Use all means of effective communication – formal, informal, and interpersonal – to build authentic connections with others and achieve your personal and professional goals.
- Emmy Award & Golden Globe Winner
- Professor at Harvard Business School
- Marketing expert, launched 100+ products, netting $18B in sales
1. The Power of Onlyness: Go from "You" to "Us" with Trust
Organizations are organisms. They thrive on trust and cooperation, and break down at the seams when that binding element is missing. But most teams fail to address explicitly how exactly to find that common ground. Without it people often dive into projects with competing goals and interests, jockeying for primacy without even knowing they’re doing so. A big part of the solution is learning how to listen.
2. Make Deals Like an FBI Negotiator: Leverage Language and Linguistic Cues
Among their many skills, master negotiators are masters of language and verbal cues—both as observers and in action themselves. For Chris Voss, three key cues/tools to pay special attention to are tone of voice, “mirroring”, and the use of the word “fair”.
3. Heighten Your Sensitivity to Rhetorical Tricks
Because humans aren’t creatures of pure logic, discussions and collaborations can get confused through rhetorical trickery, emotional manipulation, and power dynamics. This isn’t always conscious or Machiavellian—it’s embedded deep in how we relate to one another. Over many decades, philosopher Daniel Dennett has learned to spot a few of these strategies that can “red flag” something in need of further examination. Here we’ll look at two rhetorical tricks: What Dennett calls “rathering”...
4. Heightening Presence: Improving Your Emotional State with Movement
Many of us tend to think of the body as a workhorse, carrying out the dictates of the mind. In some ways, this is accurate. We think “pick that up” (or something along those lines) and our hand picks something up. But as Amy Cuddy points out, the mind and body are in constant dialogue, communicating with and influencing one another. As yoga practitioners have understood for millennia, this means it’s a two-way street; we can tell the body to do things, yes, but adjusting the body can also inf...
5. Building Mind-Machine Combinations: Let Information Permeate Your Organization
Traditionally, managers functioned as gatekeepers both of ideas and of information. In the industrial era, gathering, processing, and distributing information was expensive. Machines couldn’t handle these jobs, so human managers were tasked with organizing and communicating relevant information up the chain of command.Today, data is abundant and processing it by machine is relatively inexpensive. This means companies can make it accessible throughout their organizations, training everyone to “...
6. The Art and Science of Relating: Meet Your Reader’s Expectations
You might be tempted to think that writing is completely different from face-to-face communication because your reader isn’t present. How can you “read” their reactions and gauge what they understand and what they’re missing? You’re not off the hook, says Alan Alda. As the writer, it’s your job to structure your sentences so as to hook and hold the reader’s attention. Like face-to-face dialogue, this requires empathy.
7. Work the Crowd: Read the Room Like a Comedian to Improve Audience Engagement
Work the Crowd: Read the Room Like a Comedian to Improve Audience Engagement, with Lisa Lampanelli, ComedianConnecting with an audience, as any comic knows, means reading that audience. It’s energetic improv in real time—you need to notice who’s engaged, what’s engaging them, and build on that. It’s no different in a presentation, job interview, or staff meeting. Working the crowd is a powerful way of getting everybody on board.
8. The Science of Receiving Feedback: Don't Switchtrack
Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone coined the phrase “The Challenge of We” to describe the relationship systems that impact the way we give and receive feedback. Heen and Stone are co-authors of the book Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well. In this lesson, Heen offers a simple correction that you can make during difficult conversations to refocus yourself and the people who tend to trigger your emotions.
9. Present Your Ideas: Overcome the "Curse of Knowledge" to Make Others Care
Successful presenters understand that it’s not about them; it’s about their audience, so says Chris Anderson, the curator of TED Talks, a wildly popular global set of conferences whose viewership surpassed 1 billion in 2012.The key is to analyze your audience by mapping out their reality and what they might want to know. From that point forward, it’s all about emotional connection. In this lesson, Anderson teaches you simple tips for making your presentations more compelling and persuasive.
10. Communicating to Transform: Formal Presentation Techniques
The most brilliant data set, research project, or groundbreaking proposal in the world is dead in the water if it’s presented in a way that doesn’t resonate with its intended audience. There are two parts to this: clearly and succinctly conveying what the point is, and expressing powerfully why it matters.
11. Tell Strong Stories
Storytelling is an essential skill in business. We use it to persuade others to support our projects, to explain to employees how they might improve, or to inspire a team that is facing challenges. Some, like actor/entrepreneur Jeffrey Wright, would argue that business is storytelling.Documentary filmmaker Barry Ptolemy subscribes to The Hero’s Journey brand of storytelling because it creates “a magical bond” with one’s audience. In The Hero with a Thousand Faces, American mythologist Joseph...
12. Influencing Others: Lead Effective Meetings, in Person and Online
At this point it’s common knowledge, and a not-so-funny-anymore inside corporate joke that meetings are often a waste of time. This has been studied and verified, scientifically. Yet we persist in having meetings, and are sluggish about changing how we organize and run them. So how can we have better (and fewer) meetings, especially considering the growing challenge of virtual management in our increasingly mobile and globalized workforce? Linda Hill of Harvard Business School has some practica...
13. Collaborate Intelligently: Understand How Different Minds Work
Oftentimes when we’re “just not getting through” to someone, it’s not because we’re not being clear or they’re not paying attention. Often we’re simply failing to grasp the fact that different minds work differently. Angie McArthur calls these hard-wired differences “mind-patterns”.
14. Unite Your Organization: Optimize Your Team of Teams
Since retiring from the U.S. Army, General Stanley McChrystal has spoken widely about his leadership style and what the military knows about managing a successful business. Communication, he says, is the key. In fact, McChrystal was famous for spending his commander’s discretionary fund on purchasing bandwidth to support better communication among the nodes of his military network. In this lesson, he teaches you how to optimize your communication channels across disparate working groups, busine...