Reading Body Language


This week we're continuing my Lessons from Sign Language Interpreter, a series about things I've learned as an interpreter and entrepreneur that will help you communicate and connect.

This one I call "reading the room" – it works especially well during conflict resolution.

First, at the beginning of a conversation, bring awareness to your own energy and notice the other person's energy.

When you walk in the room, what energy are you feeling? Sad? Angry? Happy?

Next, what non-manual markers are they giving you?

What's their body language?

Are their arms crossed in front of them in a defensive position?

Or are they open and leaning forward, which means they're more understanding and engaged?

Pay attention to your own body language so you can recognize it in others.

So my question to you this week is...

What kind of body language does somebody exude that's either happy, sad, or angry?

Recognizing body language will help you navigate any conversation, especially those that might be difficult.


How to Resolve Any Conflict


Today, I want to share a communication technique that guarantees that resolution to a conflict will happen sooner.

This is the fourth part of a series on how to better communicate, especially when the stakes are high or the conversation is difficult. Communication is vital in our relationships with...

  • co-workers
  • family
  • friends
  • anyone!

So, if you're just joining us, be sure to catch part one: Read the Room, part two: Speak Their Language and part three: Stay Focused.

Now, let's get into the fourth technique.

This is a technique I learned in my counseling career, and it goes like this:

If you're having a problem with someone, let them talk first.

Let them tell you every detail about what's going on, and all you do is listen.

No retort. No going back.

Just listening.

When they're done explaining how they feel, you repeat what you heard back to them.

Then, it's their opportunity again to say, nope, what I meant was _____________.

You come back with, okay, what I heard was this.

You continue this part of the conversation until they feel completely heard. This is going to lower the resistance.

The next part of the conversation is your opportunity to voice your perspective. And they can repeat back what they've heard.

When you're done with this process, you both will know you've been heard.

The anxiety, the anger, and the fear will have decreased. You'll be able to find a compromise quicker.

Try this technique.

And let me know how it goes.

I can't wait to hear about the resolution you have and the compromises you make.

Stay Focused

communication Apr 17, 2024

Too often in a conversation, we are not actually listening. We are thinking about what we'll say next. 

Today, I want to share a tip to help you stay focused on the person you're talking with.

This is the third part of a series on how to better communicate, especially when the stakes are high or the conversation is difficult. Communication is vital in our relationships with...

  • co-workers
  • family
  • friends
  • anyone!

So, if you're just joining us, be sure to catch part one: Read the Room and part two: Speak Their Language.

Now, let's dive into the 3rd technique:

Staying focused on the conversation.

So many times when we're talking to people, we're thinking about what we are going to say next instead of what they are really presenting to us.

We're usually not even aware that we're doing it.

So see if you can catch yourself doing it. Then, try this technique to bring your focus back to what the other person is saying:

Think of a question you can ask them so they can expand and feel heard.

What could you ask to grasp what they are saying more clearly?

Instead of worrying about how to say the thing you want to share next, you are intentionally seeking to understand.

When people feel heard, they're more comfortable, and conflicts are resolved so much faster.

Next week, we'll dive into this a little deeper with the 4th technique.

Hint: It's a guaranteed way to resolve conflicts faster.

You don't want to miss it.

I hope you have an amazing day!

Speak Their Language

communication Apr 10, 2024

This week we are continuing our month-long focus on communication.

The second technique I want to share with you is to speak their language.

Communication is incredibly important in our relationships with...

  • co-workers
  • family
  • friends
  • anyone!

You can use these techniques to better communicate in any situation, but they're especially helpful when the stakes are high or the conversation is a difficult one.

Once you've paused to read the room (technique #1), it's time to speak their language. 

I have interpreted for professors that use huge words, and the kids have no idea what they're talking about.

The professor is not speaking their language. The message goes right over the kid's heads.

If you work in the HR department, and you're going to talk to someone in IT, you wouldn't use a bunch of HR acronyms. You'd want to avoid jargon and talk on the same level.

With kids, you might ask yourself – what do they know about the world so far? Then, you can speak their language. 

This is also related to culture. Where are they coming from? Some cultures are very direct. Some are very polite. Some use stories to get points across. Consider the culture and background of the person you're speaking with, so that you can speak their language.

What words can you use so they can more clearly understand what you're saying?

It's not about showing off what you know, it's about considering what they know and connecting with them on the same level. 

Next week, we're going to talk about a third technique that will let you zero in on their perspective.

Have an amazing day!

Read the Room


For the next few weeks, we're going to talk about communication.

These are lessons that I've learned as a sign language interpreter that I would love to share with you.

This can be used to communicate with...

  • co-workers
  • family
  • friends

Or you can apply it in any situation where you're going to have an important discussion or tough conversation.

The first technique I've learned is to read the room.

You can sense when you're walking into a situation and it's not great. You can feel the energy.

Even though you might be in a really good mood, keep this in mind when you approach the person. How are they feeling?

  • Are they stressed?
  • Are they scared?
  • Are they happy?

You can use this awareness to shape how you are going to approach the situation.

It's about energy. By tuning into the other person, you know how to begin the conversation.

Next week, we're going to talk about how to speak their language.


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