Ximena Vengoechea

When things feel personal and when our ego is involved, it gets really hard to listen.

Kip Tindell

One of our foundation principles is that leadership and communication are the same thing. Communication is leadership.

Haruki Murakami

Always remember that to argue, and win, is to break down the reality of the person you are arguing against. It is painful to lose your reality, so be kind, even if you are right.

Bruce Craven

We rely upon persuasion when an objective, inarguable truth isn’t available, when the facts can be interpreted in different ways and judgment is required. Then the persuader, instead of arguing to prove a truth, must enable the listener to accept a mere possibility – to accept the idea that another explanation might be viable and begin to consider it.

Paul B. Thornton

In the old days the boss might have said, “Stop talking and get to work!” Today, the boss might say, “Start talking and get to work.” You need to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, consultants, customers, suppliers, and thought leaders to keep learning and get things done.

Constantinos C. Markides

Simply communicating the choices you have made is often insufficient. What you really need to do is to communicate the choice and the alternatives considered and rejected in favor of the choice. It is the positioning of the choice relative to the alternatives considered that makes the choice clear to people. This means that what you need to say is not “We have decided to … [ Read more ]

When Leaders Say They Are Aligned—But Aren’t

Five key practices can unify leaders up, down, and across the organization—and spark concerted action.

Baba Shiv

As a current and/or future organization leader, you have to be effective at two things among others day in and day out. You have to be effective at making decisions, but even more important, I would argue you have to be effective at shaping others’ decisions. And when we go about shaping others’ decisions, what do we often end up doing? We present rational arguments. … [ Read more ]

Sam Corcos

We’re a memo culture, not a meeting culture, and we put a lot of time into long-form documentation. Why? My belief is that content scales; your time doesn’t. I’ve personally written many hundreds of pages of strategy and documentation to align the team. Keep in mind what content replaces: taking meetings to explain the same material over and over again, emailing people, meetings, calls, seemingly … [ Read more ]

Iffet Türken

Powerful questions are open-ended questions. When you ask a closed-ended question, like a yes or no query, you cut yourself and your interlocutor off from the opportunity of deep listening. Why are open-ended questions important? They can lead to discovery, insight or even a commitment that fuels further action. Managers must become accustomed to asking good open-ended questions. The practice naturally engages partnership.

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The power … [ Read more ]

When Pitching an Idea, Should You Focus on “Why” or “How”?

There are two camps on the most effective way to frame an innovative idea. One contends you should emphasize why the idea is desirable. The other says you should focus on how to implement the idea. Which one is right? A research project found that the answer depends on your audience. If you’re making a pitch to novices, focus on why. If you’re making it … [ Read more ]

Colleen McCreary

I think a lot about how we are telling our story and our narrative inside of the company, but also equally important, how are we telling that narrative outside of the company? It’s incredibly important that those two things match, because if they don’t, you’re going to run into issues on either side. If they don’t match, then internally people will get their information or … [ Read more ]

The Ultimate Guide to Running Executive Meetings — 25 Tips from Top Startup Leaders

Great meetings don’t just happen, they’re meticulously crafted. At its best, an executive meeting strengthens the bonds of your leadership team, surfaces mission-critical problems facing the business, and carves out plans for the future. But as you wade into the executive meeting waters, there are waves that can toss you around.

The executive team’s time is worth a lot, so it’s a shame to waste it. … [ Read more ]

Robert Rosenberg

As CEO, you are the Communicator in Chief. The responsibility for aligning all the various constituencies in the organization behind company strategy falls primarily to the CEO, but it doesn’t stop there. Just when you think you have communicated clearly to all parties, go back over your message again and again. You cannot make your point too clearly or check back enough times to make … [ Read more ]

Khalid Halim

Communication is not just about what you say, it’s about the reaction it causes in the listener. Often we think delivering a message is enough without checking to see if it was actually received.

Evan Williams

Lack of trust doesn’t necessarily come from people lying and cheating; it generally comes from a lack of good communication.

Liz Fosslien

Make an observation, not a generalization. A colleague interrupts you at a meeting. You could say, “Hey, you’re rude,” but that’s going to be interpreted as an attack on their character. Instead, be specific and constructive: “You interrupted me in that meeting. It made me feel like I wasn’t a valuable part of the team. I’d appreciate it if you let me finish speaking next … [ Read more ]

Kwasi Mitchell

Do not underestimate communication. Because in the absence of that communication, the narrative will be made for you, and the narrative is always negative, right? I’ve never seen a situation where someone has made up a positive narrative in the absence of any information at all.

Better Communication Through Neuroscience

Real-world, face-to-face communication — complete with eye contact, body language, and other important sources of information — is a rarity in business today, and the potential for failing to convey an intended message or giving the wrong impression has grown. Neuroscience research has uncovered specific ways that you can fine-tune your message — whether it’s giving performance feedback, persuading your team to embrace a change … [ Read more ]

Tyler Odean

People will remember a totally random sample of the information you give them about what you do. It won’t be the best sample. It won’t be the summary you wish you could hand them. It’s a random set of data. Because they’ll remember random parts, you want to construct a message that — when sampled at any point — reinforces your argument and remains persuasive. … [ Read more ]