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Stranger Danger! Misreading someone’s demeanour can be disastrous

Light bulb moments in the training room are things of joy. I had one the other day during a session of interview practice. I asked my client (let’s call her Esmerelda) a question but just as I thought she was getting going with the answer, she suddenly stopped. I was slightly thrown but gathered myself and moved on to another question. The same thing happened again and then a third time, each answer getting progressively shorter. At the end of the mock interview we analysed how it had gone, and I referred to these abrupt endings. I revealed how uneasy…

Fear and Confidence – unlikely but essential bedfellows

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with an ex Olympic swimmer who competed in Seoul when she was just 14 years old.  She didn’t fulfil her potential.  When asked why, her response surprised me. “I wasn’t scared enough”. Essentially, she attributed her poor performance to a lack of fear. Perhaps because she was so young, she hadn’t appreciated the scale of the event and the enormity of the opportunity. She’d experienced little pressure and therefore failed to rise to the occasion. The issue of fear came up again on the Today programme a couple of weeks ago. Dr Pippa Grange…

IS ONLINE COMMUNICATION GETTING HARDER?

Last month I wrote about online communication and the skills we need to be able to hold an audience’s attention. Here it is again – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/respect-connect-key-excellent-online-communication-jayne-constantinis/ Four weeks on, dozens of Zoom/Skype/Teams calls later, why does it seem that this form of communication is getting harder and more tiring? Surely we should be getting better at it. I think it’s down to two issues: Problem one – sound quality According to Trevor Cox, an acoustics expert at the University of Salford, the quality of sound coming through our computers is inferior to broadcast audio. It’s been compressed which gives it…

Respect and Connect – the key to excellent online communication

I came across Franklin D Roosevelt’s advice on public speaking the other day:  “Be sincere, be brief, be seated”. Well said, Mr President, and especially well said in these corona months when most of us are working remotely, and when we need to finesse our communication style, to hold people’s attention. Just as tennis players adapt their game for each surface, so we need to adjust our usual face to face communication for the virtual world. It requires a particular set of techniques and a unique tone of voice. Normal rules don’t apply. Essentially, the fundamental pillars of good communication…

Coping and communicating through the Corona months

Joy, sadness, fear, hope, despondency, hilarity – that’s been the morning’s gamut of emotions. No doubt you’re experiencing similar mood swings on what’s now called the Coronacoaster. Five weeks into lockdown and I’m getting used to the ‘new normal’ but I’ve struggled along the way. I’m usually annoyingly upbeat and positive but this knocked me sideways, as demonstrated by a recurring dream in which the brakes fail on a car I’m driving fast downhill!!!! Then I came across an article by David Kessler (a world expert on grief) suggesting that….. “we are collectively in mourning for the loss of our…

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