How Empathetic Leaders Can Set Strong Boundaries to Avoid Burnout

We are in some tough times. 

Layoffs, Market volatility. For many, returning to work or at least navigating change in a hybrid environment.

Managers are currently caught in the middle. They are feeling pressured from above to get back to delivering stellar results and improving profitability. And they are squeezed by their people, demanding (rightly, after many decades of the opposite) a more human-centered and healthy approach to integrate their work and life. The Pandemic accelerated this movement, and many workers don’t want to go back.

That leaves many leaders stuck – and exhausted.

These folks want to embrace compassionate leadership as a catalyst for innovation, collaboration, and engagement They really do. But how can they do so without losing their own health and sanity in the process? How can they avoid burnout?

The answer is not to give everyone whatever they ask for, nor is it to force you or the team to take on extra work. It also does not mean you become an unlicensed therapist and then slip on your own responsibilities. 

In my new book, I’m developing five pillars to being an effectively empathetic leader while still expecting excellence, setting boundaries, and avoiding burnout. 

Setting boundaries is essential for any leader to prevent burnout and maintain high-performance standards while still caring for their people as…well, people. Here are some strategies that can help leaders set better boundaries at work:

  1. Set clear expectations: Communicate with your team members and colleagues about your availability, working hours, and the time it takes to respond to emails or messages. This will help them understand your boundaries and respect them.
  2. Prioritize self-care: Take care of your physical and mental health by exercising regularly, eating well, and getting enough rest. Find hobbies that keep you in the present moment or simply give you joy, working out a different part of your brain. This will help you feel more energized and productive during work hours.
  3. Delegate tasks: Identify tasks that can be delegated to team members or outsourced to external vendors. And then trust them to do it! This will help you focus on high-priority tasks and prevent burnout.
  4. Say no: Learn to say no to requests that do not align with your priorities or are outside of your capacity. It’s better than saying yes and then dropping the ball! Saying no can be difficult, but it’s necessary to maintain boundaries and prevent over-committing.
  5. Take breaks: Take regular breaks during the day to refresh your mind and recharge. This can include taking a walk, meditating, or engaging in any activity that helps you relax. Schedule them in your calendar, or you likely won’t do them!
  6. Unplug: Set aside specific times during the day when you will unplug from work-related technology, such as email and messaging platforms. This will help you disconnect from work and prevent burnout. Again, scheduling and time blocking this is key.

Remember, setting boundaries is a continuous process that requires self-awareness, communication, and commitment. By setting clear boundaries, you can improve your well-being and productivity as a leader. – and still, be empathetic and compassionate with your team.

Editor Note: I experimented with ChatGPT to initially draft this blog post and then polished it to make it my own. I was delighted to find that many of the concepts I’ll be talking about in my new book, coming Fall 2024, are referenced in this list. While I am always skeptical of AI technologies, I highly recommend you play with ChatGPT for your own content, research, or brainstorming!

Photo credit: Danie Franco on Unsplash

Bridging Political Divides With Empathy

Can we ever bridge our political divides here in the US? Every day, things seem to get worse. We argue over guns, abortion, civil rights, and whether removing state secrets from the White House and locking them in your safe at home constitutes a crime. 

But what would happen if people on both sides could engage in meaningful dialogue? What if we all took personal responsibility to spot the lies by getting curious and doing our homework?

Recently on The Empathy Edge podcast, I  got to talk to a Twitter influencer I’ve been following for some time now, David Weissman. David and I discuss his story and how he grew up only consuming Conservative information and assumed it was all true. How we believed Democrats were trying to hurt this country and the shared values that attracted him to Trump’s campaign in 2016. David talks about how one Twitter conversation with actress and comedian Sarah Silverman sparked his curiosity to dig deeper into the Constitution and pundit claims, where he realized how many fear-based lies he had been told. Having stood in both camps, I ask him what we should know about why the Conservative message resonates with people, and how he thinks we can find common ground one empathetic conversation at a time.

Key Takeaways:

✔️Kindness and civil conversation will go further than name-calling or mudslinging ever will, regardless of which side of the conversational divide you are on.

✔️The magic of empathy is that if we can really deeply listen and understand that we can deeply listen without agreeing with each other, initially, we can at least have a conversation.

✔️People will not always change what they believe even when faced with facts. They have to be willing to change, do their own research, and see things from a different perspective.


And remember, wherever you are…VOTE! Make your voice heard.

Check out more great guests and conversations about all aspects of empathy on The Empathy Edge podcast. Right here or find it on your favorite podcast player.

More you might like:

Mónica Guzmán: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Divide Political Times

Jonni and Maria Go There! Podcast: What the Hell is the Patriarchy?

How to Make Your Voice Heard

Let’s Redefine “Kind” in Business

Conscious capitalism. Compassionate workplace. Empathetic leadership. Kindness at work.

What do all of these terms even mean?

Many times throughout my career, I’ve dealt with dysfunctional workplace cultures, leaders who were at best disinterested and at worst emotionally abusive. Co-workers that yelled at me. Like, screaming so nonsensically, I had to hang up on them.

We talk about this behavior os “unprofessional” or “counterproductive.” But I have a better term. It is mean. It is unkind.

But what does it mean to be kind in business?

Is it simply bringing cookies to work, or covering for a coworker, or saying please and thank you? Is it letting people walk all over you, or shrinking back, or saying yes to everything? Nope.

Let’s redefine kindness in business to mean….

clarity. Being crystal clear about instructions, expectations and next steps. So no one is left unprepared or guessing.

...listening. Holding space for other ideas and viewpoints with judgment or defensiveness.

managing expectations. So one is ever disappointed. Contracts, agreements, clearly worded objectives and goals.

random praise. It’s not always about telling people what they can do better. It’s about sharing what someone did well, and doing it everyday. Not just during a performance review or project debrief.

good timing. Showing up on time to respect someone’s time. Managing meetings so goals are met in a timely manner. Knowing when to share something with the group and when a private conversation is required.  Giving feedback in a timely manner.

…having tough conversations. Not avoiding conflict but openly and directly discussing when tensions are running high. It’s kind to address issues rather than sit on them and fume.

…loving honesty and directness. Honestly saying what you think and how you feel because you genuinely care. “I share this because I want was is best for the team and for you” versus “I share this to cut your down, shame you and make you feel bad.” See also Good Timing as a complement to this.

...admitting when you’re wrong. You respect others when you admit you were wrong about something and find a way forward together. You set a model that failure is okay and risk-taking is encouraged.

Clarity, listening, managing expectations and all the rest may seem like simply good communication tactics. And they are. But when done with love and respect for others as individuals and thinking, feeling, human beings, they become kindness. (TWEET THIS!)

More on how kindness and empathy show up at work:

Why does purpose matter?

5 ways your business can make the world a better place

3 ways to practice empathy at work

How to redefine success with empathy

Use your platform to do good

Photo Credit: Andrew Thornebrooke on Unsplash

3 Tips to Deliver a Great Speech

Maria Ross - 3 Tips to Deliver a Great Speech

Have you had to deliver this yet? That once-in-a-lifetime speech.

You know the kind of speech I’m referring to: the pivotal presentation that defines a person, cause or culture — that crucial communications moment your audience members will remember for weeks afterward. 

This could be a TEDx talk, like one I recently did for TEDx CWRU, or your first all-hands meeting as CEO, or your plea to the United Nations for funding, or your crucial VC meeting where the entire future of your dream and company are riding on a YES.

The best speeches are those where the stakes are high to inspire and convince (TWEET THIS!)

Here are 3 tips on how to deliver a great speech (Adapted from an original article I wrote for Entrepreneur)

1. Make your first words count.

“First words matter. Make them better,” communications catalyst Dia Bondi reminds us. Bondi helps women ask for more in their careers and lives and has helped executives, humanitarians and government officials prepare compelling speeches. She knows the deal.

Dia understands how to bring crucial communications moments into stark relief: “Your time on stage will be defined by the first words you utter into the mic,” she says. “Starting strong tells us what the rest of your time will be like, who you are and what you’ll be expecting of us as you move through your content.” 

Dia advises: “You’ll know how best to start if you write your first words last. Get your story out on paper, speak it through once or twice and then ask yourself, What is the most compelling verbal entry point for your time on stage? A metaphor? A personal story? An image on the screen that provokes?”

2. Use emotion and logic to motivate.

We are humans. And even the most tech-driven B2B companies re now learnding that you hav to appeal to emotion as much, if not more than, you appeal to logic if you want to persuade people. 

When you’re delivering a high-stakes speech, your No. 1 goal is always to get someone, somewhere to act differently. Never lose sight of this goal. 

Ghostwriter and editor (and my fabulous writing partner!) Sally McGraw warns you to not mistake persuasion purely as presenting data and facts. 

McGraw has helped authors around the world craft compelling proposals and pitch letters to successfully secure deals. “In my experience,” she says, “persuasion is more about the heart than the mind. If you want to sway someone to your side, you need to convince them emotionally as well as logically.” 

Authors of Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, Chip and Dan Heath heavily researched the best ways to convince people to make a change. They use the metaphor of the Elephant and the Rider. Every human in your audience has an emotional Elephant side and a rational Rider side. To move them to act differently, you’ve got to address both sides.

3. Succeed at being you.

When I was prepping my TEDx talk, I asked successful speaker, activist and entrepreneur Taylor Conroy, “How can I avoid delivering a cliche ‘TEDX TALK’, to avoid being a parody of them all??” He smiled and replied, “Be yourself. That’s how you avoid being a ‘typical’ TEDx cliche. No one else presents like you.” Wise words! Get your head in the game, prepare, leave yourself time, practie presence and then just go in there and BE YOU.

Structure your talk like a story and remember that the audience is there specifically to be inspired, to be persuaded. They want you to succeed just as much as you do. They don’t want to waste their time listening to a failed speech, either. You are both after the same goal.

Giving the speech of a lifetime is an amazing opportunity. While it might feel like intense pressure, know that if you are well prepared, the odds are good you’ll hit it out of the park. Take these tips with you. The next time you step up to speak, you’ll deliver a speech that gets things moving.

Do you need a dynamic speaker that can knock it out of the park for your next workshop, conference, or corporate event? Let’s inspire and ignite your audience! Discover what I can offer you as an empathy speaker, brand speaker or motivational speaker. Would love to chat!

Photo Credit: 

Why friendships don’t just “happen” but why they matter

I’m going to get a little woo woo on ya, today. So turn off your iPhone and stop setting the world on fire for a sec, my go-getter.

Your soul is made for connection.

Much like hunger tells you when you need food and exhaustion tells you when you need sleep, loneliness tells you when you long for more connection. And most of us – especially those who are amazing entrepreneurial women taking the world by storm – can’t see past feeling busy, networked, and tired simply ignore that desire when it bubbles up. “I’ve got things to do,” we say. “Who has time to deal with more commitments?”

This September– International Women’s Friendship Month– my friend and friendship expert Shasta Nelson, CEO of Girlfriend Circles and author of Friendships Don’t Just Happen  is giving us a gift. Let’s stop trying to talk ourselves out of why we don’t have the energy and time to connect, and instead actually just acknowledge that our souls long for more connection. Why do we long for this?

  • For some of us it’s because we’ve recently moved, changed jobs, or ended relationships– and know we need to start building the relationships that can support our lives.
  • For some of us it’s because we’re introverts or shy and while we know we need a few relationships of substance, the very idea of how to start them overwhelms us.
  • For some of us, we know everyone and have more friends than we can keep in touch with, but the truth is that we still hear that whisper because we know we  still need to deepen some relationships and foster more vulnerability and intimacy.
  • And for some of us, to surround ourselves with healthy relationships, we know it’s time to let go of a few, the bring closure, to grieve, and to end what has run its course.

So if your soul is craving more local friends who can add value to your life…then you will definitely want to check out this awesome program Shasta has scheduled this September called:

“The Friendships You’ve Always Wanted! Learning a Better Way to Meet-Up, Build-Up, and Break-Up with Your Friends.”

This course was created by 13 of the leading experts on friendship and healthy relationship so that this September hundreds of women can all commit together to choosing friendships as their theme for the month!

Let’s tell our hearts that we’re willing to devote some time this month to learning and growing around the subject of friendship with the expectation that our call to have more love will be answered.

This program starts on Sept. 4 with a LIVE call. For everyone who signs up before that day you’ll be entered 5 times in a raffle for a free airline trip to visit a girlfriend somewhere in the U.S., plus you’ll get a free copy of Shasta Nelson’s book Friendships Don’t Just Happen!

I don’t normally blatantly sell you on programs, but Shasta is the real deal and the expert line up she has is very impressive. Yes, in full disclosure this is an Affiliate link, but I only endorse people and offerings that I believe in. It’s just an added bonus that it’s a win-win for both of us.

Hells bells, we can all use more connection in our lives, can’t we? Make time on that busy to-do list for feeding your soul. You’ll thank yourself on your deathbed.  Check out the details and sign up today to get entered and start connecting.

On your path to creating a business and life you love, what are the connections or relationships that matter to you most and why? Please share in the Comments….I’d love to hear your stories!

4 tips to create magnetic brand messaging

How can you engage and delight your audience without sounding like everyone else?

Brand is communicated through more than just a pretty logo. It’s actually communicated in three important ways: visually, verbally, and experientially. I call this the Three Legged Stool of Brand. I’ve talked about this in a past video.

Visually is what you think of when you think of brand: logos, colors, design.

But your brand is also communicated verbally: your copywriting, your tone, your messaging personality.

And finally, where the rubber hits the road, your brand is communicated experientially. Now that you’ve promised me a brand visually and verbally, do you deliver? If your brand screams hip, cool and innovative, then your products and services – even your employees – better walk the talk!

In today’s Red Slice TV video from MySourceTV, I’m focusing on the verbal aspect and sharing 4 tips that will help you craft magnetic messaging that engages, informs and delights your audience. This is oh-so-important in everything from your About page to your sales copy.

The way your business “talks” is one of the most vital ways to convey your brand (Tweet!)  What is the “voice”? How should you write your copy? What is the story that you tell?

Photo credit: Brendan-C, Flickr

How to use video and social media to boost your brand: A chat with Amy Schmittauer

Today’s digital economy has introduced us to countless people I like to call “artsy-techies.” They geek out on things like hosting options, social media network features and today’s audio/video/web technologies but they are a far cry from the A/V Club nerd of yesteryear. With their savvy style, easy wit and delightful charm, they crank out more creative innovation before lunch than I do all year. It’s truly their time to shine: and what’s great is they love to teach us mere mortals how to easily put our art, story, value, services and products out into the world, too.

I’m not quite sure how or when Amy Schmittauer, the President of Vlog Boss Studios entered my orbit – most likely via Twitter! Vlog Boss Studios is a creative digital marketing agency that specializes in video content marketing. And as the Founder and Face of Savvy Sexy Social, she walks her talk and produces videos of her own. Hilarious videos (like this recent one about how you’re probably using Twitter the wrong way). Little snippets of video love that make you laugh out loud even as she’s teaching you how to use the latest social networks the right way so you can connect, promote, and attract rabid fans.

How does she describe herself? “I’m a social media frenzy!”

Today, Amy drops some mad advice on us about using video to build your brand, how to produce and host those videos in a snap and the fact that many of us are using social networks in the wrong way (one size fits all….not). Enjoy!

RS: Welcome Amy! Tell us, why should we be using video for brand building and social networking?AS: Plain and simple: People don’t build relationships with brands. They build relationships with people. (Tweet!) Video is the unbeaten opportunity to truly let your personality shine through and give your audience the opportunity to really understand and get to know you. Let them see how something is done. Let them see your expressions. Your opinions. That direct connection is huge for making relationships that count and make social media worth your time.

RS: But isn’t this stuff hard? What are my main options for creating/hosting videos?
AS: YouTube is the second most popular search engine only to Google. So it’s kind of a no-brainer to have a presence there if you’re creating video content. The visual learners go there to learn so that’s a great opportunity to tap into. But creating videos is easier every single day. You can record all the footage you need with a smartphone and edit with apps. Even YouTube has a built in editor. Don’t assume the tools are out of reach because that’s an impossible thing to say anymore. (Tweet!) My advice for new creators is to look into strong digital cameras like the Canon Powershot. It takes flawless HD video and the price point is perfect for budgetary restrictions.

RS: OK, truth time. Most of us don’t have enough hours in the day and are simply posting the same things on all our social media sites. But should we be leveraging each social media profile differently?

AS: Abso-friggin-lutely. Platforms are different for a reason and you need to respect the audiences that use each so you can customize your content to their liking. Do not auto-post between social networks. Facebook updates are not being read on Twitter. And your tweets are getting pushed down by the news feed algorithm. Saving time just means you’re making any time spent worthless. (Tweet!) Take the extra steps and watch engagement increase. One thing is for sure and that’s that people don’t like to read. Keep it close to 140 characters no matter which platforms you’re using for best chance of increased engagement.

Want more Amy in your life? Get the social action plan you’re looking for and pick her brain.

Are you using video in your social media efforts? Want to but not sure where to start? Fire away your Q’s for Amy in the Comments below!

What marketing is…and is not

“I don’t believe in marketing.”

This is what a CEO who has a few successful tech startups under his belt told someone I know. And it made me laugh.

Have you ever told someone sitting next to you on plane what your company does? That’s marketing.

Have you ever pitched a client on the value of your solution? That’s marketing.

Have you ever followed up with an unhappy customer to make things right? That’s marketing.

Too many people believe marketing is simply about placing expensive ads or ordering silly tradeshow tchotchkes that end up sitting in a storage closet somewhere, gathering dust.  They dismiss it because they haven’t seen it done in the right way – and then wonder why they slog to gain traction. “If our sales reps just “sold” better, we wouldn’t be having such a hard time,” they say.

Here’s the deal: Marketing is communication. Communicating the value that your product or service offers to the people who will buy it.

I guess he doesn’t believe in communicating what his company does, why they are different or speaking to a customer’s needs. I suppose people will just see the product or service, instantly understand how it can help them without a word being spoken or read, and say, “Gee, I need that widget now!”

Can you be successful without an official marketing director or an earmarked “marketing budget”? Well, yeah. Businesses do it all the time. But don’t try to tell me your company is not performing marketing.

If they don’t have a marketing function, they normally burden the sales process with performing both sales and marketing at the same time. Marketing is about communication and positioning based on market analysis that ultimately helps a sales rep sell something. Marketing as a function exists to make it easier to sell.

If you have a sales pitch, a product label, or a 50-word company descriptor – those are all elements of marketing. And if you approach it with marketing discipline to create a foundation and maintain clarity and consistency, you can go a lot further than if you reinvent the wheel on the fly each time.

I’m not sure what there is not to believe in about that.

Photo credit: © Royalty-Free/Corbis (

Ever work with someone who did not “get” the value of marketing? What was that experience like? What is your definition of marketing? Please share in the Comments!


The Five Must-Have Website Elements, No Matter What You’re Offering

Guest post by Seth Leonard who trains and mentors people who want to build dynamic, successful websites. Right now on his blog he is offering the free guide, Seven Hidden Laws to Building a Dynamic Website.

There are very few universals in the world of websites. In fact, I often preach the value of finding strategies and solutions that fit your specific website purpose, rather than using cookie-cutter formulas that are often irrelevant to what you’re trying to accomplish.

However, there are a few things, no matter what, that your website absolutely must have. I’ve put together the following list of five key elements you should be sure to include with your site:

#1: A Place To Start

This is usually your homepage, but it’s so much more than the first page that someone lands on when they come to your site. Your place to start needs to let people know, quickly and easily, what your site is about.

What are you offering and why should they stay?

Far too often, especially with blog sites, the dominant element of the homepage is the most recent blog post. Well, what if your most recent blog post was slightly off-topic (perhaps a rant about spending Thanksgiving with your family)?

While I encourage you to stay on topic with everything you write, it’s impossible that every post you produce is going to sum up the mission of your website.

Providing this information doesn’t need to be over the top and take up half your homepage. Sometimes it’s a well written tag line that appears at the top of your website. Sometimes it’s a couple sentences that say who you are and what you do.

It can even be a pitch for something you’re selling or something that you want your visitors to do when they’re at your site. For example: “Learn how to write the book hidden inside of you. Click here.” That call to action also lets your audience know what they can expect throughout your website.

Just make it obvious.

Let them know what to expect. And get them excited about it.

If you don’t want to devote a lot of space to it on your homepage, then include a “Start Here” link in a prominent position. Then put your basic introduction on that page.

#2: An About Page

People love about pages. Right after they get the gist of your website (see above), they want to know what you’re about. Whether you’re an individual blogger, a large organization, a startup, or a dude selling plumbing parts out of your house, people always click on your About page.

They want to know what makes you tick.

So tell them. And don’t be boring. Unless you have an amazing resume that reads like a Dos Equis commercial, you should add some personality.

Your audience wants to know what sets you apart from everyone else. They want to know what motivates you. They want to know how you got to where you are.

It’s great to offer testimonials, accomplishments, or career highlights. But don’t leave it at just that. Offer a little bit of your story. You’ll be surprised at how much fun it is, as well as how much more interest you’ll receive from your audience.

Creating my about page was one of my favorite things I’ve done for my website.

#3: Content

This should be obvious, but I can’t leave it off the list. You need to have something for your audience to consume. It can be one thing, or it can be many things. It can be a photo, a daily poem, or a series of essays.

It can be something you’re selling, or even a question you’re asking. It can be whatever you want.

And while it’s obvious that your website needs this, it’s often something we overlook as we focus on marketing, selling, building our audience, etc. Don’t take your content for granted. Put your heart into it and create something amazing.

Create something that has your audience waiting for you to do it again.

#4: An Opportunity To Take Action

I love great content. But great content inspires action. You need to give your audience the opportunity to take action.

Here is something I recommend you do often: think about your ideal visitor coming to your website for the first time. They see your ‘place to start’ and are intrigued, so they continue. Then they explore your about page, or your most recent content, and they’re hooked.

They love what you do and how you present yourself.

Now what?

Give them something to do. Let them take the next step. Give them the opportunity to further their investment in you by signing up for something, buying something, downloading a resource, joining your email list, etc. Bring them into your club.

Even if it’s just encouraging them to share something with their friends, give them a method to act on their excitement, to do more than just consume content.

Let them act.

#5: The Ability To Contact You

It doesn’t matter how you offer it, but you need to let people contact you. You can post your email address, or if you’re worried about privacy and spam, you can create a contact form. Or you can direct people to Facebook or Twitter and have them contact you there.

There are two reasons you need this. The first is that people like to know you’re accessible. If you offer no method to contact you, you create a wall between you and your audience. It’s harder for them to connect with you and trust you.

Even if they never reach out to you, it sends a strong message that you are willing to let people contact you.

The second reason you need this is that you never know who is going to contact you. You might get a lot of people asking you questions, but you might also get someone offering you the opportunity of a lifetime. Leave that door open, even if it’s just for the odd chance at receiving something amazing.

That’s it. Five elements your website absolutely must have. You can (and should) put your own spin on all of these, but they’re essential to building a website that connects you with your audience in an authentic way.

How do you plan to implement these on your website? Let me know in the comments.

How you like me now? A chat with Michelle Tillis Lederman

We all say it. We want to work with people we like. But can it really be this easy to conduct business this way? Can we focus on networking with the people we like and with whom we genuinely connect versus just the “right” people? Michelle Tillis Lederman says yes – in fact, it’s better for your work and career in the long run?

Today we dish about likeability, how to be more concise and three red-hot ways to rethink networking.

Michelle is an author, speaker, trainer and communications expert. She’s a firecracker – and she’s also a blogger, animal lover and rescuer (you can see why we bonded), and a mom.

Her new book, The 11 Laws of Likability, is subtitled: Relationship Networking . . . Because People Do Business with People They Like. The book, featuring activities, self-assessment quizzes, and real-life anecdotes from professional and social settings, shows readers how to identify what’s likable in themselves and create honest, authentic interactions that become “wins” for all parties involved.

RS: Welcome Michelle! Your book is called The 11 Laws of Likability. Saving the actual laws for those that buy the book, what does this mean and how can they make your business life (and personal life) better?

MTL: What makes each of us likable is distinct to us, and to some degree it’s in the mind of the beholder. But the basic drivers of likability are the same for most of us.  It is these drivers that I refer to as the Laws of Likability.

In many cases, likability actually trumps competence and many organizations differentiate the average performers from the stars based on their ability to lead, manage, and interact effectively with others. Life is about relationships and it is those relationships that sustain us and generate results.   Likeability is everyone’s business, and people do business with people they like.

RS: One of your blog posts recently was called “Say What You Want to Say And Shut Up.” Loved it. And for all my talk on clarity, I tend to ramble when I think I’m not communicating clearly. How can we be more concise?

MTL: Start with the punchline.  Is that concise enough?  The simplest way to increase both clarity and brevity is to start with your conclusion. Often, we try to get others to follow our train of thought in order for them to agree with our opinion.  If instead we start with the conclusion, it is much easier to follow, and be persuaded by, the explanation that follows.

Another tip, ask.  Ask, “Is that clear?”  or “Would you like me to elaborate?”  Those questions prevent the rambling and allow us to be clear about what is unclear with a follow up question.

RS: What are 3 actionable tips for effective networking?

MTL: Shift the way you think about networking in 3 ways:

  1. From you to the relationship.  It really isn’t about you or what you need. It is about the relationship and adding value to create connection. Don’t network just for need.
  2. From business to anything.  We often start and stop conversations on business topics such as, “what do you do?” There is nothing wrong with that, but often we find the strongest connections come in other areas of our lives. Talk about a broad range of topics.
  3. From now to long term.  Build the relationships that you want to build, not the ones you think you should. The network that you build based on connection is the one that will be there for you when you need it. Don’t network for now, network for life.

About Michelle: Michelle Tillis Lederman, PCC, author of  The 11 Laws of Likability (AMACOM), is the founder of Executive Essentials, a training company that provides communications and leadership programs, as well as executive coaching services.  Michelle believes real relationships lead to real results and specializes in teaching people how to communicate with confidence, clarity, and connection.

PS: Affiliate links for Amazon in effect. Just to let you know.

What one aspect of networking or communication do you take away from this interview? Please share in the Comments.