Terrific TedX talk on lack of women’s voices in journalism

This TedX talk by one of my Journalism and Women Symposium colleagues is a great example of powerful communication. Megan Kamerick offers a fresh perspective on a long-running issue in the journalism world. Definitely worth 9 minutes. Congratulations, Megan!

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Who ever heard of “crack of chicken?” Check out this amusing podcast

A Way with Words is one of my favorite podcasts these days. The lively hosts, who explore language through history, culture and family, are the Click and Clack of their genre for me. They’re knowledgeable and funny to boot. Where else could you hear a discussion about what “the crack of chicken” means? I hope this podcast expands to loads of public radio stations, especially KNOW in St. Paul. Am even gonna give ’em some dough to keep it going. Hey, I support an entrepreneurial America.

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Clarity is Key: Making Writing Clean and Concise

Learn to clarify and streamline your writing by using straightforward words and stronger nouns and verbs at this online seminar offered by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. 2 p.m. Eastern time, Dec. 13 Enroll now. Poynter is one of my go-to places for high-quality instruction in reporting, writing and editing. Anyone interested in good writing can benefit.

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A love-hate relationship with thank you notes

Here’s an interesting take on the power of thank you notes. The Art of the Thank You Notes. A simple form of communication, thank you notes benefit both parties. Yet, I have had a love-hate relationship with thank you notes since I married (the first time) at age 20 and had to write about 500 thank you notes after six wedding showers and a wedding with 250 guests. In those days, husbands were not expected to participate in writing thank you notes. Thank goodness that has changed! Slogging my way through all those thank you notes seemed to take forever and often felt burdensome. In writing, I first discovered it was easier to write if I liked the gift. Then I realized I liked writing the thank you note even if I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the gift but had warm feelings for the giver. Eventually, I discovered what I believe is the key to a powerful and authentic thank you note. They should be about acknowledging the giver for generosity and kindness rather than expressing how I feel about the gift or the giver. OK. OK. Perhaps I am a slow learner. Sure makes writing thank you notes a whole lot easier. And I always feel good afterward.

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Thank You for Listening

More good stuff on listening brings to mind that old adage: We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

Thank You for Listening.

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No wonder listening is so hard

The reason humans find it so hard to be good listeners is beautifully explained in today’s NYTimes,”The Science and Art of Listening,” a piece by Seth Horowitz, an auditory neuroscientist at Brown University. Potential distractions flood your ears every fifty-thousandth of a second to alert you to possible dangers so it’s tough to keep your focus on what you are listening to, Horowitz notes. Indeed, listening tunes our brains to our surroundings faster than any other sense. How’s that for an excuse the next time someone says, “You never listen to me.” Horowitz, author of “The Universal Sense: How Hearing Shapes the Mind,” does offer some hope, however. We can train ourselves to be better listeners by listening to the sounds under the words, the emotions. Such listening is the first critical step to powerful communication. I’m taking it on with the next conversation I have. How about you?

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10 Good Reasons Not to Trust Your Brain

10 Good Reasons Not to Trust Your Brain

These brain patterns get in the way of creating clear, empowering communication.

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The four most powerful conversations in the world

Just started reading “Four Conversations” by Jeffrey and Laurie Ford. This is a must-read for every manager, every employee and every family member. If all of us understood and practiced the Four Conversations, which are: Initiative Conversations, Understanding Conversations, Performance Conversations and Closure Conversations, the world would be a much saner place. The great news is that this isn’t rocket science. In fact, practicing these four kinds of conversations doesn’t even take huge changes in the conversations you already are having. Small changes may do it once you understand the elements needed for each of the four conversations and which kind of conversation is appropriate for the situation.

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