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Communication and positive relationship after having a difficult conversation

Once you’ve had a difficult conversation, it’s tempting to think your job is done, but the best communicators know the high-pressure conversation is not the end of the story.

If you want to maintain your relationship with a person, it’s important you continue to communicate with them regularly and follow up after a difficult conversation has been had.

Make an effort to check in with them in the days and weeks afterwards when the pressure drops off.

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What you do communicates more than what you say

Actions speak louder than words. It’s a cliché because it’s true.

What you DO communicates far more powerfully than what you SAY and if your words and actions are out of alignment, it’s your actions people will believe.

Simon was an old-school ‘command and control’ leader who often told his staff that respect was one of his core values.

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Reframe failure to be a courageous communicator

An intense fear of failure stifles many people’s #communication.

Our fear of saying the wrong thing and offending someone keeps us silent, or our concern about embarrassing ourselves in front of the boss means we don’t put forward a suggestion about a new initiative.

So many of us see failure as a bad thing, something to hide from and avoid at all costs.

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Avoidance makes problems grow

Few people enjoy conflict and confrontation but avoiding difficult conversations is not the answer.

When we don’t ‘address the elephant’ and deliver feedback it doesn’t impact individuals alone; it impacts the success of teams, businesses and organisations.

Issues that start out as minor niggles and annoyances snowball into major conflict when leaders avoid talking about them.

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Lessons from a courageous communicator

So much of what I know about leadership and communication in a crisis I learnt from this man.

Today, after 44.5 years working at Yallourn brown coal mine in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, Ron Mether – my dad – retires.

As mining manager for nearly 20 years, he has led his team through natural disasters, union pickets and worker lockouts. He has experienced the devastation of a workplace death and was manager when a landslip caused the Latrobe River to flood into the mine for six days in 2006.

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2019 Step Up Professional Development Award Winner

A Churchill man and TAFE Gippsland teacher who walked 60km in one day to inspire his students is the winner of the third annual ‘Step Up Professional Development Award’.

David Wakefield, who describes himself as a “passionate educator”, works hard to help re-engage youth from across the Latrobe Valley with education to achieve their Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) at TAFE Gippsland’s Morwell campus.

Not one to settle for standard teaching methods, David is always looking for new ways to motivate his students and believes his actions outside the classroom are just as important as those in it.

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Know your message: What’s it really about?

Albert Einstein, the German-born physicist and celebrated genius who developed the theory of relativity said, “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.”

Einstein, the man who also developed the ‘world’s most famous equation’ for mass-energy equivalence (E=mc2), understood the importance of being able to simplify his complex messages to ensure they were understood by the masses.

Simplicity over complexity is vital for effective communication. Anyone can make something complicated. The real skill is to make your message clear and concise so that others can understand what you’re saying.

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leah@leahmethe r.com.au | 0409 938 277