I recently spoke to two hundred attorneys in Miami about trial communication. During the Q&A portion of my talk someone asked, “How close should you stand to the jury?” I answered, “Three and a half feet.”
The audience laughed.
“I have no idea,” I continued. “Every jury is different. Some juries want you to stay far away and others will let you sit in their lap. How close you get is determined by how much permission you have.”
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “permission?” I think back to childhood, when my parents decided what I could and couldn’t do. Now that I’m an adult, I don’t need to ask anyone for permission, but it still exists. Only now the permission is nonverbal. Continue reading: “The Permission Principle: Why the Jury Gets to Decide What You Do Next”
When was the last time you did a cartwheel?
A year ago, my daughter tumbled sideways around my yard, calling out, “Look at me doing cartwheels!”
My brother, who was visiting, watched for a bit and then asked me, “Can you still do a cartwheel?”
I had no idea. It had been over a decade since I’d last tried. But I gave it a shot.
I was surprised to find I landed on my feet. I was also surprised to find Continue reading: “Practicing Cartwheels”
In our first session a few weeks ago, I asked my client why she decided to get coaching. “I’m a female lawyer,” she said.
“And?” I asked.
“And, well, it’s really hard,” she replied.
She was telling herself a story, and boy is it ever a popular one.
I don’t mean to imply that women aren’t up against it. Women still face sexism in the workplace. Women make up less than 3% of the CEO’s of major corporations. And yes, women still make less than men. There is definitely work to be done. But when it comes to communication, gender is just another story we tell ourselves, and that story is undermining women in a big way.
Just this week I read an article by a friend of mine titled, “Top Seven Qualities of Women Leaders.” It was a good article. But I had to wonder, why are we talking about female leaders and male leaders as if they are two different things? Every “top quality” on the list applied to women and men.
I bet articles titled, “Top Seven Qualities of Black Leaders” or “What Asians Can Do to Get Ahead” or “Five Reasons Why Paraplegic Leaders Aren’t Taken Seriously” wouldn’t go over well. Most of us would be offended that black, Asian or paraplegic people were categorized separately from their white, able-bodied counterparts. And yet we have no problem differentiating between “female” and “male” leaders.
But aren’t men and women different? Not as much as you might think. Continue reading: “The Gender Delusion”
Yep, I did it again. Totally screwed up. But this time, not on purpose.
Awhile back, I spoke at an ICFNW Coaches Meeting. I guess it’s not fair to say I “totally” screwed up. I developed a new presentation with solid content that I organized well—that was good. I knew the material cold—that was good. And I delivered the talk with decent presentations skills, such as voice tone, pausing, and gesturing—that was good.
So where did I fail?
I didn’t show up.
Ironically, a big point in my presentation was this: Continue reading: “I Totally Screwed Up… Again!”
At a seminar this past weekend, I met several people, but had a great talk with one woman in particular and looked forward to getting to know her better. Later, I was standing at the sink in the women’s bathroom when I saw this very same woman leave a stall and walk out.
Without washing her hands.
Now, I’m not a germophobe or anything, but I kinda draw the line at washing your hands after using the restroom. I mean, come on. We live in a civilized society people.
Needless to say, this changed my view of this new acquaintance. That is, until the next morning, when I was forced to use the handicapped stall since it was the only one available. I entered, shut the door, and realized it came fully equipped with a sink, soap and paper towels.
I was guilty of making an assumption based on incomplete information. Continue reading: “Don’t Make Assumptions: Especially in the Bathroom”