly after in late 2013 being diagnosed with cancer. That in itself produced many light bulb moments. The experience of being told “you have cancer” is certainly one of those breathtaking moments, where you decide in a split second what is important and what you stand for.  If you would like to read more about my experience you can check out my blog all about my experience with cancer here.

For me and my family 2014 added many more. For example, learning that my old ways of coping and thinking were not going to get me through I had to evolve. To grow.

My old and entrenched habit of pushing through despite what I needed had to stop. My body was weak and tired, besides I deserved more. I had the mental strength to put stress and hurts behind me but it still physically took such a great toll.

Learning that I am not the total sum of what I produce was another biggie for me. I am a Human being, not a Human doing. Whoa….. say what???

I am enough….. whether I do or produce another thing in my entire life< I am worthy whether or not I produce, achieve or do something tomorrow. What a light bulb moment for me.

So I hope you take the time to consider what you learned in 2014, what it can teach you, how it can help you evolve to live a life that is filled with more meaning, love laughter, joy and happiness.

As I learned in the past 12 months, we don’t have forever to get it right, so learn quickly, enjoy immensely and live generously.  If you would like to learn more about becoming a more Enlightened Communicator complete this quick quiz.

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.



What is trust? Pt 1

What is Trust? It is something we all speak about, it is necessary for healthy relationships but what is it exactly?

Trust by definition is “a firm belief or reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.” Trust is necessary for our relationships to flourish.

We can build or destroy trust in many ways here are a few ideas around how to build trust. Next time we will talk about how we destroy trust.

Let’s look at this from both a business and a personal perspective. There are five excellent ways for people and leaders to build trust into their teams, and in their personal relationships. Additionally there are five quick ways to lose it. First let’s consider how to Build it.

Establish and maintain integrity.

It is the foundation of trust in any organisation or relationship. Integrity must begin at the top and then move down through an organisation. In our relationships Integrity must be present at the beginning and remain. This means, among other things, keeping promises and always telling the truth, no matter how difficult it might be. If it’s people have integrity, an organisation can be believed.  In your personal relationships having integrity means that you are consistent, caring and honest.

 Communicate vision and values.

Communication is important, since it provides the artery for information and truth. By communicating the organisation’s vision, management defines where it’s going. By communicating its values, the methods for getting there are established.

Taking the time to communicate values in your personal relationships is well worth it too. As a family it is very powerful to consider what values you hold as a family and why. This takes things to a whole new level for your kids and gets many unspoken assumed things out into the open.

Consider all as equal partners.

 Trust is established when even the newest rookie, a part-timer, or the lowest paid employee feels important and part of the team. The same for families, everyone has an equal say. This begins with management not being aloof, as well as getting out and meeting the troops. For families and friends it’s about everyone having a voice and being heard.

This should be followed by leaders seeking opinions and ideas (and giving credit for them). Even simple things like knowing the names of employees and their families and treating one and all with genuine respect.

Personally, some of the best ideas can come from the kids in families too. With inquisitive questioning asking, why do we do things this way? Why not a new way? At the very least you are communicating with them and explaining why even if change does not come about.

Focus on shared, rather than personal goals.

When employees feel everyone is pulling together to accomplish a shared vision, rather than a series of personal agendas, trust results. This is the essence of teamwork. When a team really works, the players trust one another.

In the same way families can function as wonderfully well oiled teams. After all you are a group of people working toward coming goals aren’t you?

Do what’s right, regardless of personal risk.

We all know intuitively what’s “right” in nearly every situation. Following this instinctive sense, and ignoring any personal consequences will nearly always create respect from those around us. From this respect will come trust.

Next time we will consider how we can destroy trust.

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.


Giving constructive feedback? Pt 2

How do you approach giving someone constructive feedback? Pt 2

Constructive feedback can be challenging, please ensure you have read Pt 1 as well as this edition.  When it comes to giving constructive feedback do you take a gently does it approach?  This can come across as more caring and certainly not confrontational however, you also need to ensure you are clear.  You don’t want to confuse the poor person.

I heard Oprah speaking about the first time she fired a staff member.  She said that she explained it so slowly and kindly that at the end of the meeting (2 hours later…) the person was not aware that they had been fired.  Uh oh!  You need to ensure that they get your feedback.

Do you worry about how they will take it, get all messed up and then it becomes all about you?  This can be traumatic for the person providing the feedback as you are racked with assumption, assuming the worst before you have even started a conversation.

Particularly if the feedback is not positive, if you need to address a problem, or something very challenging like terminate some ones employment.  In any conversation the moment we begin assuming, and filling in the gaps we are headed for trouble.

The other problem here is how we respond in situations when we are highly emotional.  Our brains virtually switch off and we can behave erratically or irrationally.

It is important that as soon as you notice you are assuming the worst or even assuming at all, you need to stop yourself.  This will only heighten your stress levels and anxiety.  Besides, an important note, this is not about you.

Effective communication should always be aimed at the receiver – how will they best receive this message.  So calm down and stop assuming!

Do you think about it from their perspective, get into their shoes and deal with it with warmth and respect?  In my experience I have found this to be the most effective way of approaching feedback.

The moment you approach feedback from the receivers perspective you are on the right track.  You are then able to ensure your communication is tailored for them.  It is also important to be respectful and not confrontational.

Despite how serious the breach has been or the issue is at hand, there is no need to disrespect.  When you approach difficult conversations with clarity, warmth and respect you are creating the best possible environment for effective communication.
If you need a better solution to giving feedback contact us at www.teamology.com.au to discuss how we can assist you.

When you understand your own needs as a Communicator and can work out the needs of others giving and receiving feedback becomes so much easier and more successful for everyone involved.  Check out our blue print for effective communication as a good starting point.  Join our community and you will be able to download it it for free.

If you have found this helpful, please share it with someone you think will benefit also.


For tips, free resources and our blog  “light bulb moments” head here to  www.teamology.com.au


Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.


Giving constructive feedback. Pt 1

How do you approach giving someone constructive feedback?

Did you know that the way you approach this task says more about you than you might know?  We each have our own unique communication style that influences and drives how we interact with others.

Additionally, many of us do not know how to best approach giving constructive feedback.  This is a critical skill in our communication, it is important to give positive feedback but also constructive.  Without it how do we improve?

As we are all different our approach to feedback also differs.  Some of us are task focused and some are more people focused.  Some are more outgoing and others are more reserved.  I am making it very simple here of course as humans we complicate things so much more – but I like SIMPLE!

Giving feedback is essential in our communication.  It is how we interact on a different level, how we show our impact, how we let someone know the impact they have had on us or on our expectations of them.

In a business environment feedback is essential.  All of us have had feedback sessions with mentors or managers, some great and empowering while others would be filed in the “traumatic” drawer we prefer not to look in all that often.

So how do you approach it?
 Are you an avoider?
 Do you launch in boots and all?
 Do you take it slowly and gently?
 Do you worry about how they will take it, get all messed up and then it becomes all about you?  Or,
Do you think about it from their perspective, get into their shoes and deal with it with warmth and respect? 
Which approach do you think will work out best in the end?

Let’s go through these options and see where they may take us.
 The avoider – this approach rarely works in the long run.  People who avoid issues need to have an amazing tolerance for mediocrity because, best-case scenario, that’s what you will end up with.

Avoiding the issue of giving feedback will only ever hinder the process of growth and development for both you and the person who is to receive the feedback.  When you avoid an issue, it tends to grow, so small issue will grow into a much bigger issue with avoidance.

Jumping in boots and all can also be problematic if you are not fully prepared and able to think before you speak.  The best thing about this approach is that you are doing it.

The most problematic issue may be that if you go in too hard and fast you risk offending the receiver of the feedback; particularly, if the feedback could be confronting for the receiver.

Feedback alone is a confrontational process to go through so we need to be aware of this and ensure our approach is not confrontational as well.

Next time we will check out the gently gently approach to feedback namely, and discuss some effective techniques you can put in place to assist you.

If you have found this helpful, please share it with someone you think will benefit also.

For tips, free resources and information on how to become a more effective communicator check out www.teamology.com.au

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.

Communicate like a dog

“Communicate like a dog? You mean Bark?” No, not really but there are some wonderful things we can learn from our trusted furry friends.

Now if you are not an animal lover, dog person or slightly interested in what this blog may contain then I urge you to stop reading right now. Just wait for the next more relatable post!

Things we can learn from dogs include;

  • Pure Joy
  • Unconditional love and acceptance
  • Living in the moment

When dogs bark, they are saying “hey family there’s something new here, I’m warning you”. Dogs are so loyal to their human families; their intent is to help.

This is very similar when someone is communicating with you and they have a different communication style. They may be short and to the point, or waffly or a great listener but not really a talker, or lastly critical and removed. Either way, they are communicating to you in their way so don’t take it to heart.

Just like Dogs, each of you has usually has a good intent when you communicate. You intend to get your message across. However, you all assume subconsciously that everyone communicates like you do.

WRONG! Everyone communicates according to their needs not yours. So the business like short and to the point, results focused person, is not intending to be rude or aggressive they are just communicating according to their needs.

Similarly, the waffly, story telling, charismatic person may hog the conversation and make it all about them but they just want you to like them. The critical, cold, reserved, organised perfectionist, is not meaning to be rude when they correct your spelling or statistics that is just what they do and they hate to be wrong so they are helping you to be correct.

Now when our dog is barking incessantly I don’t get quite so cross with him as I see what his intent is “Family there’s something strange here, I am warning you so I can keep you safe.” He has barked so much more in recent times as he has aged and lost both his eye sight and hearing. I am sure there is much he anxiously warns us about.

So how do you cope with this potential for misunderstanding? Understand your own style first, then you are more able to see why you do what you do. Then you can understand others. If this is interesting to you, you may like to read in my book “The Enlightened Communicator.”  

If you would like to understand more about the different styles keep reading this blog as it is our intent to make communicating and connecting with each other easier.

As for our four legged friends they can teach us so much. They are always pleased to see you, I cannot say the same is always true for my family L It does depend on what the last conversation was like (ie did I say “No” to my kids or forget something important to someone?)

A wonderful day for them is lying in the sun, or chasing their tail, or chewing on a stick. Our puppy will ask to go out through the night and I stand there half asleep, wanting to crawl back into bed while she runs and jumps through the grass chasing moths and insects in the wee hours. Once I stopped whining about the fact it was 3am, it is pure joy to watch her have fun.

Dogs practice unconditional love and acceptance. I believe most of us could benefit from this premise. Many people struggle to love and accept their loved ones. Humans seem hard-wired to want to change and improve each other. It would make life so much easier if we just allowed others to be them and we focused on changing ourselves instead.

Lastly, living in the moment. This is such a stress free and liberating way to be. This incorporates the new mindfulness ideas if you have heard about them recently. Living in the now releases you from stress, anxiety and depression. The ‘now” is the only place we truly have any control over our behaviours and ourselves.

I trust our four legged friends have been able to encourage you to look at things a little differently. If you can do this it will make such a positive difference to your relationships.

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.

Who gets your best?

Can I ask you a question? Who gets your best? We live in a funny old world that can sometimes have us with our priorities all the wrong way about.

If you stop and think about it who does get your best?

Is it your loved ones or is it your boss or colleagues at work?  Is it your hungry for attention child / partner or a client that causes your unending trouble.  Is it your loving and forever friends or a business you are working to get off the ground or out of a hole?  It’s really worthwhile taking time to consider this.

Most of you if you were asked why do you work, there would be at some theme around the necessity to work so you can earn a living and provide for your families.  Am I right?

If you are one of the lucky ones you love what you do, that is truly a bonus!  But, how many times have you found yourself in the situation where life and work just gets crazy and takes over?

You drag your sorry butt in the door after a big day, you bark at your partner or spouse because they want a piece of you, you yell at your kids as they ask for a piece of you and you look for the wine glass to be full. Can anyone relate?

I have felt like this many times throughout my career and I love what I do. However, without careful management and dedication to keeping you eyes on things the balance beam can slip into unhealthy really quickly.

I heard a seminar by a very wise man recently and he spoke about keeping some space before our boundary so that when we get home we have energy and time for those we love the most. If we spend everything we have at work then we come home empty and harassed. We have nothing left to give.

Then we end up giving our worst to the ones we love the most.  Look, if you are honest we have all done this at one time or another. If you can’t relate then you are on the wrong blog seriously.  Perhaps go find angels anonymous or something!  Or come and teach me how you do it, because I find it a continual juggle to get the balance right.

So how do we keep the space and ensure we have enough when we get home? I believe it is a combination of things. Here are a few of my ideas;

  • Knowing yourself well enough to know when you are becoming overwhelmed.  Then ask for help!
  • Being able to have healthy boundaries at work so that you don’t allow your work to dominate your life all of the time.
  • Knowing what fills your tank so that you are giving back to yourself, this is your responsibility not someone else’s.
  • Ensuring that you fill your own tank with activities that bring you a sense of joy and fulfillment.
  • Being able to just “be” even if it is for a short time.
  • Keeping things in a healthy perspective.
  • Setting goals for yourself and with your family (if you don’t know where you are headed you will never get to where you want to be).
  • In coming articles we will cover some of these points in more detail because I really believe this is important stiff to get right in your lives.  It is sad when you find yourself giving your all to people who don’t matter & leaving nothing in your tank for the people who do matter most.  I encourage you to take the time to check in and see where you are at. You and your relationships are worth it.

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.