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Now more than ever, it’s important for all of us to learn how to talk more effectively with each other, especially around emotionally-charged topics. Although we often know that there are conversations that need to be had, many of us just can’t find a way to have them or if we have them, the discussion ends badly. Today’s Finding Brave expert guest reveals specific skills and strategies that will help anyone become more effective in dealing with these difficult conversations, and I’m so excited to introduce him to you today to share his wisdom all around effective communication.   

Dr. Paul Marciano earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from Yale University and has worked in the field of human resources and relations for over 30 years. His best-selling book Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work: Build a Culture of Employee Engagement with the Principles of RESPECT™ has been translated into several languages and received many accolades, including being named one of the 100 Best Human Resource Books of All Time by Book Authority.

Dr. Paul’s newest release, Let’s Talk About It: Turning Confrontation into Collaboration at Work, provides readers with the skills necessary to have straightforward and productive conversations around even the most emotionally charged issues.

On a personal note, Paul lives on his family’s 100-acre horse farm in the one bridge town of Three Bridges, NJ and is the proud grandson of Ludwig Bemelmans – author and illustrator of the classic children’s book Madeline.

Paul is a leading expert on employee engagement and retention and helps leaders, managers and organizations reach their fullest potential through focusing on enhancing respect, collaboration and successful communication. I’m thrilled to share that Paul is now also a member of my hand-selected Coaching Team!

Both Paul and I would love to hear how you use the specific strategies he shares to have the difficult conversations that you need to have, both in your personal and professional life. No matter how it goes, just by talking with the other person you will feel better about yourself and the situation, and as a result, be more empowered.

Highlights from this Episode: 

  • What motivated Paul to write his books and do the work he does to get people talking [3:57]

  • Why we so often avoid the conversations that are difficult to have, and how his latest book is helping people overcome their fears [6:09]

  • The way that having the right mindset going into a conversation is essential in helping you avoid the biggest pitfalls most people will have in communicating with others [9:47]

  • How to engage in active listening, even in the most difficult of situations [14:43]

  • Why possessing the skill to paraphrase the thoughts and feelings of the other person is so powerful [17:05]

  • What to do to start building trust with others so that you can be heard [18:45]

  • How to use a profound sense of curiosity when talking with others, and the impact this will have on the difficult conversation [28:38]

  • What Paul thinks of how women approach difficult conversations, and are viewed by their male counterparts in doing so [30:14]

  • The role that the organization’s culture and leadership will play in shaping the difficult conversations that need to be had [36:26]

  • Why Paul is such a fan of making requests, and the actual language he would recommend using when doing so [38:46]

For More Information:

Latest Book, Let’s Talk About It: Turning Confrontation into Collaboration at Work

Resources Mentioned:

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Other resources mentioned:

Paul’s Earlier Works, Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work: Build a Culture of Employee Engagement with the Principles of RESPECT & SuperTeams: Using the Principles of RESPECT™ to Unleash Explosive Business Performance

Finding Brave Episode 172 with Mark Greene

Kathy’s Forbes Blog with Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, Gender Bias Is Real: Women’s Perceived Competency Drops Significantly When Judged As Being Forceful

Kathy’s Power Gaps Survey & Support To Build Your LinkedIn Profile To Great Success

Her TEDx Talk, Time To Brave Up & Free Career Path Self-Assessment

Kathy’s Amazing Career Project video training course & 6 Dominant Action Styles Quiz

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Sponsor Highlight  

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“So many times over the last 30 years, [I’ve seen] at the most basic level, managers who simply couldn’t or are unwilling to have performance conversations with employees. If you’re not willing to have those constructive coaching sessions, you’re not in the right job.” [5:34]

“Nobody can make you feel any way. Don’t give your power away.” [13:00]

“The way to get to active listening is by maintaining a profound sense of curiosity. I think that’s just critical.” [14:48]

“Leaders get reinforced for being assertive, and as they move up the chain [of command], sometimes they become aggressive. By the time they are far enough up, no one is then willing to counter them, or to give them any kind of feedback.” [38:28]

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Kathy’s new book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss shares vital information on the 7 most damaging power gaps that 98% of professional women face and how to overcome them. Boost your power and confidence today!


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