Leadership Is Communication

Most of us assume that we are primarily conscious beings with an intellect that plans, weighs objectives and options, and directs action — like having a movie director sitting in our heads. But in fact, our unconscious thought processes are far more sophisticated and influential than we have previously acknowledged.  And this counterintuitive fact has important implications for leadership. Instead of rational beings driven consciously by ideas, we are mostly unconscious beings… Read More

Blarney, Benghazi, and Binders: Takeaways from the Second Presidential Debate

The debate rematch saw a familiar Governor Romney matched up against a newly invigorated President Obama.  There was a lot of testosterone in the room; the two men stalked around the stage and each other doing their best to take up space and intimidate the other debater.  Romney walked stiffly, visibly tense, uneasy in his body, like an arthritic flamingo.  Obama prowled like an angry, predatory cat, waiting to pounce, and when… Read More

How to decode other people’s body language

We are all unconscious experts in reading other people’s intentions toward us. We evolved these skills in the woolly mammoth era because our lives depended on them, and the unconscious mind works must faster than the conscious mind. But we are not very good at making this unconscious awareness conscious. We can react with blinding speed, literally before we can think about it consciously, to duck a punch that some drunken lout… Read More

Choreographing your speech

One of the great questions for regular public speakers is, what will the room look like when I get there? Few of the places we speak have great sight lines, perfect acoustics, and comfortable seating for the audience. We’re usually working with less-than-prime conditions. So it helps to be ready for most of the possibilities. In other words, be ready to answer the question, how will I use this room to my… Read More

Body Language Quick Takes 4 – How to tell when you’re disconnected

We’re living through a disconnected era in our nanosecond-based, 24/7, ADD, mostly virtual world.  Our colleagues and fellow workers nod and smile a lot to show that they’re listening, but it’s not really happening.  Real connection is rare.    Their internal monologues are too intense, too scared, and too far down Maslow’s hierarchy – will I still have my job?  How can I pay my mortgage?  Are my kids staying out of trouble? … Read More