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Are you observer, yes-man, nay-sayer, or thought leader at meetings?

engineers leaders meetings Jul 25, 2020

Are you the observer, the yes-man, the nay-sayer, or the thought leader at meetings?

Meetings create opportunities to influence others. to make decisions, or to solve problems? Each person in the discussion has a role to play in reaching the objectives. Forget about your title for a moment. What is your role in the discussion? Are you the observer, the yes-man, the nay-sayer, or the thought leader?

How can you up-your-game? Before you walk into the meeting, take sixty seconds to set the intention to:

1. Speak slowly and clearly

2. Smile and make eye contact

3. Prepare a post-it-note of bullets with the points you wish to contribute

4. Support others by affirming their suggestions or complimenting them

5. Create the mindset of the leader you intend to be

Ask for feedback regarding your meeting participation at your next performance review.

Let’s talk about your plan to develop the clear, confident, authentic, cross-cultural communication style of thought leaders. 

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Did you know that vowels hold the emotion of the language?

clarity engineers vowels Jul 18, 2020

Did you know that vowels hold the emotion of the language? The problem is that vowels can be so tricky to master for non-native English speakers, can’t they?  Here is one simple strategy you can implement to shift your clarity.

Often times the non-native speakers aren’t giving their vowels enough time to complete the sound. Savour your vowels like a piece of delicious, melt-in-your-mouth, dark chocolate cake. Holding your vowels for a fraction of a second longer not only allows you to convey how you feel about the words you say, but it will also improve comprehensibility. Therefore, your audience will also be more engaged with your message. Engagement means that you have made that all-important connection – a connection that creates the possibility for you to resolve conflicts, land the job, and close the deal!

Your Tip: Read out loud for five minutes a day. Children’s stories are perfect for practicing to bring the message alive with your voice. Read it...

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How can we express empathy?

How can we express empathy? What are the vocal variety mechanics for this particular emotion? 

Even if we are advanced speakers of English, these complex emotions can be challenging to convey authentically.

Try saying:  I didn’t know how to handle the situation /\ without hurting his feelings. 

Now, add a pause where you see the /\. Try saying the phrase before the /\ quickly and the phrase after the /\ slowly - how does that change the underlying meaning? Be sure to align you tone of voice and your facial expression to build trust and credibility ...and human connections with your listeners. This vocal strategy will help you to express empathy.

Try these:

1.    I didn’t know how to handle the situation ^ without hurting his feelings.

2.   How could she possibly think ^ that I didn’t care?


Play with these sentences. This can be a fun activity to practice with kids, as they too need to understand that the way they say their...

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Three Secrets to Developing the Authoritative Communication Style of Thought-Leaders

Get ready, set...Go! In a few months, we’ll all be standing at the starting line. Those that are prepared will blow past those who stood around wringing their hands, waiting for the world to fall apart. For highly-motivated engineers on the leadership track, this pause in the rat race is a gift to develop an authoritative cross-cultural communication style for themselves.

 Those who maintain control of their career and embrace life-long learning are better poised to roll with the punches in any economy.  Aligning our technical expertise with a clear, confident, authentic cross-cultural communication style allows us to speak as experts in our field, allowing us to be recognized as thought leaders – within our organization and within our industry.

 Although non-native English engineers are passionate and engaged experts in the issues related to their work, they don’t always convey their passion WHILE presenting their technical solutions.

 As an...

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4 Techniques to Express How you Feel to Create Meaningful Connections


Would you like to make more meaningful connections with your team, clients, or in networking situations?

This fun activity (with 4-minute instructional video) will teach you the mechanics of creating vocal variety to master your clarity and express your message meaningfully.

There are 4 techniques to create vocal variety:

1. Speak More Loudly - yes, just increase the volume of your voice to highlight important words

eg. Take this to Room 334


2. Drag Out Your Sounds - especially the vowels

eg. Take this to Roooom threeeee thirrrrty-fooour


3. Pause - 1) pause at ALL punctuation; 2) pause before you say the most important words in your instructions to your staff; 3) pause to chunk information so that your listeners can not only understand your message, but retain your message more easily.

eg. Take this to … Room 334.


4. FEEL your message.

eg. Take this to Room 334.

 [If you’re happy (or at least not angry), show it! Smile and make eye...

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Two Pillars to Develop Your Leadership Communication Style

Published on April 30, 2020

As a successful engineer progressing to leadership roles, you talk less and less about tasks, and more and more about ideas and relationships. At this level, communication is about creating meaningful connections through word choices and using our voice as an instrument to build relationships and create an organizational energy that optimizes productivity.

You already speak English well but do you want to create an English communication style that levels the playing field with those engineering leaders that you so admire?

You are knowledgeable but do you feel uncomfortable with challenging other’s ideas in English?

As an engineer, you have experience relaying complex, detailed information but do you want to be able to convey complex, technical details in English WHILE negotiating the priorities of project costs and deadlines WHILE being persuasive, motivating, diplomatic?

You might think that your English is the reason why you are challenged in your...

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45 Expressions to Improve Clarity and Inclusivity

45 Expressions to Improve Clarity and Inclusivity

 For engineers and technical professionals, it’s often not the technical portion of the message that requires clarification. However, those technical details are embedded in a larger message. In this article, I aim to not only coach my advanced non-native English thought leaders, but also advocate for them… for a seat at the table that is inclusive and respectful.

English speakers seem more reluctant to write or speak with “formal” English than ever before. Nevertheless, at the level of word choices, “formal” English offers clarity to the greatest number of people world-wide.  Moreover, from my perspective, this old-fashioned style of expressing ourselves is neither formal nor informal. It merely applies more precise, accurate word choices, which adds clarity to our messages. Whereas, less precise, vague expressions often must be understood in context and is more likely to require...

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