“Oops! I Said the Wrong Thing. Now What?”

None of us are immune to accidentally saying the wrong thing. We might have good intentions, but we unfortunately chose the wrong words. When your in a leadership position, the ramifications of saying the wrong thing are even greater. That's why I wrote this article for Entrepreneur.com - Correcting Leadership Communication Mishaps I want to say a very special "thank you" to Ed Catmull, the President of Disney Pixar studios, for inspiring this article. His book, Creative, Inc., is phenomenal and I highly recommend it. I will write a few additional thoughts I had from that book here in the blog, but for now, I hope you enjoy the Entrepreneur article!

Better Meetings Made Easy

Better Meetings Made Easy I have to confess something. I hate pointless meetings. I'm sure I'm not alone in this and yet there are thousands of meetings happening right now and I'd bet that more than half of them are filled with bored, demoralized, and disgruntled employees. If you don't want people dreading the idea of sitting in your next meeting, then I highly recommend that you watch my latest video: Better and More Memorable Meetings. RELATED ARTICLES: How to End a Meeting: 3 Tips for the Last 5 Minutes How to Start a Meeting: 3 Tips for the First 5 Minutes 6 Easy Ways to Make Meetings Fun -- Or At Least, Not Suck [Entrepreneur]  

One Influential Word That Can Make A Huge Difference

  One Influential Word That Can Make A Huge Difference In my recent article for Entrepreneur about The Art of Having a Productive Argument, I outlined ways that arguments can improve and strengthen your corporate culture and relationships. I wanted to follow up that article with a bonus tip for my blog readers. One of the tips in the Entrepreneur article was to be sure that you are framing your argument around what you desire, not what you are wanting to avoid. It’s generally easier for us to be very clear about what we don’t want rather than what we do. But, in an argument where you’re trying to entice change, you’ll get better results if you provide a clear vision and action steps for what you do want. Once you have that vision and can clearly articulate it, you’ll increase your influence if you connect your request with a very magical word. No, the word isn’t expelliarmus. The word is […]

Why Extroverts Need to Tone It Down: Lessons from Introverts

Just wanted to let you guys know that I have a new article up at Entrepreneur.com called "Tone it Down: 5 Introverted Lessons for Extroverts." I hope you enjoy it. Within 1 hour of it being published, it become the #1 Top Story on the site! (And as I'm writing this, it still is the top story.)  Many people assume that I'm a natural extrovert, but truth be told I'm an extroverted introvert. (It even says so on my Twitter profile, so it must be true.) I have very strong introverted tendencies. I love to stay home. I love to be the quiet one in group settings. In fact, many of the lessons I teach in my e-books and speeches about observation have to do with tapping into your introverted side. I hope you takeaway a few tips from the article, and please share it on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn if you!

Influencing Negative Thoughts: One Phone Call and It All Came Tumbling Down

Influencing Negative Thoughts: One Phone Call and It All Came Tumbling Down ‘Twas the day after Christmas And all through the house Not a creature was stirring Except Sharí was balling her eyes out One phone call. One 10 second message. A flood of fears and insecurities. Yep. That’s all it took. I listened to a 10 second message on my voicemail and I was triggered. My body was shaking from the effort to hold myself together – feeling like I could shatter at any moment. What was the phone call? It doesn’t matter. What matters it what immediately followed. Thought patterns that I believed to be long gone charge forward all at once. Within an instant I was the entrepreneur trying to make ends meat. I was the chick struggling with an eating disorder. I was the girl falling apart over a break up. All the difficult, negative, and ugly moments of my life flashed through my mind. And just like hitting play on a recorder, a string of negative thoughts followed. I don’t know what to do. It’s always going to be like this. I’m always going to be alone in this. Will this ever just go away? I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. And that was the moment. I snapped back into my body for one brief moment and realized what just happened. […]

Dangerous Advice

 … … DANGEROUS ADVICE Something has been bugging me. I live in a world where advice – solicited or not – passes through the air like radio waves. I’m surrounded by experts who can quickly, easily, and energetically spout out tips for success, marketing, business, social media, relationships, leadership, podcasts, videos, spirituality, fitness, entrepreneurship…. This list goes on and on. Taking smart advice from smart people has undoubtedly played a role in my success. However, one type of advice instantly raises a red flag. Warning alarms go off. When I hear this type of advice, I put it through many filters and tests before I hit the “go” button. Advice like these trigger a flashing “DANGER” sign: “You should always…” “Without exception…” “The ONLY way is to…” “Everyone should…” “You absolutely have to…” “You should never…” …  … The Flaw in Universals   The above phrases are known as universals. It is language that suggests all-encompassing, absolute truths. Words like always, every time, everyone, never, and only are common universals. If something is “universal,” then it means that the law, rule, strategy, or advice doesn’t change under any circumstances. So, someone giving you advice with universal language is basically saying… […]

Leadership, Communication, and Appreciation: An Interview with Mark Sanborn

  Leadership, Communication, and Appreciation: An Interview with Mark Sanborn I remember the first time I met Mark Sanborn. He was delivering a half-day presentation at a University in my city. At the time I was the President Elect for a state chapter of the National Speakers Association. When I heard that Mark was speaking in my neck of the woods, I thought there was a slim chance I could meet him if I named-dropped my NSA connection. Amazingly, it worked. He came out to meet me in the lobby of the venue an hour before his speech. What I remember most was my astonishment that he actually asked me questions. This is not a common with speakers. They usually like to do all the talking. But, Mark was genuinely interested in what I had to say. I thought, “Well, even if this guy’s presentation sucks, I’m still happy I met him.” Thankfully, in addition to being a great guy, he is a phenomenal speaker. I was franticly taking notes the entire time he spoke. One sentence after the next was gold! My chicken scratch had chicken scratch because I was writing so fast. I was extremely impressed by how well-read, articulate, and authentic he was on the platform. There was no doubt in my mind why he was in the big leagues of speaking. So, when I wanted to bring in a guest to discuss leadership, there was only one man who came to mind. Mark Sanborn. I hope you enjoy this brief [...]

How to Motivate: Tips from a Superhero

How to Motivate Like a Superhero WARNING: Sharí Alexander is unabashedly a geek. A super-geeky moment is approaching.  In X-Men (told ya), Scott Summers (aka Cyclops) has the mutation of emitting an deadly “optic blast” from his eyes. Cyclops doesn’t have control over his optic blasts. If he opens his eyes, he unintentionally can do a lot of damage to his surroundings and the people around him. That is, unless he wears his visor or protective sunglasses. His eyewear filters out the destructive blast so that he can use his powers at will. He can pick a target rather than destroying everything around him, making him and his powers much more functional. When I am in the middle of an ill-prepared meeting or presentation, I think of Cyclops. When someone has a message, but it’s not clearly defined and they don’t have a specific target or outcome, they end up doing more damage than good. Clear intention and focus is critical for any successful presentation. (click here to tweet that) I recently was approached by a media company who wanted my business. I was curious about their approach to marketing and booked a phone appointment with their CEO. Cutting past some of the chit chat, I asked him what his company does exactly. Normally, at this moment, I would cut to some dialogue. He said this. I said that. But, I am unable to do so because I, for the life of me, can’t relay to you what the man said exactly. [...]