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Message from Pat

Communicating Change

Start with the facts. End with Clarity.

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Message from Pat

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

~George Bernard Shaw

I have just spent four days being trained as a leader in a methodology that helps people have crucial conversations. When I first heard of this, I thought “Crucial Conversations” meant serious conversations that debated the most important things in the world.

What I have come to believe is that they are the day to day conversations we must have that affect our lives in many ways.

Crucial Conversations have three aspects:

  • Opinions vary
  • Stakes are high
  • Emotions run strong

Can you see areas in your life where crucial conversations are needed? In your personal life? In your work area? In your community?

What makes these conversations crucial is that the results could have a huge impact on the quality of your life. They involve tough issues that affect our everyday life. These issues can range from resolving an issue with a family member to critiquing a colleague’s work. From ending a relationship to talking to a colleague who is hoarding information or resources. All tough conversations. All conversations that have the three aspects.

All crucial conversations start with understanding that dialogue must occur to reach resolution. Dialogue is simply defined as: “The free flow of meaning between two or more people.” The free flow of meaning doesn’t mean you are in agreement. It simply means that both parties do their best to ensure that all ideas are spoken in a safe space. It exposes the parties to more accurate and relevant information. If the shared pool is larger, the decisions are smarter.

The other thing Crucial Conversations focuses on is me. A principle that is taught is “Work on me first.” As much as we want others to change (and believe they need to!), the only person we can change – with any degree of success – is me.

One of the major concepts is to “Start with Heart.” This simply means that to start a crucial conversation, those that “Start with Heart” simply start with the right motives, and stay focused no matter what. Ask yourself, “What do I want for myself? For others? For the relationship?” And lastly, Ask yourself, “How would I behave if this was what I really wanted?”

Some very powerful ideas. Start your crucial conversations with Heart. Ask yourself those questions next time you enter into a conversation that has high stakes for you.

"Communication works for those who work at it" 
~ John Powell

Step into leading and play a Bigger Game in your life…don't wait…model leadership…the World needs us to do this.

Lead strong!


Communicating Change

“Change” can be a time of uncertainty for many employees, and it presents a great chance to build trust. A common tendency in this age of email and other technology is to give employees information in gigabytes instead of simple sentences. Resist it. The best communication is simple, straightforward and relatively brief. Tell them what the change is. Tell them why the change makes sense. Tell them they will be kept informed. Then follow four important rules: No secrets. No hype. No surprises. No empty promises.

Effective communicators pay careful attention to the perspectives of the people they want to influence. Be sure to speak the language of the people most affected by the change. Don’t just use their buzz words, and certainly don’t be condescending in any way. Do your best to see the world through their lenses.  

Excerpt from "Communicating Change" by Roger Dean Duncan

Start with the facts. End with Clarity.

It's important to begin a delicate discussion by clarifying how you're looking out for the other person. Don't proceed with the conversation until you're confident that the other person trusts your positive intentions.

Start with facts, not feelings. Certain experts recommend that you begin sensitive discussions by first disclosing your feelings. Start with "I messages," they argue. That's dangerous advice. Your feelings are the least factual and most controversial element. Consequently, sharing your feelings typically generates resistance and defensiveness. The fix is an easy one. Begin with the facts, ("You've failed to return calls to our key client three times in the past week"), not your feelings ("I'm feeling disappointed"), or worse yet, your negative conclusions ("You can't be trusted!"). If you start with the facts, the other person is far more likely to listen to the issue rather than feel attacked.

End with clarity. How you end a crucial conversation is as important as how you start it. Too often, we work through a tough issue only to leave the details unresolved. When we don't clarify exactly what needs to be done, we leave the ensuing tasks to the infamous "them,'" only to learn that nobody took responsibility. End by clarifying who will do what by when. Also, decide when and how you'll follow up. If you don't, count on deja vu dialogues in which you rehash the same issues over and over.

Excerpt from "Crucial Conversations: Where are you stuck?" by Joseph Grenny

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"Quote For Your Day!"

"The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you."

~ John E. Southard

I send out a "Quote for Your Day!" on a daily basis. If you'd like to start your day with a bit of inspiration and sometimes a laugh, sign up for the daily quote by sending a blank e-mail to with "Quote" in the subject line.

Until next time, I wish you joy and fun and ease and effortlessness!

Pat Obuchowski
CEO, Chief Empowerment Officer

Helping people step into their roles as leaders in their businesses, their communities and the world. Helping people and organizations find their "Bigger Game™".

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© 2007 Pat Obuchowski, All rights reserved. You are free to use material from the "Live with Intention" eZine in whole or in part, as long as you include complete attribution, including live Web site link. Please also notify me where the material will appear. The attribution should read:

"By Pat Obuchowski of inVisionaria."

Brief Biography:

Pat Obuchowski is the CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) of inVisionaria. inVisionaria is a company devoted to helping people and organizations find and achieve their vision and their voice. She works with individuals and organizations that are looking for structure, focus and accountability to set and achieve their goals. She also works with people who are ready to make big changes in their businesses and their lives and step into the leaders they've been yearning to be. People who are ready, willing and able to begin playing their "Bigger Game." No kidding. Right now.

The approach to achieve this and create this alliance is individually based and is designed between Pat and each of her clients.


"Coaching with Pat allows me to take the opportunity to look at myself and the way I interact by stepping outside of where I am and thinking more about how I have impacted my people. Pat has reminded me about skills I have developed over the years, however forgotten to use them. She has brought a breath of excitement into my position and I truly enjoy having her as my coach!" 



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