Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Webinar tomorrow - with free gifts for you!


I'll keep this short. You want to succeed by knowing how to communicate better with everyone, particularly in your most difficult situations. And I'm shooting to make my latest book the #1 communications skills book in the country.

Here's how we can help each other. Tomorrow (Wednesday, August 26) marks a key publicity launch for How to Tell Anyone Anything: Breakthrough Techniques for Handling Difficult Conversations at Work, with a global webinar sponsored by Parature Software. Over 1000 people will join in from all over the world. They will get a special offer to buy the book and get a free communications skills library. And so can you!

Buy my new book Wednesday on Amazon.com, and I'll send you back a FREE library including several full-length books, as well excerpts from my latest communications skills bestsellers. All downloadable and available instantly. Just e-mail the receipt to free@howtotellanyoneanything.com.

How to Tell Anyone Anything is my most critically acclaimed project to date, and has been featured in the NY Post, BusinessWeek Online, CareerBuilder.com, AOL Business, the Toronto Globe and Mail, the syndicated Career Clinic (R) radio show, and even the front page of MSN. It has already been a top career skills book on Amazon.com, and last week it was one of the top 250 books (period!) in Canada. Because it really teaches you what to say in your most difficult situations at work - quickly, painlessly, and based on the latest principles of psychology.

So buy the book Wednesday. Or join us online at 2 PM US Eastern for the free webinar, http://www.parature.com/res_webinars.aspx. Thanks!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Thoughts on the Pittsburgh shooting tragedy

Like everyone, I was shocked to read this week that a gunman opened fire at a health club in suburban Bridgeville, PA, killing three people and wounding many others before committing suicide. Perhaps even a little more so because I used to live in Bridgeville, and if there was ever a real-life version of Beaver Cleaver's neighborhood, this was it.

Before he committed his act, this seemingly intelligent, educated, and gainfully employed person left behind a blog about how rejected he felt by women - no girlfriend since 1984, and no intimate relationships for 19 years. As he put it, "Women just don't like me. There are 30 million desirable women in the US (my estimate) and I cannot find one. Not one of them finds me attractive." And yet his neighbors describe him as an anti-social loner who revealed little about himself.

Which got me to thinking how many people I've known personally who fit that description. Alone well into middle age, but not by choice. No meaningful relationships. Not happy with life. And perhaps more than a little mad at the world about their lot. Most of them would never hurt a flea, much less pick up a gun. But all of them are suffering. And there are lots of them out there.

Yet none of these people realize that they are the jailers of their own prison. I often refer to them as "seagulls" because they swoop in, dump all over my wife and I with their complaints and problems, and then fly off without so much as a word about us. They never ask how we are, rarely if ever share interesting observations about the world around them, and can't bring themselves to listen to us without immediately turning the conversation back onto themselves. And yet they universally blame their situation on bad luck, fate, or society itself - never the person in the mirror.

What is perhaps most sad is that, like the perpetrator of this shooting, these people are otherwise pretty intelligent. Often they have advanced degrees or good jobs. But they still come home alone every night, lack intimacy and meaningful friendships, and can't for the life of themselves figure out why. And it's not just a matter of the breaks in their lives. On their very best days they probably still won't be able to connect with people, while the ones who care will still be reaching out on their worst days.

Many people are going to dismiss this shooter as an isolated nutcase with a personality disorder. And they may have a point: most of us don't react to our problems by gunning down innocent people. But there is also a social lesson here.

We, as a society, don't value how to communicate authentically with other people. We don't teach it in schools. We don't measure or coach people's ability to do it. We don't reach out to our friends about it. And most of us can go through an entire career without having it evaluated as part of our performance: in fact, our bosses are often as likely as any of us to lack compassion, interest, or the ability to connect with people. But these are all procedural skills, in my view, not just good attitudes - things our parents, educators, and leaders should be worrying about every bit as much as our grades or productivity.

My heart and my prayers go out to the victims of this terrible tragedy. As we grieve their loss and honor their memory, I hope some of us can start envisioning a society where we start learning and cherishing the simple art of talking to one another. If we did, we might start creating meaning and intimacy in a lot of people's lives - and perhaps in some cases even prevent a tragedy.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Read all about it

One of my favorite pastimes lately has been giving free communications skills and career advice for the nation's press and airwaves, as the buzz continues to grow about my new book How to Tell Anyone Anything. Here is a summary of some recent articles and upcoming webinars. Dig in and enjoy!

Pest Control: We Poll Experts on How To Handle Oversharers, Boorish Bosses and Other Workplace Irritants, by Brian Moore
Very funny article in one of NYC's largest tabloids, also published nationally here on BusinessWeek's Business Exchange - I'm on a panel with two other authors and a very irreverant comedian about how to handle boorish co-workers.

How to De-Fang a Toxic Boss, by yours truly
Article published on CareerBuilder.com, AOL Business and MSN on taming a difficult boss.

Q&A: Working Class, by Leslie Whitaker
Interview with me about how to handle an employee who is rude to customers.

Tooling Up: Four Must-Haves for Convincing Communication, by David G. Jensen
Great article from Science, the nation's leading science magazine, on communications skills for your technical career.

Four Techniques To Better Communication: Learning from How to Tell Anyone Anything, by David G. Jensen
Good career advice from my favorite book.

How to Tell Anyone Anything (Book Review) - CareerFocus Cafe

P.S. Not to forget my friends north of the border, a feature in Canada's national paper The Globe and Mail is also coming soon - I'll update the link when it's out.

Free upcoming webinars:
How to Tell Anyone Anything: Coaching Your Service Team to Success
Wednesday, August 26, 2009, 2:00pm EDT

The Power of 30 Seconds: Best Practices for Exceptional Support
An on-demand webinar that I did live for Citrix GoToAssist in April, on how to create a great impression in the first 30 seconds of a customer transaction.

Note to my friends in Australia/NZ, India, and south Asia: I'll be doing live sessions of this webinar in your neighborhoods on August 11. Here is the link to sign up: see you then!