Monday, October 27, 2014

Body Language Tips for the Boardroom

Is it a good thing to centre your hands while speaking?
Hello fellow communicators!

Do you often wonder how you could improve the results of your meetings and presentations in the boardroom?  Do you wish you could read the body language and non-verbal communications of business people across the table from you during negotiations?  Well a global company called FIRMEX believes these are valuable skills to learn and partnered up with "yours truly" to create a couple of no-cost body language videos.  Please watch and enjoy these vital and easy-to-apply tips to modify your non-verbal communication and gestures, as well as become more attuned to others in business.  Body language isn't everything, but it's a very large part of effective business communication!  Click the link below to see the video on Firmex's blog: 

I hope you enjoy the tips and more importantly put them to good use immediately! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The 7 Cs of Effective Communication - Infographic

Feel free to share this infographic that was made out of one of my articles on the entrepreneur-support site Evan Carmichael.

Infographic: 7Cs of Effective Communication
Via: The Entrepreneur Blog

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Why I Don't Make New Year Resolutions (and Why You Shouldn't Either)

As the New Year approaches it is quite normal for us all to think introspectively and then talk about what our exciting resolutions will be, to ensure we start this year off on the right foot (not like last year). We hear the reporters interviewing folks on the street, and we read the bloggers giving their best tips to set and achieve new goals.  We read motivating books and then make pacts with friends and family members to enlist their help in keeping us on the winning path to 2014 success.  Sounds like a good thing.

We are often nervous about it all, thinking of the work that needs to be done or the hard sacrifices that need to be made, yet at the same time we are excited at the rosy vision of a new person – the person you really want to be.  We imagine how this year will be so different from, well, yesterday.  We create a psychological distance with our brain to think that the two years, the ‘old’ one and the ‘new’ one, are going to be completely different.  Wow – what an idyllic scene.

Back in 2008 I wrote a blog about why 90% of New Years resolutions fail.  That blog got the attention of an intern at CBC News and I was called in to discuss on New Years morning, hangover and all, my thoughts on how to really set goals and achieve newness.  As an upstart entrepreneur eagerly attempting to get my name out there as The Communication Coach in Toronto I accepted the live interview request, and all in all it went smoothly.  I gave a no frills formula on B.E.S.T. goals, with the advice to make your goals Believable, Enthusiastic, Specific and Time-based.  What I remember most about that interview was the last question the reporter asked me.  Because it was live and unscripted I had no idea she was going to end our interview with “Do you have a resolution?”   Before I could even think of anything to say I blurted out the truth.  The truth of how I really felt about all this goal setting and last minute resolution stuff.  I answered that I don’t make resolutions!  WOW – the coach brought on TV to talk about how to set and keep resolutions admits he doesn’t even believe in them!  That’s right.  The reporter laughed at my candidness, and I think she was relieved in a way too, probably because she shared my views.  I continued to say that it’s about planning all year round, small goals to achieve bigger goals, and then went for the throat on the whole interview by confidently stating that we should not even be using the term ‘New Year Resolutions’ because one can simply predict based on current lifestyle and habits what is going to happen in the new year.  We should all talk about New Years Expectations! 

So there you have it folks.  Instead of talking about our fantasy life that is instantly going to happen at the stroke of midnight December 31st as we focus our energy on a handful of life-altering decisions, why don’t we instead take stock of our current reality?  Start with the idea that if you didn’t make any changes – what would happen, or not happen, or change, or not change, in 2014?  And are you okay with that?  Maybe you are already on the path to success.  Maybe you have already started making decisions in your head that are firm.  Maybe you are sick and tired of something, or of not having something, and are well on your way to making changes with a determined mind.  You may not need a special day to find resolve.  You are doing it.  Maybe the first habit we should break is the habit of making New Year resolutions! 

Finally, as I wrap up this admission of why I don’t make January first resolutions, I leave you with this.  Today when my wife told me all the things she is going to try to change, a quiver of emotional pain in her voice at the thought of forcing herself to do things that are ‘good for her’ to do, I wondered if she realized how great she already is, and how much she has ‘improved’ since we first met.  I then reflected on my current lifestyle, including the work I am doing with 3V and with YEDI, what I eat for food, how I treat my family and friends, and how often I go to do BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), and I honestly thought that I’m doing pretty good too.  I do not feel guilty about having a holiday break to relax, and I am energized to get back to it all, and to hit the ground running.  I am not making major changes tomorrow.  I am already in the process. :)

Best of luck to you and yours in 2014!

If you are curious to see a flash from my past, you can view that 2008 New Years interview on CBC and even the year after when I was invited back on my YouTube channel here:

Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Can Effective Communication Skills Get More Out of Our Managers?

This fresh advertisement is suggesting so.  But why is that? 
It's because managers are the 'hub' of an office or other organization.  They translate what the top level or C-suite folks who develop or interpret the vision really want (as far as action goes), and then carry out the communications and processes involved in getting the message to the remaining staff.  The manager, including the Human Resources (HR) personnel, supervisors, and often consultants and high level contractors have to truly understand what the higher ups want, and that takes empathy, active listening skills, often the ability to read non-verbal communication (NVC) correctly, and patience.  These are all great communication skills.  Then they must deliver this information to other managers, front-line staff, contractors and other co-workers of some type.  This takes interpersonal skills, conflict management skills, the skill of giving direction, delegation and feedback effectively without offending others, etc.  These are all excellent communication qualities to have.  So - if you think about it - a manager is quite busy talking to many different people all day above, beside and below them, and we didn't even discuss conversations with suppliers, vendors, clients and whoever else might cross their path! 

So we should be glad if we have (or had) a manager who displayed excellent communication skills.  Because as we see here, it's very complicated, and unfortunately it's not very common for the average persons to find a great manager.  If you have one - tell them tomorrow!  
If you ARE a manager, or for that matter an entrepreneur or any self-employed contractor or consultant - what can you do to evaluate your current communication skills and then make them better if need be?  It starts with a good self-assessment, or consideration of recent feedback.
Good luck!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Body Language of a Warrior

The Body Language of a Warrior

I’m currently re-reading an old book I have, called The Martial Artist’s Book of Five Rings: The Definitive Interpretation of Miyamoto Musashi’s Classic Book of Strategy, by Stephen F. Kaufman. This was prompted by my recent viewing of The Samurai Trilogy, the 3 movies created a long time ago to tell the life story of Musashi (1584-1645), who was a real samurai or ronin in the olden days of Japan, and wrote his Book of Five Rings to express his feelings, attitudes and strategies of dueling and of being a warrior.

220px-Musashi_ts_picI came across an excerpt that deals with the body language of a warrior, and I thought to myself: “Wow –this is very specific information on how to set yourself up correctly before a duel!” and as I re-read it, it occurred to me that as a coach, I give very specific instructions on body language, stance, breathing etc. when I am helping clients give a better presentation, or make a winning first impression, for example.  The devil is in the details, perhaps, and so the details must be perfected.

Please enjoy this ‘clip’, and then ask yourself if you were going into a big meeting, interview, giving a talk or PowerPoint, what would your body language convey?  Do you think about it beforehand or just ‘go with the flow?’  I think you know that my advice would be to actually ‘plan’ your vibe that you are sending, just like Musashi did, many years ago.  Here it is, found on page 27:

“I always stress form and balance.  If you are lax in your stances and positioning, then you will be unable to perform your technique effectively.  Focus your concentration on only one thing – making the “hit.”  Narrow your eyes slightly and ever so subtly flare your nostrils.  Always fight with your spine erect and unbent.  Keep your shoulders relaxed and lowered.  Tighten your abdominal muscles and root yourself into the ground.  Make yourself bigger in your mind than you are as a manner of intimidating the enemy.  Slowly work your way toward the enemy until you are ready to strike.  Then do so with utmost conviction, quickness, and power.  Keep your weapons ready at all times.  You should practice the proper stances and movements prior to using any fighting technique and in this manner establish your own sense of being through your particular art.  How often have you witnessed so-called experts with no form or balance?”

Friday, January 25, 2013

Learn about Ric Phillips and 3V Communications coaching, including body language. Options for communication coaching/training include interpersonal/professional communication skills, public speaking, presentations, body language, ESL, etc. Helping you communicate clearly and confidently. Please enjoy this short video that highlights key aspects of our communication coaching and training.
If this video does not appear fully and is cut off, please double tap the video to make it full screen, and then you can see it clearly, or choose to watch it in YouTube if you prefer.  Thank you!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Women in the Media (The Agenda Clip)

Women in the Media (The Agenda Clip)

This is really interesting to me.  I realize men and women often have a different way of processing information and relaying it.  Here is a great anecdote on the subject.   What do you think?