Category Archives: Communication

How do you stay in the conversation when it gets tense?

So, the issue is critical, the relationship is important and you totally disagree. Now what?

Having the conversational capacity and the tools to structure the discussion can create the opportunity to resolve difficult issues in new ways.

In his book, Conversational Capacity, Craig Weber describes it as staying in the sweet spot where you are both candid and curious. It takes deliberate practice to do this. Otherwise you can go into flight (shut down and minimize) or go into fight (win at all cost).

What should you practice?


  • Clearly and succinctly state your position.
  • Provide the data behind it.
  • Explain your interpretation


  • Hold your position as a hypothesis not the truth.
  • Test your position – what are you missing?
  • Ask for others to share their positions.


Will you make better decisions? Yes.

Will you maintain the relationship? Yes.

Will you have a smart team that differentiates you from the competition? Yes.

Will it take regular deliberate practice? Yes.


Get to it.


image courtesy of

Are you triggered?


How often are you in a meeting and someone says something that either makes you shut-down, or respond in anger or with a clear intent to prove why they are wrong? At that moment, you are definitely out of the sweet spot. Your conversational capacity has hit its outer limit. >

How many languages do you speak?


Living here in California, 40% of the people you run into speak another language besides English. (2007 census data). In fact, as of the 2000 census there were 207 languages spoken here.

What do all those folks have to teach the rest of us? Well, if you remember studying another language in your past, you discovered >