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.


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.


Words schmerds

I am constantly entertaining myself with communication blunders. Seriously, the number of times I just get it wrong, I have to laugh, otherwise I would be crying.

Only this morning I was having some technical challenges with dropbox. I had a colleague trying to share something with me and for the life of me it would not work.

I even ask my “techspert” husband to have a look and he could not work it out either. That although frustrating, did make me feel a little better, it was not just me!!!

Finally, I decided to go old school and get on the phone and call the person who had sent me the link! Fancy that, actually calling someone to ask a question, I know radical!!

She answered the phone and I blurt, “I’m having such trouble with the x-box!” She was a supreme professional and did not even giggle. In the silence that followed I replayed the statement in my head and then blurted “I mean dropbox!”

I laughed which gave her permission to laugh also at my freudian slip. I had only been speaking that morning with my husband about what we can put in place to simplify our home life and get our son of the dreaded xbox.

So as we both laughed we sorted the problem out swiftly and with ease. Do you ever do this? Swap words and not even realise what you have done? I have to be honest, I do it all the time!

I do suffer form insomnia sometimes so I could put it down to lack of sleep. I think part of it is an external example of just how much is going on inside my brain. Possibly why the idea of serenity, peace, space and surrender appeal to me so much. It is the exact opposite to what is going on in reality in the 6 inches between my ears.

What can things like this teach us?

Firslty, don’t forget to talk to people, don’t rely heavily on email and texting. It is much quicker and more pleasant to have a conversation.

Secondly, slow down, breathe. Remove the last 20 things from your to do list and just stop and be present. Why are you rushing? Will someone die if you don’t get it finished? If the answer is “No” take a break, even for 5 minutes

Lastly, learn to laugh at yourself. I am always making goof ups and consequently the perfectionist in me has slowly been able to learn to relax a bit and at least laugh when I goof up. It is so much easier to deal with if you are able to relax and just have a giggle.

Take it easy and remember,

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


Facing your fear – saying what you need to say.

Many people don’t face their fear and say what they need to say.  Standing up for yourself and saying what you think or feel takes a whole lot of courage! It really does mean you are facing your fears. Some of you have fears of rejection, fears of inadequacy, fears of failure…. I could go on and on.

Saying what you really feel, sharing your inner most thoughts is confronting to say the least. You are putting yourselves on the line. Many of you have probably been brought up in families where this just not what is done. People hold onto feelings, suppress feelings, stifle our opinions, apologise for reacting to something and clam up.

To make things even harder you are not taught how to understand what makes you tick, why you do what you do, why something’s push tour buttons. Then if you needed more to complicate this already tricky situation, you usually end up close to someone who sees the world in the exact opposite way to you. Tricky, to say the least!

I was working with a group of professionals just recently; they have a very entrenched and unhealthy workplace culture. A few brave soldiers are standing up for change and driving it. Whilst there are others, who have been a part of the toxic culture, and are hanging on for dear life. It is quite a difficult situation.

There is so much emotion, people don’t know who it’s safe to be real with and who you need to watch out for. Everyone is in survival mode so communication is so tense and strained. This naturally brings out the worst in people, which just adds to this spiralling downward cycle.

I really had to commend the courage of these few who stood up and spoke of “the elephant in the room.” Their fear is real; some of the most toxic members of this culture are really tight with the management team.

People are afraid to speak up, to say, “This is just not on!” It has inspired me to write about this issue because I know this is not isolated. I have worked in many workplaces where a few people have just been allowed to get away with bad behaviour.

Partly, I believe it is because people are not confident to speak up and have that difficult conversation (hence our signature course “Master the Art of Difficult conversations”). Check it out here.

Another reason is because we don’t understand how we are different and when someone reacts out of stress we don’t understand and take it personally (hence our signature course “The Enlightened Communicator”). Check it out here.

Finally I believe that many managers do not understand know how to deal with issues of performance and tend to put their head in the sand and allow bad behaviour to reign in their teams. Watch this space for another course to teach Managers how to performance manage well.

So my challenge should you choose to accept it is to speak up! Do something. If this is happening in your world and you are struggling, learn about the communication styles, it is a great start. Learn about your strengths and what may push your buttons.

Learn how to understand the style of others in your world so you can better interpret their behaviour and then de personalise what is not personal. Finally, stand up and say what you believe in, draw a line. This is not acceptable. Believe in yourself enough to know that you deserve better treatment.

You are certainly worth it. At the very least if your workplace is so toxic and change is unlikely then find a place that would benefit form your skills and where you can flourish.

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


When Strong Communicators don’t listen

I had a really interesting experience recently. I was working with a client who explained that there is a person they have to deal with often who is a very strong communicator.

They are likely a Powerful and Direct style who loves problems and challenges, craves Results, is very black and white and can come across as confrontational and even aggressive. Such people can be highly opinionated to the point where the only opinion that can exist in conversation with them is theirs!!

My client was really struggling because they had realised that this person was very good at saying “No” but did not hear when others said “No” to them. How interesting I thought so I wanted to share this with you all

Such a strong Communicator has absolutely no issue with boundaries and looking after their own interests. Most of them don’t even realise how much they can come across like a bully at times. They honestly think every one else finds it just as easy to say “No,” when needed.

However, here is where it gets interesting.  Because they are such strong Communicators and can be so confrontational – usually people don’t actually say “No” to them!  So they get this false sense of reality, that there are no issues and they go on their merry way.

When someone finally comes along that says “No” to them; they don’t even hear it. You actually have to say to them something like, “Sorry, I just said No, I don’t agree with that and you have not heard me.”  Be persistent, they are!

Now I spend much of my training and coaching time helping people become more assertive. If this is you and you struggle with the idea of being assertive, you may be having a stroke right now at the thought of being so assertive and direct.  In fact, many people I consult with are worried that they will seem rude and uncaring.

This is far form the truth and the amazing thing is, it works! Strong Communicators need to be Communicated in a strong and direct way. They get it and even more importantly they respect it. The trouble comes when people avoid them and are not direct with them.

One of the keys to great communication is adapting your style to your listener. So if you are reading this I am sure you are becoming more aware, more conscious and enlightened each day so you understand that even if confrontation scares the heck out of you, it is the best way to be understood by a Strong Communicator.

Best of all they don’t see it as confrontation, I promise. You are the only one struggling with this idea, not them.  Just have a go, remember don’t be rude, be respectful, stick to the facts, use “I” messages, be assertive and you will get through to that Strong Communicator.

If you need help with these Communication skills, we can help!  Check out our website by clicking here and drop us a line, or send an email and we can begin to resource you.

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


Lets change our world for the better one conversation at a time.

When the GPS makes a mistake

Recently I was driving to a seminar in the evening. It had been a busy day and I had performed a minor miracle getting out of the house, having prepped dinner for the family then got my self out before 530.

I was driving to a place I had never been to before and was relying on my trusty GPS. Approaching major and very busy intersection, the GPS asked me to get into the far right lane for a right turn at lights. I obliged (which is unusual for me but I did it). Once I arrived at the lights in the far right, the GPS decides to flash a few Questions marks “???” and then tells me to go straight ahead.

The amount of traffic that had hemmed me in by this stage meant there was no way this was going to happen. I felt myself become quite angry and I was about to start telling this GPS what I really thought when I remembered that remaining calm would serve me better than losing it right now.  I know, another miracle!

I turned right and kept on driving waiting for the GPS to recalibrate and set me back on course. A few minutes later she did so, and I eventually arrived safely.

My point? Even GPS’s make mistakes, remaining calm and allowing time for recalibration is always a better option than chucking a complete wobbly. I arrived on time, I was not stressed out of my tree and my GPS lives to make a mistake another day.

Even in our relationships when things go awry, stay calm, look ahead and believe in a positive outcome …… even if it seems so far away. This type of response will serve you much better than an angry, closed minded emotional reptilian brain on full speed.

When you respond this way, others will be thinking, “Crikey, they kept it together”, you will be a light in the dark and be remembered as the calm “go to” person in times of trouble.

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


Have a GPS mentality

I am always encouraging you guys to have a go at a difficult conversation, to try something new. To speak up! This is so hard for so many of you and unless you try and try again things will never change.

Trying new things requires you to be kind and patient with yourselves. One thing I teach in training sessions is for you to have a GPS mentality when it comes to your mistakes.

If you are like me you have an ongoing discussion with the GPS, she suggests the way and I go what way think is right, typical strong D! However, even if my way is not right (Heaven forbid!) what does my lovely GPS lady do? She simply resets and says “at the next possible opportunity turn right.”

She does not berate me, tell me I’m stupid or say “Geez you did it again, you always think you’re right and look at you, you stuffed it again!”

Nope, with a calm tone she repeats, “at the next possible opportunity turn right.” Even stranger, she keeps doing this no matter how many mistakes I make.

What does your self-talk do? Are you like the calm GPS or the berating version?  I know which one most of you are like 🙁

When you are practicing something new there are guaranteed to be some clunky moments. Times where you say or do the wrong thing, over react or simply go blank. It’s all ok. Just breathe, smile to yourself, congratulate yourself for having a go and then reset; like the GPS

If we could all approach our learning and our mistakes like this what a wonderful world it would be.

So have a go, have that difficult chat, give that person some well intended and needed feedback, tell some one how you feel, say “No” if you need to and then ensure you congratulate yourself no matter what the result.

Then next time it will go just a little smoother, you will begin to feel more confident and before you know it, you are being authentic and honest in your communication with others.

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

Starve or Thrive in Relationships? It’s up to you

Communication is often so much harder than it needs to be.  Whether or not you are starving or thriving in your key relationships is up to you.  There are so many variables operating against you namely;

  • Different backgrounds
  • Different gender
  • Different communication preferences,
  • History or past experience
  • and what I call buttons (or sensitive places)

When you think of all of these variables all mushed up into a human is it any wonder we all can connect at all? Firstly backgrounds, this can be as simple as do you come from a talking, loud and proud family or from a calmer more introspective bunch? Do you talk about issues or bury them?

These things alone can break a relationship sooner than anything. You meet the love of your life and then they meet your family. That can sometimes be enough. And that’s while your family on good behaviour!

Gender, I sometimes think God sits back with a smile on His face and giggles at how we all get so messed up at the gender differences. As a proud, strong young woman I thought feminism was for me. I have now changed my stance based on my experience to believe that yes there should be equal opportunity but we are completely different. Neither is better or worse we are fundamentally different, and Thank God for that.

I do not need to apologise for my femininity and no man needs to apologise for his masculinity. We are different and together we can accomplish far more than when we are at each other competing.

Different Communication Preferences, this alone is enough to cause confusion for the rest of our natural lives, unless we all decide to be self-reflective, learn about our needs and learn about the needs of others. My favourite book “Personality Plus” by Florence Littauer changed my life and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in this area of communication. My book “The Enlightened Communicator,”   also touches on these differences and how my experience and journey have shaped my experiences.

History or past experience can be a complete minefield, especially if you are not open to learning about how your past effects your today and your tomorrow. It only affects you when you don’t know how it affects you. I know confusing, but for example, if a person has betrayed you in your past, you then meet someone with similar traits in the present. You may unknowingly assume some things about them that are not valid or true at all. Don’t let the past control you, learn from it and move on.

Buttons are one of my favourite things. We all have them! Most people don’t know what they are and wonder why they are at the mercy of them as you go throughout their day with them being pushed by whoever, whenever. Let’s get control back people. Know your sensitive points and then take responsibility for them.

If some poor person unwittingly pushes a button for you, guess what? It’s your responsibility to get over it not theirs. Do some reflection, ask yourself, what happened, what did you feel, where did that come from. Then allow yourself to move forward, learning from the experience.

Be patient and kind to yourself sometimes it takes a while to work out where the root cause came from. Journaling can be a wonderful gift in this process. This is true maturity when you have had a button pushed and you work through this process taking responsibility to do this. How incredibly freeing!

Take the time and the commitment to master these variable and differences and you are well on the way to Thriving in all aspects of 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.

Top 5 Communication Mistakes #5

The Final Communication Mistake;

5: Not knowing Your Communication


We live in a critical world where we all know far too well what we are not good at.  We are told from the moment we are born, you are not good at this, you need to improve that, don’t even try that, it is not a talent of yours.  So what are your strengths – what strengthens you?

We all have strengths in communication – some of us are great at seeing the big picture.  Some are wonderful and charming influencers, some are amazing and patient listeners and others are able to see the detail and analyse information.  Either way we all have strengths.  The problem is, is that many of you don’t know your strengths.  We actually don’t even realise the truth about what strengths are.  We have been fooled into thinking that a strength is something we are good at.  BUT NO!  A strength is something that strengthens you, a weakness is something that drains you.  You may be wonderful at balancing the books but you may absolutely despise it.  That is not a strength!!

When you know your strengths, you know what works for you, you realise that we are all fundamentally different, you close the gap and minimize the misinterpretations, you find common ground and you think before you speak VOILA you have GREAT CONNECTION.

It still confounds me that after completing a Psychology degree, that I was not taught this stuff. Yes we learned active listening and reflective questioning etc but not about Communication styles, differences, strengths etc. No! To learn that I had to seek it out so I have made it my mission to make it easier for any fellow travellers out there that frequently wonder, “Why is it so hard?” Or, “How can we do it better?”  If you’d like to see how the different communication styles work here is a free download on your Communication strengths.

This is by no means an accurate assessment of your Communication strengths but is a greta way for you to begin to understand your strengths and also the strengths of others in your world.

Thanks for joining us to examining the top 5 communication mistakes we make everyday. If you have found this helpful please share it with someone who would benefit.

For tips, free resources and information on our upcoming Master class “The Art Of Difficult Conversations” check out our website at


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


Top 5 Communication Mistakes #4

The fourth of the top 5 mistakes is;

Not understanding that as Communicators we are different!

Unfortunately, the source of many of our communication problems is the gap!  I see the world one way and receive information one way, and you do it another way.  Its all ok just different.

Most of us automatically assume that everyone sees the world as you see it.  This is at such a subconscious level you won’t even realise that you are doing it.  We don’t know why someone dislikes our new hairstyle, or why someone might not like our colour scheme.  So, if you are a bottom line kind of person who does not fluff about at all, when you come into contact with a warm fuzzy person who could think of nothing better than shooting the breeze all day you may certainly go nuts.

You are different; you have different agendas, different needs, different likes and different ways of doing things.  Neither is right or wrong they are just different.

If you are a person who is quick to anger, you are likely quick to recover and move on.  However, if you are dealing with a person who is slower to anger, who takes on more, for a very long time….. When they finally get to boiling point (and they will!) they will take a long time to recover also.  Neither is right or wrong just different.  Understanding this fundamental principle of communication will make all of the difference – we are different, we have different needs and we communicate them – you guessed it – DIFFERENTLY!

Just being aware of this goes such a long way to bridging the gap.  When someone says or does something we don’t understand, instead of taking it personally or getting upset we are able to say, ok, so they see and do things differently to me.  Thats ok.  Then with a child like curiosity seek to understand it.

Next time we will look at the final mistake of the top 5 communication mistakes made everyday. If you have found this helpful please share it with someone who would benefit.

For tips, free resources and information on our upcoming Master class “The Art Of Difficult Conversations”  or check out our website at

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