Monthly Archives: June 2015


Today as I was out for my early morning run, I came across this scene:


Last night’s powerful thunderstorm created a new hurdle for me this morning. Literally. It reminded me of the hurdles we all face in all parts of our work and lives and how easily we can be stopped by them.

Here’s a three step process for overcoming the next downed tree that blocks your path:

1. Make a plan

A bit of careful planning is the first step on getting past unexpected hurdles. It’s easy to react in the face of unanticipated roadblocks – and most of us do so much drama and theatrics. A few moments of planning will get you back in action more quickly than drama. What’s the next small action you can take to keep you on course? And then next one after that? Develop a list of action steps you can take that will each take less than 30 minutes. Small steps, repeated, are what get you to the finish line.

2. Take action

Now that you know what the steps are, take action. A plan without action is like a recipe without a chef. Use the plan, the recipe, and be in action. If you want to clear the hurdle rapidly, take massive action. Accomplishing some of the most immediate steps that you need to take to get past the hurdle will fuel your confidence level and you will be charged up to take on subsequent steps with gusto. Success breeds success.

3. Get help

Recognize that you can’t always surmount the hurdles on your own. Think realistically about the magnitude of the challenge, your resources, skills and knowledge, and the larger context in which this hurdle presents itself. Human beings are social animals and we get more done – and get it done better and faster – with the help of others. Do you need to hire a contractor, a constructor worker or a coach to help you past the hurdle? Get the assistance you need to powerfully overcome the hurdle and get back on course.
This morning, as I ran around the lake, I climbed over the hurdle as did everyone I encountered. I didn’t see a single person who said, “Oh no. There’s a downed tree across the path. I’m giving up.”

Not even close.

>> A woman with a cane maneuvered over the tree trunk.

>> A man lifted his dog (who was too big to get under it and too small to get over it) across.

>> Cyclists dismounted and lifted their bikes over it.

>> Countless runners took it in stride.

What hurdle is in your path today? Make a plan, take action and get help.

Share your thoughts in the comments.
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    listeningsEditor’s Note: Don’t worry, this is satire.  But we do have a great resource if you need to improve listening in your organization. Check out our course listings for more details. 

    You’ve always wanted to listen better.

    You know the results of the studies: leaders listen more than they talk.

    You’ve seen the infographics: listening moves your career ahead faster than anything else. And you get to keep your clothes on.

    You know it intellectually, but it’s hard to implement.

    Your mouthy mouth talks more than it should.

    If only there were a device that forced your brain to listen and your mouth to remain closed.

    After years, decades even, of your mouth prattling on with little to no input from your ears and your brain, there is finally a solution. We’re calling this patented technology “Listenings.”

    Drastically Improves Your Listening

    Improve your listening 217% with the breakthrough technology of Listenings. They have the visual appeal of earrings but this accessory does more than merely accessorize.

    Listenings amplify the intellectual process of listening and reduce the likelihood of saying something stupid. First, the patented technology moves all human voice sound waves to the front of the queue for brain processing. The prioritized sound waves are held in the brain until comprehension is complete. Then, and only then, is there capacity in your brain to formulate a response.

    Listen More, Talk Smarter

    Listenings preempt your brain from releasing unnecessary words from your mouth. In fact, all attempts at speech are cycled back through your brain for accuracy, relevance and emotional intelligence not once, not twice, but three times – thus reducing the probability of saying something asinine by more than 382%.  You’ll produce smart, engaging, relevant responses every time.

    Listenings calibrate themselves to the power dynamic of the situation. They’ll amp up their frequency around your boss and your boss’s boss. And they’ll tune out that annoying person in your office who can’t stop talking about the bad date he had in 2004.

    Listenings are designed in both women’s and men’s styles and come in a variety of attractive styles.

    Bonus: Your Spouse Will Listen Better for Just Pennies a Daypennies

    For just an additional $99 upgrade to the Spousal Listenings and give them as a gift you your significant other. He’ll be listening to you just like he did when you were dating, hanging on your every word and responding with empathy, intelligence and appropriateness.


    Now here’s the part where I quit being so silly.  ?

    Working Conversations has programs to help your staff (and yourself) to become better listeners and better communicators.  We can’t promise that your staff will improve their listening by hundreds of percentage points. But we do stand by our training programs and guarantee your satisfaction.

    Contact Working Conversations today to start a conversation about your organization’s communication needs today.

    Know someone who needs “Listenings?” Share this post with them today.

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