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Common Ways Women Undermine Their Words

“I’m sorry, Mom. These muffins are really messy,” said my 3-year-old daughter a few mornings ago. It was clear she wasn’t apologizing for making a mess. She was really saying, “I hate to tell you this, but these muffins you made crumble really easily.” My daughter probably could write the book on giving straightforward feedback. Just a couple of weeks ago she told my friend she was driving too fast. She doesn’t hesitate to comment on my housekeeping. Recently, however, there has been a new addition to most of her (usually painfully accurate) critiques: The words “I’m sorry.” My husband was really surprised when she started doing it. He thought she was truly apologizing to him, as if he were some scary guy that needed tip-toeing around. I don’t think it’s an apology…it’s an observation about language. She is mimicking what     . . . read more

Speak Up and (Actually) Be Heard: Effectively Frank™ Fall Offerings

The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is one of the most powerful tools we have to improve our lives. Skilled communication enhances relationships, reduces stress, and leads to better results at work. I’m passionate about teaching people how to find the “sweet spot”: being straightforward without offending- so that you can truly be heard. Communication is really the combination of many skills. No wonder it’s a tricky thing. You actually need to master many smaller tools in order to build your communication superpower. The good news is that communication is something that can be improved with knowledge and practice. In fact, that’s the only way to do it! This is why I created Effectively Frank™, a 5 step process that breaks down the skills you need to be successful. This Fall, I have 2 special offerings for those ready to     . . . read more

Mind Your Own Business, For Your Own Sake

I spend a lot of my day encouraging people to bravely and effectively speak their truths, which makes it a little weird to have this post devoted to the following message: There are lots of times when you should really shut up. I believe our words, time, emotions, and energy are all important resources that are to be used wisely. However, it is increasingly commonplace for folks to comment on just about everything people do. Maybe it’s because you can literally comment freely on social media. But, I don’t really care why. It’s a ridiculous waste. And it’s unhealthy. Some examples that really irk me are based on my own life experience… It’s weird to me that so many people are down on pregnant women for (gasp) exercising during their pregnancies. Maybe they are continuing to run or do CrossFit, because     . . . read more

What Could You Gain by Becoming Effectively Frank™?

What if you had the ability to say with clarity, kindness, and confidence the things you really need to say? How would your life be different? How much easier would it be? How much time, energy, and frustration would be saved? I believe that we can all do better with our communication, but it takes effort and new skills. I’ve set out to create a better way to communicate. It’s called Effectively Frank™. What is Effectively Frank™? It’s saying things in straightforward way, without offending. It’s speaking respectfully AND being crystal clear. I’ll be offering a series of workshops around Portland, Maine in the coming months. First up is Effectively Frank™: Authentic Communication Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs at the Women’s Business Center at CEI in Portland on June 20 from 8:30-10am. Click here more information and to register (only $25!).     . . . read more

Want Better Communication? Stop Pushing Buttons

I’m around little kids a lot these days. It’s amazing how early and thoroughly they learn to push our buttons. They know our weaknesses, and they aren’t afraid to use them. A very convincing cry, some irritating whining, or even a guilt trip. Man, they are good. I try to remember the motto posted in my daughter’s classroom at daycare: They’re two. Whatcha going to do? I give kids credit, they really don’t have a lot of power. They have to use what they can. They are resourceful, really. While it’s skilled for kids to at least try to push buttons to get what they want, the same is not true of adults. As adults, if we purposefully say something to another person just to get our way or get them to feel something negative, then that is unskilled communication.     . . . read more

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