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By now many of us have had lots — AND LOTS — of practice communicating virtually. In the last year, many of us have had to give presentations through an online platform that we’d otherwise give in person.

But are we presenting well? In my experience, both delivering them and being on the receiving end of them, many of our virtual presentations are falling flat. The format is unforgiving and most of us aren’t doing what we need to create an emotional connection through the camera — to convey trust and relatability.

Anything that’s worth communicating is worth communicating because…

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One question can change your life.

Especially now, in a time of almost purely virtual connection, it’s harder than ever to prioritize authentic connection with the people in your life. Misunderstanding is more common, relatability is more strained, and it’s harder than ever to really get a read on who’s on the other end of what you’re communicating.

In most strained situations or Zoom calls, our communication instinct is to speak more and to project MORE, or to withdraw. That instinct is made more extreme in virtual settings. Whether it’s your first day in a new job or your 92nd…

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Like you, I’ve been thinking a lot about the events of the last 24 hours, and what it says about us as a country, a people, and about leadership and communication.

I’ve had both a sense of helplessness and a deep sadness as I saw the seat of our democratic institutions attacked by terrorists fueled by lies and mistruths — and a failure by their leaders to speak honestly about so many issues, chiefly the results of the last election. And one overriding principle keeps rising to the surface: bad things happen when you don’t speak the truth. Honesty matters…

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“Be the reason someone feels welcomed, seen, heard, valued, loved and supported.” I saw these words posted to a neighbor’s fence recently.

I love them because they reflect what’s at the root of leadership and communication: each of us has the power to determine how we speak to and connect with others.

And because they are the ideal outcome of the reflection many of us tend to do this time of year. (And this year is a year for some serious reflecting).

2020 has been a year of real consequence for everybody I know — for some, great challenge and…

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Enoughness. What does it mean to have enough? To do enough? To be enough as you are?

In this time of Thanksgiving in the US and the end of a year in which so much and so little has happened, I am thinking a lot about the concept of enoughness. For me, this time of year is about focusing on all that I do have, and not on what I don’t.

Whether from an Amazon or Facebook ad, or under the pressure to meet a year-end goal at work, we often get caught in the powerful messages and thought patterns…

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Rarely if ever, in most of our lifetimes, has there been such a collective sense of anxiety and stress. A defining election following one of the most divisive campaigns ever comes to a head tomorrow. A global pandemic continues to plague all of us and our families, with businesses and industries forever changed, more countries closing down again, and more of us resigned to working remotely for the foreseeable future.

In the last several years, it’s usually been that come December people are tired, exhausted and the final sprint to the end of the year is met with a respite…

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This week marks six months since most of us started shelter in place. Six months ago this week we went into lockdown in San Francisco, and the world seemed to change in an instant.

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on lessons I’ve learned during the last six months, and about aspects of this new way of living and working that I want to continue to bring forward.

I want to share with you because they have as much to do with how you communicate with yourself as how you lead in all aspects of your own life.

I’ve spent…

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In 2020, talking about politics brings about a new level of angst and has, for most of us, become both more personal and more challenging than maybe ever in our lifetimes.

With the unofficial end of summer on us and the fall election season underway, it’s becoming more difficult to avoid talking about politics either online or in person — because it’s all over. With most of us socially distant and connecting via a screen rather than in person, hard conversations are even harder. It’s a uniquely difficult communications challenge.

For many of us politics have become deeply personal. It…

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Communicating compassion from a distance can be really hard. This is especially the case with prolonged remote work and school, and when emotions and stress are running high, maybe in ways we don’t even fully realize. For most of us, emotions and work don’t often mix to begin with, and feedback is almost always emotional.

Yet consistent, compassionate feedback is exactly what this moment calls for.

As working parents start to consider school and childcare this fall, and as the Coronavirus continues to mean sheltering in place and working from home (some companies have recently extended work from home policies

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Meaningful social change starts with changing hearts and minds, usually among those we’re closest to in life.

Beyond the protests, donations, public statements ranging from bold to bland, rapid sharing and re-tweeting on social media, real, sustained change around racial injustice starts and evolves like it almost always does — at home and at work through personal conversations.

Many of us are starting to have more live conversations with relatives, family, friends, and co-workers about race in America. These conversations are often with people who hold dissimilar views to our own, and especially now by phone or video, and so they are hard.

They are hard because we have to confront our own feelings and learning as…

Andrew Blotky

Communications and culture leader, author, certified coach, lawyer, yoga teacher. www.azureleadership.com/honestlyspeakingbook

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