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Success Advice

How to Master the Art of Communication



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Each of us is 100% unique, even twins or triplets. While their DNA may be remarkably the same, they’re not absolute clones of each other. There will still be a few variables that will make them unique, even if they look remarkably similar. So what about the rest of us? We’re all different, from our DNA to our physical size, skin color, background … everything.

And yet we too often act as though how we see the world is the way everyone does. We use terms we understand, we write as we would want to see it, and we’re often surprised to find out that someone else “misunderstood” us when we thought we were being so clear!

I’m sure most of us can remember at least one time – either in a personal or professional area – when we were misunderstood or we didn’t understand someone else. Did we lay blame on the other person, certain that we couldn’t have made such an error? Did we take it upon ourselves to straighten things out? Did we take the time to learn from it or just move on?

Success wears many hats, and one of them is clear communication – clear to the sender and the receiver. If we can’t be clear, we can get a reputation for being difficult to deal with, and who needs that?  

Here are three ways to strengthen your communication skills, which will give you more of the results you want, and help you look and sound like someone others want to be around.

1. Use this version of the KISS acronym

Keep it short and simple. Many of us prefer to use “utilize” rather than “use,” but there’s no need to do that, especially in business writing. We don’t need to be a walking version of a thesaurus. Simple, easily understood language works best in most cases.

2. Be clear about your timeframes

Steer clear of terms like “soon,” “later,” or especially ASAP. That acronym (as soon as possible) has led to many unexpected results. Your thought may be “by tomorrow at 5,” but the other person’s might be “when I get to it.” Without clarity, there could be a tough conversation later about why something was done late or too quickly.

As an example: Recently a group received this message: “If we didn’t already send the new policy out to everyone, we need to do it asap!”

The person in charge of sending stuff out did just that within an hour. But the intent of the note was only to find out if we had already sent the policy out. If we hadn’t, we would then do so with a note explaining why it was being sent out now.

“Communication is power. Those who have mastered its effective use can change their own experience of the world and the world’s experience of them. All behaviour and feelings find in their original roots ini some form of communication.” – Tony Robbins

3. Reinforce the wanted behavior

Many of us have heard others (maybe ourselves?) say: Don’t forget to … do whatever. But how many times has the person hearing it promptly done just that? Forgotten to do it? And yet, they were actually doing exactly what they heard, which was the wrong verb. Verbs are powerful words, often indicating action, and our brain responds to them very well, even if incorrectly in some cases.

Years ago, I heard a young woman at a swimming pool do something I thought was remarkable. Her kids, along with several others, were running around as kids do – which is a dangerous thing at a swimming pool – and instead of saying “Kids! Stop running!” she called out, “Kids! Walk slowly, please!”

The result? The kids stopped as though they’d hit a wall. They walked. Of course, being kids, they also finally started running again. And each time, she repeated in a friendly voice, “Kids! Remember to walk!” I was astonished, so I asked her about what she’d said. She told me she was a grade school teacher, and she’d learned over time that telling kids what not to do reinforced them doing just that: what she didn’t want! Ending her request with a verb that was the opposite of what she was asking was doing immense harm. Saying “Don’t run!” actually caused the kids to continue running most of the time.

She learned to focus on the result she wanted – telling them to sit, or read, or line up for recess – whatever she was looking for, and it worked. The other upside to this is that no one felt accused of being about to do the wrong thing. The minute we say “Don’t forget to send out the memo,” our voice may well sound accusatory, especially if this is a typical issue. And even if our voice is steady, it’s entirely possible the listener may think, “What! Does she really need to tell me that? When have I ever forgotten?”

Airline personnel are experts in knowing to never say “Don’t panic!” when something scary happens like suddenly dropping several hundred feet, because it would plant the very seed they do not want. So they focus on the positives, on the needed results, helping the passengers stay calmer than they might otherwise be able to. They use the right language.

“All passengers, please return to your seats. Please buckle your seatbelt and remain seated. Be sure to put on your own mask before helping others.” All positive and constructive language. Of course, the passengers may still be scared, but the language is at least not making that scary experience worse for most. We do what we’re told; we don’t have to even think about it.

Clear communication is both an art and a skill, and over the years, I’ve found that remembering at least these three ideas has allowed me to build stronger and more positive bonds between myself and others.

Susan Rooks formed Grammar Goddess Communication in 1995 to help business professionals strengthen their communication skills. As an editor, she has worked on award-winning children’s and business books, web content, and corporate blogs and annual reports, ensuring that all material is professionally presented and free from grammatical errors. As an international corporate educator, she creates and leads three-hour in-person “Brush Up on Your Skills” workshops in American grammar, business writing, and interpersonal skills (including DiSC®). In 2020, she converted those to 60- and 90-minute Zoom sessions. Susan also offers one-hour FREE LinkedIn Profile Basics workshops to Chambers of Commerce and other civic organizations or nonprofits, mainly via Zoom, to help business pros maximize their presence there. She is a BIZCATALYST360 columnist, and her only goal is to help business pros look and sound as smart as they are. For more info:

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How to Ignite the Spark Within for Future Success

All of us come to this world with our own reserve of magic unfortunately, not everyone can unleash it



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What is it that makes some people great leaders while others remain followers? What magic do they have that others don’t? What special blessing gives them the power to bring significant change?  (more…)

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Your life is dictated by beliefs and biases that drive your thinking, behaviors, and decisions



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How to Break the Cycles of Mediocrity and Manifest Your Greatness

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity



Image Credit: Midjourney

In just a few weeks, we will be wrapping up 2023. Can you believe it? This year has been absolutely incredible for me.

I have seen amazing doors opened, new relationships formed and I am seeing dreams realized in my life. While this seems like the hallmarks of a great year, this has also been the most challenging year of my life. With all of the change happening in my life, I have been forced out of my comfort zone and challenged to grow in every area of my life.

I can truly say that I have made the most of my moments this year and I have used everything as a catalyst for maximizing my greatest potential.

As a revolutionary leader, I have the pleasure of consulting and advising leaders around the world to fulfill purpose, realize their greatest potential and make an impact.

I want to share some insights with you that will help you to break cycles of mediocrity and manifest your greatness

Everything legal must come through the matrix

I am sure that some of you are wondering why I am using the term matrix. However, what you have to understand is that I am trying to make a highly complex spiritual principle practical to understand.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, every life has an origin and I believe that origin is divine and begins with eternity. You are birthed from eternity and into time to fulfill a unique purpose and assignment in your lifetime and generation.

The matrix is simply the portal or vehicle that brings something out of the invisible realm and into tangible form. The problem with much of the teaching today is that it excludes the matrix. We are told to believe that success is instantaneous and overnight.

Nobody talks about how a dream progresses through stages beginning with visualization and ultimately culminating in manifestation. Without a matrix or portal then everything that you attempt to birth and build will be illegal.

The matrix not only makes you legal but it gives you the authority and power to function as the greatest expression of who you were created to be. 

Every matrix has an incubation process

While many people admire and respect me today, I remember a time when nobody knew who I was or the significance of my message. How did I get to where I am today? I got here through an incubation process.

In other words, everything that has been destined for your life is incubating and awaiting a set time of manifestation. The problem is that most people live their entire lives idle and never initiate the incubation process.

What do I meany by that? Most people are living reckless and very few people are living intentionally. I am amazed at the number of people I have conversations with that have no vision, goals or strategies for their lives. They show great promise and they have undeniable potential.

However, without development they will die with their dreams still in them.

Everything that has been destined for your life must be incubated and converted to become realities born to time. 

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin to build.” – Robert Collier

You must give expression to that which is not yet born to time

When you think about a matrix or a prophetic incubation process, you have to understand that potential is often unrealized and untapped. In other words, your potential is in raw form and your potential cannot serve you as long as it is untapped.

The thing that makes me valuable is that I have the ability to convert potential into power. I have done it in my own life and I have empowered leaders around the world to do the same. How do you convert potential into power?

First, it is important to note that you have to perceive potential. If you cannot perceive your potential then you can never cultivate your potential. In addition, you must take the time to cultivate your potential. We often get excited about our capabilities; however, we never expand our capacity in order to realize our greatest potential.

In other words, the strength of your potential is only discovered through your willingness to stretch. The more we are challenged the more we are empowered to expand our capacity for greatness. Most of all, you must begin to express your potential. The expression of potential is different for every person.

For example, the expression of my potential is best demonstrated through the thoughts, ideas, products, services, books, etc.

For another person the expression of potential may look like a screenplay, artwork, sports, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, etc.

Regardless of the form of expression, I know that you will live empty and unfulfilled until you make the decision to express your potential. The expression of your potential gives voice to your dreams, life to your vision, significance to your moments and activates your true power.

You must manifest your greatness

As a revolutionary thinker and leader, my work has impacted people around the world. I am grateful that my life is a source of empowerment to so many people. However, before anyone could ever benefit from my life, I had to make a non-negotiable decision to become who I was born to be.

I wish I could tell you that this journey is easy and that you will get there overnight. However, in a world that celebrates us for doing we are often criticized for being. As a result, I wasted a lot of time trying to be who other people wanted me to be instead of being who I was born to be.

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity. It is through our bravery to be vulnerable that we ultimately manifest our greatness. We do not bless the world by being a duplicate. We bless the world when we honor our difference. When you honor your difference you honor your potential.

Ultimately, your difference is how you manifest your greatness.

When you present anything but your authentic self to the world, you are playing small and you are robbing the world of your significance. Manifesting your greatness requires you to master your gifts.

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Here’s a Young Man’s Antidote for the Uncertainty of the Modern World

Why do a lot of young guys lack confidence in today’s world? 



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