Author Archives: MDudley

Fifty Shades of Nay

chains_wordsIn sales, we get used to getting a lot of noes, but as a trainer of sales professionals, managers, and teams it isn’t the noes that we get that concerns me.

In fact, it’s all the noes that we don’t get because prospect—whether consciously or unconsciously—decides to give us a non-answer that lies somewhere in that hazy grey area, a.k.a. Fifty Shades of Nay.

  1. “I gotta think about it”
    The no that makes us think they really are considering giving us a yes.
  2. “We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing”
    The no that makes us think they seriously did consider giving us a yes.
  3. “I’ll run it up the flag pole”
    The no that tricks us into thinking they are going to bat for us.
  4. “Lemme get back to you”
    The no that makes us think we are a serious contender.
  5. “The timing just isn’t right”
    The no that makes us think it’s not us, it’s them.
  6. “I’m a ways out”
    The no that makes us think we have a chance.
  7. “I’ve been too busy to take a look at that”
    The no that makes us think that we may have a chance.
  8. [crickets]
    The no that makes us wonder at what point we stopped having any chance at all.
  9. “It keeps getting put on the back burner”
    The no that makes us think that the prospect is busier than we are.
  10. “Your pitch was great, probably the best we’ve ever seen, but…”
    The no that makes us feel good about ourself.
  11. “It looks really great, but…”
    The no that makes us feel good about our product or service.
  12. “Mr. So-and-so is in a meeting”
    The no that makes us feel like we are being persistent—in a good way.
  13. “Corporate isn’t cooperating”
    The no that gives us someone else to blame.
  14. “It’s too bad you can’t beat our current pricing”
    The no that makes us mad at our company’s pricing structure.
  15. “It’s not in the budget this year”
    The no that creates more work for us by putting a useless fact in the CRM.
  16. “We haven’t set our budget yet for next year”
    The no that gives us more hope and useless information—a dangerous combo.
  17. [See #15]
    The no that frustrates us because we thought we caught them in time this year; oh well, we will try again next year.
  18. “I’m good, thanks”
    The no that convinces us they are fine because, well, we do the same thing to the door-to-door guy.
  19. “I’ll call you if I change my mind”
    The no that makes us craft really *memorable* voicemail greetings because this time they probably will call.
  20. “We’re covered”
    The no that makes us try to show them how they aren’t indeed covered as well as they would be, if we could just convince them.
  21. “Got a website I can look at?”
    The no that makes us hound IT for a snappier www; and my contact info better be on it!
  22. “Can you just send me the information?”
    The no that makes us intentionally ignore the obvious irony that we throw out so much junk mail.
  23. “You aren’t working with anyone in our industry…”
    The no that gives us tunnel vision for who we should be calling.
  24. “You are working with too many of our competitors…”
    The no that convinces us we shouldn’t serve too many competitors or our current clients will get mad.
  25. “I know where to find you if anything changes”
    The no than makes us email them our contact information 17 times.
  26. “Can you check back in a month?”
    The no that makes us jump.
  27. “Can you check back next quarter?”
    The no that makes us dance.
  28. “Can you check back next year”
    The no that makes us sing.
  29. “We are about to be going through some internal changes”
    The no that makes us blame the company for not having their sh** together.
  30. “We just went through some major changes”
    The no that makes us blame the company for really not having their sh** together.
  31. “I’m new to the department”
    The no that makes us wish he wasn’t.
  32. “The board is being difficult”
    The no that makes us hate boards of directors.
  33. “Really wish I could, but…”
    The no that makes us wish the prospect could grow a spine.
  34. “Summer is not a good time”
    The no that makes us curse the summer solstice.
  35. “Back to school is not a good time”
    The no that makes us wish the USA had year-round-school.
  36. “The holidays are just not a good time”
    The no that makes us turn into Scrooge.
  37. “Business is too slow, we are thinking of laying people off”
    The no that makes us have lots of empathy—too much empathy—for the prospect.
  38. “All of our people are wearing too many hats right now”
    The no that confuses us; wait, doesn’t that mean you have lots of money to spend with me?
  39. “I just don’t know how to make it work”
    The no that makes us want to call the prospect an idiot and shake him until he sees how easy we will make it for him.
  40. “We don’t want to make any changes right now”
    The no that makes us shake our collective heads wishing they could see how desparately they need to change.
  41. “We are definitely going to look at this again sometime in the future”
    The no that excites us thinking about our future, imaginable, mythical commission check.
  42. “I really wish I could but I can’t”
    The no that makes us wish our prospects knew how to stand up for what they believe in.
  43. “I can’t justify the expense”
    The no that makes us scream “you can afford not to, you a**hat”
  44. “If only you could meet our current vendor’s [terms, pricing, delivery, etc.] this would be perfect”
    The no that makes us dance like a monkey at the circus.
  45. “There’s just too many chefs in the kitchen”
    The clichéd no that makes us wonder what they really mean.
  46. “Too many irons in the fire”
    The other clichéd no that makes us wonder what they really mean.
  47. “We have too many chiefs, not enough Indians”
    The other, other clichéd no that makes us wonder what they really mean.
  48. “You were a close second, almost tied, really”
    The no that makes us pat ourselves on the back because we’ll get ‘em next time.
  49. “If it were up to me, I would have picked you”
    The no that makes us pat ourselves on the back because maybe they’ll come around.
  50. “I’ll see what I can do”
    The no that makes us pat ourselves on the back because we really believe they are working on it.

Have you experienced any of these before? Have you experienced getting your hopes up, getting your dreams dashed, and getting frustrated with the prospect? When we create the environment that accepts these shades of nay as possible outcomes of a selling situation, we are setting ourselves—and the prospect—up for long drawn out selling cycles, painful prospecting, and getting into a tug-o’-war over price and terms.

If you are getting any of these shades of nay, my hope is you will understand you are really getting a no. A slow and painful no, but a no nevertheless.

This situation we find ourselves in, as sales professionals, is often one of dysfunction, and unequal stature. The prospect has us wound tightly around his finger so long as he wants information from us but as soon as it comes time to make a decision, we get a murky, evasion tactic masquerading as hope in the future.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Fill out the contact form here to learn how you can break away from getting shades of nay and lock down actual yeses or noes from your prospects.

What other shades of nay have you experienced?

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Social Media Posting Guidelines

Social Media Posting Guidelines (9) copyThe other day I got to thinking how I really want to implement some guidelines into my personal social media posting. Mind you, this is the regarding the accounts I use for my friends and family, not what I use for my professional marketing. But nonetheless, if you have a public persona, or if you are serving on a board of directors, or if you generally need to be respected in the community at large, deciding what light in which you want to be seen has a lot to do with what type of curtains you choose to hang.

Years back, I was at a conference and the keynote speaker was Amy Henry, of The Apprentice (season one) fame. The theme of her talk was around the fact that the camera is always on, and someone could always be watching. She talked about how some of her contemporaries claimed they were “unfairly edited” and yet, even if there was editing involved, those individuals chose to provide that content.

Her remarks struck a chord with me then but it’s all the more relevant now that everyone has the potential to have the camera on them 24-7, not just celebrities.

In light of the most recent of far too many situations to count, a congressional aide (forcibly?) apologized for what she said about the president’s daughters. What’s interesting is that there’s been very little attention given to whether or not her claims have merit. It’s really been more about the fact that in her position she is vulnerable to scrutiny and some decided that they would criticize her based on remarks.

Similarly, many of us are judged at different points in our lives, sometimes during the job hunt, other times when a client is deciding if partnering with us supports or undermines his values. The world—much less our individual market places—is now very small. And it is up to us which windows we want to let people look in, and which we want to keep covered up. Certainly, this isn’t fair but such is the double-edged sword of connectivity.

This isn’t to say we can’t have minds of our own or humoristic styles, but it is to ensure that we are proactively deciding what is public and what is private. A comedian will have a vastly different set of filters than an elementary school teacher; the idea that we choose a proactive-posting approach rather than a reactive posting approach. And the degree to which we have something to lose is the degree to which we need to be conscious about what we put out there for the world to see.

Here are the guidelines that I felt represent my values and respect both my profession and my clients.

  1. Does it generally feel positive?
  2. Is it something that even people who disagreed with the stance could still feel good about reading?
  3. Is it unifying rather than divisive?
  4. If someone who didn’t know me saw it, would I be proud of the representation?
  5. Would I say it in front of my grandmother, my priest, my daughter, and my client?

My social media guidelines ensure that what not matter what I say, even if it is opinion-based, I won’t be apologizing for it next week.

What guidelines might be important for you to implement? Have you thought about having this conversation with employees? If so, what have been the results?

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How to find your purpose in a seemingly purpose-less career


Thanks for nothing, Venn!

We’ve all seen the Venn diagram that shows us that our purpose is somewhere in the sweet spot of that which we love, that at which we do well, that which the world needs, and that for which we can receive decent payment. It sure is great—in theory.

Not all of us get to find the space resting handsomely amidst all four of those ideal circumstances. Heck, some of us may be lucky to find ourselves barely obtaining the rewards from one partially realized category.

Yes, this is ideal. Yes, let’s agree to never stop striving for ideal. But what if we don’t have that now? Then what?

You can still realize your purpose through your job even if you aren’t realizing your purpose in your job.


I know, work with, and coach several individuals who are working in a particular field right now because it pays them decently—or at least more decently than leaving to pursue a more passion-driven alternative. Similarly, I know people who are doing something they love but barely scraping by—and by “barely”, I mean using credit cards to supplement their already-frugal lifestyle because “barely” doesn’t cut it.

Which is better?

I’d say neither are feeling fulfilled. Those in the former group feel like sell-outs forced into working dispassionately to earn decent livings. And those in the latter feel proud of “sticking it to the corporate man” at the expense of sticking it to themselves and their future security.

You’ll never hear me give blanket advice to someone that says “go get a job at a bank, earn your $40k and give up on your dreams because you’ll be happier if you can afford rent and groceries.” Both my husband and I had jobs that were life-squelching, soul-sucking, miserable, ulcer-forming experiences, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. But I also don’t wish for one to be saddled with personal credit lines that mimic that of the national debt, where the only way out is to file bankruptcy or fake your own death.

Since we can’t make others pay us more for our passion; sometimes the smart choice is to “go get a job at a bank, earn your $40k and give up on your dreams pursue your dreams in a different capacity because you’ll be happier if you can afford rent and groceries.” But can we do that without completely signing over our soul to the devil of corporate greed and cubicles?

I think we can.

Let me share a story about a client of mine. She likes her job. She doesn’t love it in that I’m-nursing-orphaned-children-back-to-health-and-building-wells-in-the-desert sort of way. It’s a good job with a good company doing good work for their clients. But it’s not something she has been dreaming about since she was a little girl day-dreaming of her fairytale future.

She does, however, have a dream to take her father’s ashes to Australia. A place her father had always dreamed of going. A place they had talked about visiting together. Unfortunately for all, life got in the way of his dream. Her father died unexpectedly and now my client feels this pull to complete the voyage in homage to her beloved father.

But again, sometimes life gets in the way. Australia is expensive and paid time off can be hard to come by. That being said, my client, is in a sales role and earns commission on new clients she brings on. And possibly, if she could increase her client base by about 10 percent, she would have the extra income to make her trip to Australia.

When we broke down the numbers, if she could do the same work she does on her best days (note: I did not say make the sales, but do the work), on all days, that increase in activity (basing it on her current results) would be enough to increase her personal revenue.

So for her, even though prospecting is difficult, the burden is greatly lessened by her connecting her personal purpose (taking her dad on the trip he never got to take) with her professional role.

You, too, can do the same.

Sure, not everyone is in sales or in a position to directly control their income. But can we find similar reasons to align doing the hard because it provides us with the good?

My grandfather worked three jobs so that he could ensure that all seven of his children went to college. If his purpose wasn’t connected to those jobs he would have probably given up. However, because he could connect the dots between his jobs and his children’s education—even though the jobs themselves were not his purpose—he was able to see all his children graduate with four-year degrees.

In the book Switch, a story is told about a hospital cafeteria worker who saw his purpose in keeping people healthy and alive through keeping an incredibly sanitary cafeteria. Again, nothing very purposeful in cafeteria work alone—in fact, many would shun the work as too degrading or beneath them—but this man saw it as a vehicle to a larger destination. He literally saved lives (and I mean literally, hospital deaths actually declined).

Can you align your purpose of raising hard-working children by showing them your work ethic? Or your purpose of bringing theater to inner-city kids in a volunteer, weekend position because you have a 9-5 job that pays you enough to take care of your own family. Can you see yourself not as a cog in the wheel but as a vital ingredient in the bigger recipe?

While I hope you find a place that allows you to do that which you do well, you love, and the world needs all while making good money, I suspect most of us might have to search in a couple different places to find them all.

And the sooner we become okay with our job not necessarily being our purpose but a vehicle which allows us to achieve our purpose, the sooner we will be more satisfied with both.

Yes, go forth and find your purpose. But don’t necessarily quit your day job.

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100 things to do besides Facebook


Facebook should come with a warning.

My name is Marjorie, and I’m addicted to Facebook. It’s a true story. I can get sucked into social media better than just about anyone I know. Not a good thing when you have big goals you are trying to reach. Especially not a good thing when you tout the benefits of “living intentionally” like here, here, and even here.

But, alas, I am human. I have my vices. And I recognize some are more detrimental than others. While Facebook isn’t harming me or anyone else directly, it certainly does very little to help me reach my dreams. And if I am being honest with myself, what starts out as a genuine interest in sharing something with family or checking out what my friends are up to, often leads to rabbit trails of frustration, irritation, and general feelings of meh.


Maybe what gives you feelings of meh isn’t social media, maybe it’s television, or video games, or binge-watching Scandal; whatever it is, you know it isn’t contributing to your best self.

What’s weird is I don’t believe we intentionally choose these things but they sort of choose us in the space that is devoid of a better choice—or plan.

So, here I give you my better plan of 100 things that I can do besides Facebook that all point me in the direction of certain goals or things that give me feelings of the-opposite-of-meh. Some, you will see, are super-basic. I’m okay with that—we are not trying to synthesize a new stable super-heavy element. The goal is to build momentum—positive momentum—toward the things that we want and away from the things that don’t serve us.

Each of these things (with only a couple exceptions) is designed to be doable in about five minutes—not-so-coincidentally the amount of time I am bored before I make a default-decision to “just see what’s happening on Facebook”…and 45 minutes later.

They are also designed to be done in many different places and under different circumstances. Sometimes boredom occurs while sitting in my car because I have five minutes between appointments; sometimes while unwinding at home after a full-day of training; sometimes during weekends with no particular plans.

Because of this, I want a Facebook alternative for any time, any place. And, before you ask, ya, many of these I already just do, but the idea is to have a go-to plan to replace the default plan.

Following is my list, what would you add?

100 things to do besides Facebook:


  • squats
  • lunges
  • plank
  • push-ups
  • dips
  • jumping jacks
  • downward dog
  • run in place or on treadmill
  • burpees
  • mountain climbers
  • walk dog
  • drink a big glass of water
  • sit outside getting vitamin D


  • write an article
  • update website speaking schedule
  • make a meme
  • clean up laptop desktop
  • send LinkedIn emails to 15 weekly contacts
  • read a book
  • peruse
  • teamroom (internal website)
  • corporate website
  • Sudoku puzzle
  • solitaire
  • audio book from collection
  • email a connection to say “hi”


  • buy a snack for a homeless person
  • pray for someone or something besides self
  • lighthouse cd
  • rosary
  • daily mass readings
  • go to confession
  • sit inside church
  • write 20 things for which I’m thankful
  • listen to music


  • play a game with Smoochy (my adorable, hysterical, whimsical five year old)
  • read to Smoochy
  • crafts with Smoochy
  • push Smoochy on the swing
  • help Smoochy with letters
  • help Smoochy with numbers
  • talk to husband (novel idea, huh?)
  • text mom
  • call mom
  • start dinner
  • call Grams and Gramps
  • write a letter to Grams and Gramps
  • help smooch draw a picture or write a letter to someone


  • change out hand towels
  • get groceries
  • fill up gas tank
  • pay bills
  • balance checkbook
  • clean chicken coop
  • sweep kitchen floor
  • put away dishes
  • throw in a load of laundry
  • fold a load of laundry
  • put away a load/pile of laundry
  • dust living room
  • find one bag of stuff to donate
  • organize one bin in garage
  • walk down the driveway to get mail (1/10th of the mile each way, this is an event, folks!)
  • clean the toilets
  • clean the sinks
  • clean the microwave
  • organize my desk
  • work on taxes
  • clean stovetop
  • refill toilet paper rolls in bathroom
  • change sheets
  • empty trash baskets
  • brush the dog
  • shark the floors
  • vacuum playroom
  • vacuum bedroom
  • vacuum living room
  • vacuum the formal room
  • sort/review mail on counter
  • make tomorrow’s lunch
  • pick out tomorrow’s outfit
  • clean closet
  • clean bathtub
  • clean shower
  • change front door wreath
  • put away seasonal decorations
  • fill up chicken food
  • change chicken water
    …Seriously. Why is this category so long?! Ugh.


  • visualize dreams
  • write out my goals and “why”s
  • make deodorant
  • make toothpaste
  • make laundry soap (I like to make natural products; don’t hate the playa, hate the game)
  • make seasonal craft
  • sewing project
  • cut some flowers
  • weed the rose beds
  • water indoor plants
  • water outdoor gardens
  • make some tea
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Do. Be. Get.

do be get 2So often we want to get something before we will be the person who will do what it takes to earn it.

I heard this sentiment recently in a training I was giving when I asked the group “what are some of the goals you want to achieve?” One participant said “make more money” as often people say. But when I pried more into the logistics of that worthy endeavor she expounded on a less-worthy vehicle for reaching said endeavor. “I want to be paid more, then I will take on more responsibility.”

She meant well. I know she did. But the problem with the statement is it’s like saying “I want to be smart, and then I’ll learn” or “I want to be a best-selling author and then I’ll put my ideas out there”.

And yet, we do this so often in our professional space. We ask for the raise first as if that is the key to unlocking our work-ethic and our potential. It’s not.

Think of an actress who wants a million bucks per episode. If she doesn’t have the audience, the accolades, or the acting chops to back it up, will she get it? Nope. She must first show that she has mass appeal and broad talent, then she will get offered the big bucks.

See we must do something (acting, performing as an indispensable asset, leading without being asked) before we can be something (an actress, an indispensable asset, a leader), before we can get something (the big paychecks, the promotions, the responsibility and the corner office).

Don’t fall into the get-be-do mentality that is rampant in our culture. This is the mentality that says you can work hard when you get paid for it, or you can get followers when you get the leadership position, and you can get happiness when everything falls into place.

These are all traps set out by the victim in attempt to recruit more victims. They are hard traps from which to pry yourself. And they create a vicious cycle of resentment, bitterness, and it’s-not-fair disease. I know, I’ve been there.

They are cancerous to a work environment and one’s family. But, sadly, the person they harm the most is the person who capitulated to them in the first place.

If you aren’t getting what you want, ask yourself what kind of a person do you need to be to get those things. And then ask that person what she needs to do. Then do those things—every single day.

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In the Know

It’s amazing how telling people why you did something a certain way—or why you need something done—does so much to diffuse resistance and resentment.

My favorite coffee shop switched from paper towel to an air dryer in their rest rooms—not a big deal to the average patron, I know, but I suppose I am not an average patron. I hate air dryers. They take longer. I’ve read they breed more bacteria, so they gross me out. My hands never really feel dry. They take longer. And I hate them. (See what I mean?)

As I waited for my cup of tea, the manager and I were chit-chatting about their technology upgrades and I took the opportunity to casually mention that I didn’t like the Paper Towel-gate 2014.

When he told me why—that their downtown establishment had problems with people using the restrooms to bathe and then clogging the toilets with wads of paper towel which was then leading to needing a plumber on a weekly basis—I could empathize with the sound business decision.

He even went on to say that they don’t mind the bathing component. They weren’t angry with the people causing the problem (as they, too, could empathize with the homeless, or waterless population and were here to welcome all in the community). He added that they made attempts to unclog it themselves and when that didn’t work they considered locking the bathrooms and needing an entrance code (which would be a different kind of inconvenience for patrons).

By the end of our three minute conversation, I was on his side. I would have made the same decision if in his shoes. And ultimately, I was rooting for this coffee shop to succeed. I was now Team Air Dryers.

There are a few takeaways that I learned from Paper Towel-gate:

Keep your patrons in the loop when you make changes—even if said changes seem insignificant. Your best customers may offers insights or other alternatives that weren’t considered. You may find they support you even more.

If possible, confide in them the fact that you considered other options. When he mentioned what else they had contemplated and even attempted, I realized that this really was the lesser of evils. Again, this helped diffuse any frustration or resentment I had because I concurred that the other avenues were even more cumbersome. Your best customers—the ones that are the 20 percent who bring you 80 percent of your business—they want you to win. If this change helps you win better, they will likely support your decisions that lead to your success.

Tell your story, your “why”. In this case their “why” was the fact that they didn’t want to eliminate the option to wash up or punish the people who were washing up in their restrooms—man, I love that about this place—but rather eliminate the costly and hassle-laden occurrence of needing a plumber weekly. You may find your customers like you even more when your “why” aligns with your core values and theirs.

It doesn’t have to be a saga. A three minute conversation was all it took. But it could be a public note. Or a blog or status update on social media. Or an op-ed. But find a way to communicate with your customers (preferably in the way that is relevant to them).

Doing these things helps your customers feel like part of the team; like they aren’t just customers anymore, they are friends, they are family, they are your people. And when we are friends, family, and community, we keep each other in the know.

P.S. These same principles apply if you are a boss making a change.

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Less is More.

Less resentment, more love.

Less bitterness, more thoughtfulness.

Less fear, more humility.

Less finger-pointing, more forgiveness.

Less pressure, more inspiration.

Less technology, more interaction.

Less scarcity, more abundance.

Less aggression, more compassion.

Less judgment, more introspection.

Less fighting, more embracing.

Less is more. Let’s hold up the mirror, folks. Will you join me?

rainbow less is more

Want to help ALS? Stop dumping water on your head, and…

Want to help ALS? Stop dumping water on your head, and…ALS pic

…talk about the work that the ALS Association does.

Or, talk about why funding ALS research and ALS related causes matter.

Or, actually donate. Or, do just about anything else.

Since I first started seeing the Ice Bucket Challenge it didn’t sit well with me but I couldn’t place why. At first I thought it was just because I’m not personally a fan of kitchy, celebrity band-wagon, social-media-based, armchair-activism. And that’s true. But that wasn’t what was really bothering me.

At the heart of it, why I really dislike the Ice Bucket Challenge is while people will argue it’s bringing awareness, I, along with many others, can emphatically say it hasn’t brought any more awareness to the actual cause.

What is ALS? Why is it something I should care about? How does it impact me? My loved ones? My neighbors?  My community? What is the ALS Association doing about it? How are they doing it?

Those types of questions—and subsequently answers—are what create engaged donors. Sure, this Ice Bucket Challenge may raise a little bit of money but is it really cultivating a donor who is connected to the mission and work? Is it in any way unearthing sustainable donor relationships? Is it furthering the mission and work of the ALS Association in any meaningful, long-term way? Is it anything more than a flash in the pan?

I suppose time will tell.

But I suggest that your organization would be far better suited investing time in communicating your “why” to masses. Why do you exist? Why is it worth a donor’s limited time and hard-earned money to invest in you for an invisible, intangible share in your life’s work? Why does it impact people on a personal, very intimate level? Why are you the best at what you do? Why should they care?


Answer the “why” and look for people who are willing to share that message over taking a bucket of ice to the head.

That is the worthwhile challenge.

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The Real Looking Glass

look at everything

Look at everything you do today through the lens of what you want tomorrow. Ask yourself “will it help me get there?”

If you want to be somebody, you need to do the things that somebody does.

Sadly, we too often are trying to make a deal with the devil whereby we attempt to negotiate with our future hoping once we are that person we will then start to act that way.

But that’s backwards because the people that are a certain way spent many years doing before they ever began being.

So, again, look through the lens of who you want to be, and start doing those things today.

Am I Speaking Your Language?

snapThere’s a book called The 5 Love Languages. The basic premise is that in order to have a successful marriage or romantic relationship, one should “speak” in their partner’s language rather than their own.

This is true in any sort of relationship, romantic or otherwise.

When I was speaking this past week to a group of teachers on the communication styles as described by Extended DISC, a participant asked if it was phony and disingenuous to make small talk if making small talk is not really said person’s style (or basically to do anything that isn’t one’s natural style). It’s a common misconception that it’s fake or cheap or somehow not genuine if we put on the charade of acting in a way that we don’t naturally embody. My guess as to why people feel this way is because it feels so awkward—especially at first—that it can’t possibly be authentic.

But reality is that we often get in our own way and justify it as being true to ourselves. However, if we are only focusing on ourselves and what we find effective, we are easily missing at least 50 percent of the communication equation.

Just as how a romantic partner feels empowered and cared about when we speak in their “love language” as opposed to our own, our professional connections receive similar benefit when we communicate with them in a way that is meaningful and resonant to them. Even if it makes us a bit uncomfortable, even if it we don’t always get it 100 percent right, trying to meet someone in the middle is genuine and it is the sincere way to communicate.

While you may not necessarily love the people with whom you work, you can build stronger trust and teamwork when you make an effort to speak their language.

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