Monthly Archives: February 2010

Carl’s 4 Steps to Effective Communication

Dr. Wayne Diamond taught me that the definition of communication is the search of understanding. The opposite of this is to seek agreement. When we seek agreement we are not listening and we are manipulating. Seeking agreement is another way of saying that you express your opinion without being asked.

How long can you go in a conversation without expressing your opinion? Most folks I’ve challenged to go 24 hours don’t last through the first conversation.

So what is the secret to communicating without the intent to gain agreement? I recently invaded a tweet-sation (conversation of tweets) between Carl Ingalls and my son Charles.

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The Curse of Knowledge

As we rounded the corner Stuart proudly pedaled his bike ahead of the family down the hill towards our house. As he picked up speed I could see impending doom as two cars were converging on the intersection my 3-year old son was approaching.

For the past 2 weeks since I allegedly taught Stuart how to ride his two-wheeler, Stuart has been riding his bicycle all over our back yard, which at the time was the 9th hole of our local golf course.

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The You Pyramid

Sitting deep as the root cause of many a broken marriage or teenager gone prodigal is the lack of knowledge and skill of how to be anything different. Being like everyone else is a metaphor for failure.

The You Pyramid™ is a skill set and a knowledge base. It’s where people who want happiness and joy in relationships are found. The You Pyramid™ is the anti-thesis of The Me Pyramid™.

The You Pyramid™ consists of four layers.

  1. Teach
  2. Trust
  3. Listen
  4. See

Sandwiched between each pyramid is the word tell. It serves as a tipping point to either pyramid.

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Self-Help Junkie or Life Long Learner

Years ago I went through an interesting stage in life where my appetite for a certain genre of knowledge knew no boundaries.  I was obsessed with learning as much as I could about life’s secret sauce, how to be happy.  Sometimes it was money and wealth, other times it was my relationship or ability to get along.  Some books explained my manner of dress was all-important.  Others taught me to follow the scrolls and repeat positive thoughts over and over until memorized.

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The Me Pyramid

Effective communication is the skill of knowing what not to do as well as know what to do. Part of learning the skill of effective communication is knowing why certain things don’t work. As a kid, many adults were adamant in telling me what not to do, but it took years of trial and error before the why kicked in.

The Me Pyramid™ is a summary of many learned habits and skills from our childhood. Ineffective habits and skills. It the communication system of our parents, teachers, leaders, grandparents, and other significant people who participated in molding us.

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The Art of Giving and Receiving Criticism

Years ago I sat through an exciting series of classes by Dr. John Lund, an expert on family relationships and effective communication. Here is an excerpt from my notes. You can also find more information in his book “How To Hug A Porcupine”


Dr. J. Lund’s Quick Check Guide


Before you speak ask yourself two questions:

  • Is the Criticism a part of my stewardship or my business?
  • Is the Criticism not only true, but is it necessary?


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Parenting Beyond Fear

Parenting Beyond Fear

In speaking with hundreds of parents who have teenagers, I’ve detected a common emotion the vast majority of them share with each other – fear. Parents fear their teenagers. They fear speaking with them. They fear their responses, and they fear what their kids will do next.

After years of research in the field of sales, the common denominator among failed salespeople is the inability to change. They are afraid of doing what really works! There isn’t a sliver of difference between what drives the behavior in salespeople and parents.

Here is a three-step strategy for overcoming your fears.

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Pain Avoidance vs. Pain Priority

Pain Avoidance vs. Pain Priority

There is a certain zone for athletes called the sweet spot, that when achieved is almost impossible to describe. Any athlete who has ever hit the sweet spot craves its return. The entry price is however, very high.

The hours of training required to achieve the sweet spot means that pain must be a priority. Pain is a constant in life. We will suffer some degree of pain regardless of efforts to the contrary. Our choice is the kind of pain we wish to endure.

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