Posts Tagged ‘collaboration’

All is ‘com’, all is bright.

Monday, December 17th, 2012
(c) Photograph by Lorraine Behnan

(c) Photograph by Lorraine Behnan

At this time of year we celebrate many holidays and revel in the festivities of the season.  Another year has quickly passed with the inevitable peaks and valleys of life’s landscape.  We continue to make memories.

I started to reflect on my own year and one thought lead to another.  These thoughts lead to my blog.

We are in a world in which technology is a huge part of our lives, and we spend a lot of time in the .com universe.   However, there are many other kinds of ‘com’ assets that elevate our quality of life.  The preface for ‘com’ means: with; altogether; jointly.

Here are my favourites:

Combine – Sharing your ideas or talents with colleagues and friends increases opportunities and the possibility to succeed.

Comedy – Laughter and humour infuse energy, camaraderie, and productivity. A lightness of being gets us through those particularly stressful days.

Comfort – Each of us has challenging days, be they emotional or physical. The comfort of others helps lessen the burden. Be aware of those in need and reach out.

Commend – There are certain actions taken which require a degree of risk and bravery for the benefit of others. Find ways to earn the commendation, and be quick to commend those who make the effort.

Commit – When we believe in an idea, person, or project we can demonstrate our support through firm commitment.

Communicate – The art of conversation is timeless.  We have many vehicles in which to communicate.  Before you write that lengthy email, consider picking up the phone or meeting face-to-face.  Continually hone your skills.

Compliment – We love to be recognized for our contributions and achievements no matter how small or great.  One compliment can go a long way to motivate an individual or group, and to strengthen a relationship.

I am sure you have a favourite com of your own.

Wishing you peace and joy for 2013.

Wall of Fatal Words

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Wall of Fatal WordsRecently I introduced a slide to my communication presentation called, ‘The Wall of Fatal Words.’ I was pleasantly surprised by its popularity. The initial response is laughter because the words and phrases are so familiar. What are the fatal words on the wall? These are words and phrases that halt dialogue.  These are words and phrases that come trippingly off the tongue without thought to their negative impact.  These are words and phrases that are reactive versus productive.  Why do we use them? Because we do not take the time to process what we say.  We think them harmless.  These words pack a punch – and not in a good way!  If you want to be an open and honest communicator then consider the implications of the words you choose.

Listen carefully the next time you engage in a conversation or participate in collaborative meetings. You may be astonished to hear the frequent use of these or similar words and phrases.  Pause before you speak. Reframe your thoughts from negative to positive language.

Words spoken in haste can cause long-term damage.

Trust: The “T” in Teamwork

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

trust-letterpress1When times are challenging and transitions looming, effective teamwork can be a turnkey for success.   My workshops on teamwork are in demand these days, along with personal change management and communication. Teamwork, change, and communication are synergetic.  The common denominator is ‘Trust’. Trust is the glue that holds the team together, keeps communication honest and transparent, and makes successful transitions possible.  Feedback from a recent workshop underscored the importance of trust. Once the participants learned the critical need for trust they suggested that we could have easily dedicated more time on the topic and definitely needed to include it in future meetings.  Trust can take years to build, and only minutes to lose.


1.  Be consistently reliable.  This means not occasionally; it means always.

2. Deliver on promises.  Words can be cheap; the value is in the action.

3.  Accept accountability.  Mistakes are made; how we rectify them is the important thing.

4.  Communicate truthfully.  The truth may be difficult to express and to receive; it is always the best choice.

5. Keep confidences.  Sometimes people just need someone to talk to about their fears, needs, and concerns and often they don’t even expect a response. They have confided in you because they trust you.

6.  Be inclusive. If you work as a team everyone needs to be included in every communication in matters that involve the group.

View video of Lorraine speaking on the topic of  Trust