Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

Greetings! Back in December I let you know I was no longer blogging on this site and invited you to move with me to my new site.

I’ve since done some significant work to revise even that, and now I have something entirely new to share with you. I hope you’ll follow me there and stay in touch!

Come join me at insight.lauraprisc.com

In fact, if you don’t join me there, and opt-in to my new email list, you won’t be able to enjoy the insights, wisdom, and lessons I share with my inner circle on leadership, personal development, communication, engagement, and team-building, because I’m not blogging there, either!

I stay in touch with my inner circle only thru email these days, and only with those who are seriously interested in growing themselves.

These principles and ideas are applicable to every area of your life, whether you own your own business, are the CEO of someone else’s business, are a manager, supervisor, individual contributor, have a desire to start your own business, or are simply interested in growing yourself!

Look, I know I’m not a good fit for everyone, but I may still be a good fit for you. So, if you want to find out. Come on over to insight.lauraprisc.com and opt-in. I will never spam you or share your information and you can opt-out anytime if you decide it’s not a good fit.

I truly do hope to see you there.

In the meantime, have an intentional day.



Read Full Post »

Dear Faithful Readers: There comes a time in every life when it’s time to move on and do something new. For me, that time is now. Well, to be completely transparent, that time was a few weeks ago, but I’ve been polishing the new “space” to better serve you, so haven’t felt ready to make the announcement until now.

I have officially moved to a new web site, and hope you will join me there! I am unable to transfer all of you faithful followers, so if you’re still interested in staying in touch — and I hope you are — you’ll have to do the work.

Here’s how: Click this link!

Truly, it’s that simple!

You’ll find the full blog archive there, so if you have a favorite, you’ll still be able to find it. You’ll also find enhanced information on what I’m able to offer and how I can best serve you.

And, most important, there’s a quick opt-in form that you can fill out (name and email only) for a free self-discovery tool and the option of staying in touch. I won’t be blogging as often; in fact, if you want to keep up with my thoughts, insights, teachings, and other content, I recommend opting-in, as I plan to share my best stuff with my inner circle moving forward.

Please note, if you do opt-in, you may also opt-out at any time. I will never spam you, nor will I ever share your information with anyone else. I’m committed to developing a value-added relationship with you, and I believe that can happen only if you grant permission to our relationship.

Thank you for your time, energy, and attention these past couple of years. I appreciate you more than you know.

Again, it’s as simple as clicking this link!

I look forward to connecting with you there. In the meantime, have an intentional day.



Read Full Post »

While I might like to think so, the answer is “no.” As I work on this blog, I sit at a computer and type out my thoughts, essentially putting words in a row. Then I post them into my blog and hit the “Publish” button. My words fly out into cyberspace and while I hope they have some meaning for whomever reads them—that they will spark some new thoughts for you or allow you to realize some new insight into something you’ve been pondering—I may never know.

Communication is very simple. It requires at least two people and some form of feedback. One sends a message. The second receives and interprets the message and responds in some way (and yes, “no response” may be the response!). This response is the feedback that allows the sender to determine whether the message was received and interpreted as intended. The process can stop or move forward in a lot of different ways from this point.

I am writing this particular blog because I’ve been thinking a lot about how social media is changing how we communicate, and I’m not convinced it’s necessarily in a good way. This probably sounds counter-intuitive for someone who blogs and hopes to attract a faithful following of readers, but here’s how my thought process has gone:

I published my first post on this site on 14 August 2012. Since then, I’ve had people from Canada, Australia, France, Russia, Nigeria, South Africa, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Singapore, Micronesia, Belgium, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago, and the US, who presumably have viewed various pages of my web site, based on the site stats. So, I could infer that all of those people have read my blogs, but I don’t really know for sure — they may have simply clicked in and clicked back out — unless they leave a comment or contact me directly; this is the feedback that completes the communication loop.

When I publish a new post, it is broadcast on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I admit, these notifications are my only tweets (well, 99.9999% of the time!). Last week, I received a couple of emails stating I had new followers on Twitter. That’s a good thing, right? But I looked more closely at the notifications and these two folks – now following me – are also following 49,284 and 14,918 other tweeters, respectively.

In thinking about a person’s capacity for truly following and taking in new information, and the concept of quality versus quantity, I’m in a quandary over these new followers. I should be pleased; I’m told the goal is to have large numbers of followers. But I have to ask: If someone is “following” 49,248 people, what’s the quality of what they are receiving? What is my actual potential for impact within that enormous cloud of messages flying around?

And what about Facebook? I took the plunge and created a profile and page for my business, and for business I do find it useful. I scroll through the News Feed page and see everyone’s updates and comments, and while it’s nice to “see” what folks are up to, it also leaves me with a sense of longing for what’s not there – true connection with the people in my life.

Updates often appear to be spur-of-the-moment snippets of lives as people are living them or just passing along something someone saw, with no personal comment or update attached. For example, a friend of mine lives in another state. At one time we were very close, but the demands of life and the nearly 3,000 miles that separate us have left us somewhat disconnected. She occasionally posts updates, but they are “shared” information – pictures and whatnot, nothing personal.

It leaves me feeling sad that we have the time to share photos and sayings and post brief snippets, but claim to just be “so busy” that we haven’t had time to really connect with the important people in our lives. I wonder if this is my solitary experience and perception, or if others feel it, too.

It was said that technology would make our lives easier and we wouldn’t have to work as much or as hard; that doesn’t appear to be the case. I see people working longer hours on more projects…not less. I think social media may be having the same effect – we have the illusion of being more connected and there certainly are more messages flying around, but are we really communicating?

I can speak for only myself, and here’s my final thoughts on this topic tonight: Social media offers some useful tools, but for me these tools do not replace true communication, real connection with people. I don’t know about you, but I long for deep connection and meaningful conversations with the people in my life. I much prefer the face-to-face interaction, and consider a phone a reasonable second choice.

What do you think? Please, leave a comment, provide some feedback, and help me turn this blog into actual communication!

Read Full Post »

To follow the Golden Rule or the Platinum Rule?                       

We’re all familiar with the Golden Rule, right? You know the one: “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” 

Simply put: Treat others the way you want to be treated. 

Sounds good, doesn’t it? But how does it really work in practice? 

Let’s consider a couple I once knew, Matthew and Katie. Katie is a stay-at-home-mom, who happens to be an extrovert. Katie spends a lot of time with small children during the day, with little substantive interactions with adults – which is how she recharges her batteries. Matthew works outside the home and happens to be in introvert; he enjoys being with people throughout the day but it drains his battery, so he needs time alone to recharge. 

When they are apart – during the work day or on the rare occasion when one of them gets away for some “alone” time – they follow the Golden Rule; each treating the other the way they want to be treated. Katie, looking to charge her batteries, calls Matthew frequently, just to check in and chat. Matthew, on the other hand, is less likely to call Katie when she has some alone time as he knows how much he values it when he has alone time. Both end up frustrated because they are getting what the other wants/needs, but not what they desire for themselves. 

So, what would change if they followed the Platinum Rule? It says: “Do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.” 

Do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.

Simply put: Treat others the way they would prefer to be treated – not the way you want to be treated.

The wise soul who coined this phrase recognized that “one size does not fit all”!

If Matthew and Katie were to practice the Platinum Rule, then Matthew would make a point to call and check in with Katie more often, knowing she needs more contact and wants to talk about what’s going on throughout the day, or what she’s up to when she gets to go out without the kids. Katie would recognize that Matthew needs more quiet time to himself, and wouldn’t call to check in as often or interrupt his alone time just to see what he’s up to while they are apart.

This change in behavior would require some thoughtful attention, because it would require each of them to step out of their comfort zone and focus on the needs of the other first, rather than to assume what they want is what the other wants, as well.

Take it one step further and consider how it might work at work or in organizations you are involved in. Take recognition for example. Some people crave public recognition for their accomplishments, others cringe at the thought and would prefer to do anything but be recognized publicly. If you aren’t aware of these preferences, you could make a stellar mistake and damage key relationships by making the wrong move. 

How would this awareness and change in behavior change the organizational dynamics and morale of your teams and companies? What if we could step outside ourselves more often and focus on what others need? 

It’s true: If you help others get what they want, they will be more willing and interested in helping you get what you want. It’s a key foundation for effective leadership.

What could you learn by practicing the Platinum Rule?

What relational dynamics could you change?

How much more satisfying could your work and personal lives be, if you practiced the Platinum Rule? 

I wonder…would love to hear your thoughts.   

Laura L. Prisc, Founder

Leadership & Life Potential, LLC
Helping you grow into your leadership and life potential…

Read Full Post »

I’ve been teaching communication skills for ten years and this simple fact is one of the key lessons. My hope is for people to become more self-aware, to really think about what they want to accomplish and how they approach what they’re doing, so the impact (the outcome) of their actions is in fact what they hope to have happen.

Let’s consider a couple of examples:

It’s late evening and you are driving through the dark. There’s not a lot of traffic on the road, and to see better you have turned on your “brights.” As you travel along the road, somewhat lost in thought, your focus is pulled back in full to the road ahead, as there is a driver coming toward you in the opposite lane, flashing his brights at you, trying to capture your attention, so you will flip your lights back to normal.

If you are the oncoming driver, what’s the first thing you think?

“Jerk! What are you trying to do? Don’t you realize you are blinding me?”

If you are the “offending” driver, what’s the first thing you think?

“Oh!” you think, quickly flipping your lights back to normal. “I didn’t mean to do that. Sorry!” Wishing you could telepathically send this message to the oncoming driver, so they understand it was not your intent to temporarily blind them!

Here’s another, heart-wrenchingly harder example to consider, from an actual incident in the local news.

On September 1, a four-year old girl died in a car outside a day care center. As the story goes, the day care was owned by a husband and wife. On occasion, the husband would provide transportation for one of their clients, picking up a mother and child, dropping the mother off at a local university, and taking the child to the day care for the day.

On this particular day, for what is an incomprehensible reason (there has been no explanation given that I’m aware of), the man dropped the mom off, drove to the day care, and left the child in the car…for about seven hours, on a sunny, 89-degree day. The child was found dead in the car around 5 p.m.

Clearly, there is no way for us to know what he might have been thinking – or not thinking – as he arrived at the day care, went inside, and went about the business of his day. We have no way of knowing why no one in the day care asked about the child when he arrived without her. Having not been to the location, we have no way of knowing if there might have been someone outside who might have seen the girl in the car earlier in the day.

Of course, we are outraged that such a thing could have happened, and as we are not personally involved, will likely never know all of the things that happened that day, what the people may have thought or said or did. And yet, this story isn’t unique. We hear this kind of story more frequently than we’d like, with both children and animals paying the ultimate price.

We could easily jump into blame, anger, accusations, cries for justice, etc…Let’s stay focused now, though. We’re talking about intent. In both the situations described above, I think it’s safe to argue that neither of these people intended harm to another. The outcome – or the impact – of their actions, however, did in fact result in some negative impact to the others involved — to a very minor degree in the first case, and to a life-altering and inexplicably tragic degree in the second case.

Fortunately, most of our experiences will tend toward the less extreme end of the spectrum of potential outcomes. The key here is to understand the lesson — intent does not equal impact – and to be thoughtful about our words and actions. The goal is to be self-aware enough of how others may perceive and experience us, so that when we interact with others, we have a better chance of having what we intend to happen actually be what does happen.

What are you intending to do today? How might you approach it to ensure the outcome is positive?

Read Full Post »

I have loved to write for as long as I can remember. I remember dreaming of stacks of beautiful, crisp, clean white paper and a nice pen (oh, yes — a nice pen is critical. Ask anyone who loves to write, and those who write long-hand are very particular about the kind of pen they need to be fully present in their writing, open to creativity, and able to fully channel those words and thoughts to paper) and uninterrupted time to write.

I’ve made my living for 20+ years as a communicator for a variety of companies in a variety of industries, and much of that work involved writing; “putting words in a row,” as a dear friend describes it.

I have always believed words were important. Remember the saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” How wrong that is. Words are powerful. They can change our lives. They can change the world.

“Words matter. Write to learn what you know.” This is a saying on a card given to me by my aforementioned friend. For years, I kept that card on my bulletin board. At some point, it was packed away for a move. I have yet to unpack it, but the physical card isn’t as important now; the words are imprinted on my mind and I remember them daily.

For years, I have used writing as a channel for other people’s messages; in a sense, in the corporate world I have functioned as something of a ghostwriter for a number of my colleagues. Recently, I have been called to fully live my purpose — change the world by adding value to others — which demands that I step out into the world with my own voice, to share with you my passion, my purpose, my thoughts, my experiences, and my questions.

This is why, today — on the 14th of August, 2012 — I invite you to join me on my journey. Welcome to Leadership & Life Potential. Welcome to LauraLines. Welcome to this exciting, energizing, thought-provoking conversation. I hope you will join the conversation and come back often; I promise to be here with new thoughts at least weekly. I intend to write to learn what I know, and further explore thoughts and ideas related to passion, purpose, personal growth, communication, and leadership.

Together let’s change the world with powerful words.

What are you writing, and what are you learning about yourself through the process?

Read Full Post »