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On Tuesday March 21, Dallas SWE Members had an opportunity to hear speaker Alise Cortez, PhD of Insigniam, Catalyzing Breakthrough Results® enlighten our members about vital communication skills. Her topic “The Key to Success and Sanity in the Workplace: Developing the Vital Communication Skills to Talk about ANYTHING” provided key takeaways for all us to put into practice in our personal and professional lives.

She referenced a few books with the main recommendation being “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High” by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler . She integrated the essential framework of the method with psychology studies to provide perspectives and strategize with attendees on issues that might arise during real-world interactions..

Below are a few of the key takeaways from the night:

The first critical step of vital communication skills is to become aware of limiting conversations. Do you know how much you are interpreting a story from the past and its effect on filtering what you see as possible in the present? Do you realize the impact of your misperceptions on your future interactions? The way you see something based on past experiences does not give your current or future circumstances a fair chance to be different.

Once you aware of your limiting conversations and are ready to embrace the present fully it is time to have more crucial conversations.

The following are ways to have crucial conversations:

  1. Start from the Heart
  2. Stay focused on what it is you really want
  3. Work on you first engage your mind by reflecting on your brain
    • What do I really want for myself?
    • What do I really want for others?
    • What do I really want for the relationship?
    • How would I behave if I really wanted these results?
  4. Master Your Stories
    • Stay in dialogue when you’re angry, scared or hurt and create your emotions you can act on them or be acted on by them. It’s always a choice in how you choose to respond.

STATE your Path. Speak persuasively not abrasively using:

S- Share your facts

T- Tell Your Story

A- Ask for other’s paths

T- Talk tentatively

E- Encourage Testing

Overall, developing vital communication skills means making it safe, for a mutual purpose with mutual respect for communicating with value and addressing misunderstandings.

~ Alicia Morgan

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