Gaining and Maintaining Talk That Matters

You may not play games, but you’re definitely on a team. Building relationships, friendships, families, and healthy co-worker associations is all about teamwork. Often, lack of communication can be the downfall of a great, productive relationship. Ask me. I know. In the past, my mouth has gotten me into some mess that’s too much for blogging.

Through my own trial and error, and honestly through some of the actions of others, I’ve learned that there are a few ways to make sure communication doesn’t keep us from successful associations. However, taking a note from Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock, “It takes two to make a thing go right.”


So how do you gain and maintain talk that matters?

1.    Determine the best way to communicate based on each person’s preference. Ask the other person which method of communication is preferred. Mornings? Nights? Email? Phone? Face-to-face? Thirty minutes after coming into the house from work, or arriving at work? An hour after putting the kids to bed?

2.    Be upfront, honest and respectful in communicating. Be willing to adjust, where needed, based on what is shared.

3.    Avoid “You” statements, accusatory tones, and defensive responses, especially during tough talks.

4.    Clearly define roles, making sure each person understands what is expected regarding roles, projects and performance.

5.    Open your mouth. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

6.    Open your heart and ears. Don’t be opposed to truly listening, thoroughly and without pre-determining the direction or outcome of the conversation.

7.    Have an “I’m sorry”, “I apologize”,  “My bad” or “Oops” always in reserve.

8.    Include each other on communication with others when it relates to shared responsibilities.

9.    Be mindful of the other person’s way of processing thoughts, ideas and feedback.

10.  Be specific and thorough in your communication with others including as much detail as possible prior to approaching a matter. Don’t do a detail overload though.

11.  Meet and talk often to stay abreast of goings on and coming up.

12.  Keep excellent records of communications with others (and each other) regarding shared duties.

13.  Make sure respect of the role of the other person is at the forefront.

14.  Address tough issues as early as possible as to not allow time to fester and to come to a quicker resolve.

15.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help from the experts to keep communication flowing. Talk is like plumbing. Sometimes we need an expert to come in and get rid of the, shall we say, sewage.

At the end of the day, always remember that a good talk (and some even better listening) can go a long way. 



We Don’t Have a Patent on Problems


Problems can be interesting instruments.  Many of the greatest businesses, solutions and associations have been birthed after the demise of other businesses, solutions and associations. On the flipside, many of the greatest businesses, solutions and associations have died after the demise other businesses, solutions and associations. Problems are like an electrical socket. If you come in contact with it the wrong way it can hurt, but like an electrical socket, problems can give us power if we use it. The key is to plug in and use it!

Years ago I watched my now nearly five-year-old niece develop, I was amazed at how the process of learning had taken on a tremendously different approach for her. Whether through learning how to walk, how to dance or how to say her name, each time she tried, whether she had difficulty doing it or even failed at her attempt, there was nothing within her that told her not to try again.  Instantly, almost instinctively she would try again.  Even more, when she did fall while trying to run or leave out a few syllables while saying her name we would rally around her telling her how proud of her we were, how she could do it, and we always encouraged her to try again. And like second nature, she tried again, and again, and again. Now she’s a singing, dancing, modeling, actress-in-the-making that’s just waiting on a call from Oprah. She’s also a big sister of a precious little sister that she loves to encourage to “be a big girl like her”.

So let me pose a question.  Why is it the older we get the more problems seem to have a hold on some of us?  It’s like we’ve bought stocks and shares in the “too little, too late” system.  All that we’ve ever done was once never done until someone did it. We just had to do it.  At some point we have to try, and try again allowing problems and failure to be the fuel to our success. The message of the world is that problems are permanent and failure is final. Newsflash, honey…the devil is a lie (or liar, as some say in the grammatically correct form.)

We don’t have the patent on problems, people! Our mistakes are nothing new to the person who’s already made it so we owe it to ourselves to move on.  What we’ve done, didn’t do or need to do over should never, ever define or deter us. They should be fuel to an ever-burning fire that always takes us further. It’s about time we put our problems on our payroll and make them pay off.


Who Do You Love?


Nearly 45 years on this earth, with more than 30 years of it devoted to loving men, and mostly the wrong ones, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that looks are great, but they can fade. Money is important, but not of most importance. Swag, sex and smooth words are wonderful, but can wane in one moment. Clothes, cars, and popularity are popular, but can change like the seasons. It’s all about who you love.


Love a man who loves and likes you, and a man who you like and love. Love a man who you still love even when you don’t like his actions. Give your heart to the one that will help you as you help him. Delight in the man who is not perfect, but is perfect for you. Choose the man who consistently works on his weaknesses, helps you with yours and celebrates your strengths while sharing his at the same time. Love the man who is open to learn and able to teach. Be with the one whose spiritual fortitude shines even if the physical or financial waiver. Love the man not afraid to work and make things work for the sake of his family. Trust your heart to the one whose history propels your destiny. Choose the one who prays for, and has LOTS OF patience with you. Love a man who’s shown he can come back from personal setbacks and not step back from personal responsibilitie­s. Be with the one who makes you smile, makes you feel special, makes you feel safe, makes you crack up with laughter from things only the two of you can appreciate. Love the man who steps up to change tires, diapers, atmospheres and generations (for the better). Love the man who isn’t afraid of saying “sorry”. Love a man who ushers in forgiveness even when you don’t want to. Love the man who knows the worst about you and still sees and calls forth the best (even in times when you can’t do it for yourself.) Love the man who is willing to cook or dance in the kitchen or paint your toenails or oil your scalp (even the part hiding under the weave.) Mostly, and more importantly, love the man who, through his faults, flaws and all sincerely seeks to please God through his love for you.