Are You the Great Listener You Think You Are?

judge judy

Judy Judge, in her popular small claims court TV show, reminds the participants often “We have two ears and one mouth. Use them accordingly.”  If you’re a fan, you know her other favorite expression is “listening ears, listening ears.”

How are you at listening? Do you have your listening ears on?

If instead of focusing on the speaker, you,

  • interrupt often
  • talk over them to make your point
  • finish their sentences for them
  • formulate your response while they speak
  • hear only parts of the conversations
  • tune out shortly after they begin to speak…….

Then your listening skills don’t meet Judge Judy’s standards. And most likely, they are not serving you well at home or work.

To be a good communicator, you have to listen well. Period. There’s no sugar-coating it.listening ears

And when it comes to difficult conversations, listening skills are crucial because the stakes are higher in tough conversations. There’s more emotion. There’s more defensiveness. More left unsaid. In a difficult conversation, everyone is a bit tense. It’s not likely you can resolve a tough issue in a conversation when you aren’t hearing what is said.

As you read this post, be honest…are you thinking to yourself, “I’m a great listener?” Or do you know deep down that your listening ears could use a good cleaning out?

Challenge: Here’s a challenge for you to discover the truth about your listening skills with only two steps:

  1. Enlist help. Ask someone close to you (who will tell you the truth) to call you out for the next three days. Tell them about the challenge and ask them to raise their index finger every time they observe you interrupting, talking over, tuning out, or finishing other’s thoughts for the next three days. Make note of how often they need to point out your lack of good listening, and of course, don’t bite their head off when they catch you.
  2. Play it back. For the next three days, commit to repeating back to others what you heard them say.  No need to go word for word. Just confirm you heard them. You got their meaning. You are listening. At the end of the day, take a few minutes to review your performance.  Do you listen or only in part? Generally were you able to mirror their comments, or were you lost in your own thoughts?

If you are tempted to blow off this challenge, give this some thought:

We can’t get what we don’t give.

That means if you suck at listening, you can’t expect others to be attentive when you speak. How will you gain their attention if you aren’t giving it? Why would you think you deserve it if you don’t give it?

What comes around, goes around.

To be an effective communicator, a great boss, a good husband, a loving friend, a great parent, you need to listen well.

To listen well, you have to make the effort and create the habit.

To make the effort, you have to care enough about the other person and/or the outcome of the situation to choose to hear the conversation.

Skip the above behaviors and you can expect others will skip them with you.

It’s only by hearing what is being said, that you can ascertain:

listening = learning

    • what others need
    • what the situation demands
    • what their feelings and emotions are

It’s counter-intuitive. To be great at what you do or whatever role you are in, you have to be a great listener. In the end, listening well affects YOUR success, YOUR relationships, YOUR reputation.

If you’ve been thinking listening is all about the other person, it’s time to change your point of view. Great listening, in the end, is all about you. The better you listen, the more effective and successful you are.

Do I have your attention yet? Being a great listener benefits YOU.  Stay tuned for Part II on listening to pick up some habits and routines that will make listening easy.

In the meantime, will you do the challenge? I’ve got my listening ears on and would love to hear your thoughts.

Don’t String Me Along

maybe notJust say “no!”

Call it a pet peeve, but it drives me crazy when people respond to my request with a “maybe” when clearly, they want to say “no.” Don’t get my hopes up with a “maybe.”

Saying maybe only delays the discomfort temporarily. Eventually, they will still have to say “no.” The delay of the inevitable, the avoidance, the bs answer only makes it more difficult.

Everyone asking for help, extending an invite or making a request is well aware they may be turned down. And though none of us like that rejection, it does go with the territory.  We don’t get everything we ask for.

The inability to decline a request only complicates things. Being turned down is acceptable. Maybe not our preference, but certainly acceptable and manageable.

Being told “Maybe…maybe I’ll make it. Maybe I can do that for you. Maybe I’ll be there” when it’s obvious that won’t happen is frustrating. It keeps us hopeful. It keeps us waiting and thinking our invite might actually be accepted.

Eventually we have to step up and take personal responsibility.  We need to communicate directly and use common courtesy. The other person is waiting on our response, planning around our possible “yes.” Often in their minds, it’s as if we already said “yes.”

When we are asked to attend a meeting or help with a project or offer support that we either cannot or do not want to do, we have to say so. Preferably right then and there. On the spot.

If you know the moment you’re asked for help that you aren’t available (or interested), say it. Say “no” in whatever form suits the situation. Whether it’s a family member, a neighbor, a close friend or a colleague, your response can be the same.

The way to say it should sound something like:

  • “No thank you, I’m not going to be able to help with that.”
  • “No, I’m sorry. It’s not possible this time.”
  • “No, I wish I could help but I’m already committed.”
  • “No, thanks for asking but I’m overwhelmed with commitments at the moment.”
  • “No. I appreciate the offer but that’s just not my thing.”
  • “No, I’m not going to be able to help you out.”
  • “Sorry to disappoint you, but I can’t make it.”
  • “Thanks for thinking of me but I won’t be able to join you.”
  • “You know, I appreciate the invite, but I’ve done that and it’s just not for me.”

Guidelines for turning down a request look like this:

1.     Don’t hesitate.
2.     Keep it short.
3.     Don’t explain.vote maybe
4.     Leave no doubt.
5.     Be courteous.

Essentially, keep it simple. Tell the truth and be sure you were understood.

Don’t say “maybe” when you mean “no.” You’ll save time. Avoid prolonged discomfort. Eliminate their wondering and no longer be chased for your answer. No one likes to be strung along. No one wants to wait and wonder. Without answers, it’s difficult to plan.

Next time someone in your life makes a request, asks a favor, or shares an invite, give your honest answer. Say it clearly, courteously and with grace, but say it.

Seven Tips on How to Share Your Ideas So Your Boss Will Hear You

skeptical attitudeThe bosses and business owners I talk to all agree on this issue. They want their employees to offer solutions, not just problems. But that doesn’t mean off-the-cuff ideas that have not been thought through or prepared.

Here’s the way to say it soyou’ll know how to deliver your suggestions with the problem you’re addressing:

Be confident, not apologetic – This especially applies to women who can be too apologetic. When presenting your ideas your boss wants to see YOU believe in them, otherwise why should he?

Be concise, not detailed – Your boss will let you know if she wants detail after hearing your suggestions

Be prepared, not off the cuff – In order to be heard, taken seriously and not be viewed as a time- waster, you must have your thoughts in order. Organize yourself. Anticipate questions and be prepared to address them.

Be responsible, not a blamer – Should your solution require talk of the problem in detail, make sure you don’t throw others under the bus. This will only hurt how YOU are viewed.

Be transparent, not manipulative – Good chance your boss is savvy enough to read through manipulation, if not at that moment then further down the line.  Manipulative behaviors will damage your credibility. Not worth the risk.

Be neutral in tone, not dramatic – When reviewing problems, leave the theatrics for Hollywood. It won’t help your case. Just report the facts, the situation and address them.

Be respectful of time, not self-absorbed – Don’t let your opportunity for time with the boss turn into an all-about-me session.  If you do, there won’t likely be much time for you in the future.

listeningConsider implementing these approaches when you deliver your next problem…and its solutions, of course. It will go a long way in your boss valuing your input and not seeing you as part of the problem too!

P.S. Don’t forget to offer more than one workable solution for consideration!

Can’t Say “No?”

n n n nI have a serious question. How can we expect children to say “no” when we as adults struggle to say it ourselves?

We see it everywhere. Parents caving in to their children’s wishes, even after they already said “no.” It might be a request to buy something or to get an ice cream before dinner or to go to a friend’s house. It’s just easier to give in than to turn down a child’s request because deep down most parents want their children to be happy, protected from life’s disappointments.

But here is the dilemma. How can children be prepared to say “no” to peer pressure, to difficult choices, and to experimentation, when what they see all around them are adults who cave into pressure, insistence, wining and their own need to be liked.

I grew up in a time when parents frequently said, “Do as I say, not as I do.” We all know that approach doesn’t work because children copy what is modeled for them. Especially when we tell them not to.

If the majority of the time children observe adults unable to say no……to little requests…to family members who take advantage, to a neighbor who always needs help,  to a committee asking for more volunteer time, then how in hell can those kids learn to say “no” for themselves? How can kids learn to be strong and resist peer pressure? How can they learn to honor their bodies, their time, and their feelings,….. if instead they see it’s easier to just give in?

Children repeat what they see, becoming “people-pleasers” and saying yes to fit in, to be liked, and to be popular. How can we blame them?  They are simply modeling what they saw.

That’s a scary thought.

That two-letter word some adults just can’t seem to spit out just creates children who will struggle with “no” as well.

Children face lots of tests in school, on the playground, with friends and on social media. To safely navigate their way through these challenges, they must be comfortable with the word no. It must be a normal part of life and part of their vocabulary.  We want children to say no to peer pressure, to drugs, to breaking rules, to activities that might put their well-being at risk, to being inappropriately touched.girl hand no

To do so, they must be empowered to stand up for themselves. But they won’t be as long as they don’t see, experience and observe that behavior. Learning to say “no” comes directly from hearing “no” as an answer ourselves.

Are you good at saying “no” when appropriate?

Do you turn down invites you don’t want to attend?

Do you say no to unreasonable requests?

Do you say no when it makes you unpopular?

Do you say no when it disappoints someone?

Whatever struggles you have saying no will show up in your kids.

It’s never too late to begin using this powerful two-letter word.

Children need to develop a strong sense of self, confidence, and comfort with the word “no” so that when the time comes, that little word will roll right off their lips.

Stay tuned for more on this two-letter word and how to get comfortable with it in upcoming blogs.

Are These 20 Phrases Damaging Your Career and Holding You Back at Work?

holding woman back at officeSome phrases we learn from our parents. Some we pick up listening to others. Some are just filler that make us more comfortable when we’re speaking. Many, unfortunately, are ineffective in creating great communications.

Check these out. Do they sound like you?

 

1.  “You really should…”  –  No one wants to be told what they SHOULD do.

2.  “You really shouldn’t…– And possibly even more what they SHOULDN’T do.

3.  “You made me feel…” – No one makes us feel anything. Our feelings and reactions are our choices.

4.  “You never listen” – This phrase is sure to shut down listening even more!

5.  “……… but ……….” – Any phrase followed by “but” negates anything said prior. Use “and” instead.

6.  “To be honest, I ________” –  This infers that maybe you weren’t being honest before, or that you aren’t always honest.

7.  “Basically”– It’s filler. It weakens your message. Learn to just say what you need to say without this lead-in.

8.  “You never” or “You always” – These generalizations are sure to shut down conversation or spark conflict.

9.  “We need to talk!”  – It sends heart rates up and folks running, as it is NEVER followed by good news.

10. “Why can’t you be more like …….?” –  You may have heard this as a child, but even there this phrase can produce nothing positive.

11. “You do that every time we …..– It’s accusatory, generalizing and will shut anyone down.

12. “Maybe” (when you really mean “no”) – If you are thinking “no”, learn to say it. Clearly, honestly and appropriately. Maybe leads to confusion down the road.

13. “It’s not my fault!”– True or not, let that fact be made clear by your conversation and explanation, not by sounding like a child defending themselves.

14. “What you have to understand is………”– No, it’s not true. No one HAS to understand anything. What you mean is “what I hope you understand is”…

15. “That’s not fair” – Unless you are under the age of 5, omit this phrase from ALL communications.

16. “With all due respect”– This phrase usually precedes passive/aggressive communication and is not offering respect at all, and it’s overused.

17. “That’s not a good idea” – You may think that, but a better way to respond might be, “Here is a concern I have about this idea” or “let’s examine that idea together.”

18. “Why would you do that?”  This one is usually full of “tone” and judgment. If you can deliver it as a genuine, neutral question of curiosity, it might work. Otherwise, skip it.

19. “Don’t take it personally– First of all, this phrase never stops someone from taking it personally and it usually precedes feedback that is potentially upsetting and personal to the listener. Just learn to deliver your feedback well…without this phrase.

20. “You need to …… – Another form of telling someone what to do. It’s not up to you to determine what someone else needs. You can request or suggest, or as a boss you can say, “Here is what I need you to do.”

If these expressions are part of your communications at work, it’s time to delete them and master some new, healthier responses.

Let me know you’re out there. Which ones do you struggle with? What expressions do you need a new response to substitute?

Stop Being Being a Scaredy Cat….Just Ask

afraid to ask

What is it? What is so hard about asking questions? Is it simply fear of not getting the wanted response? Or fear of what others may think of us for asking?

Here are some thoughts to reframe how you think about asking and reduce any hesitation you might have. “Asking” includes asking for favors, for help, for clarity, for a raise, or even just asking a question because you are curious.

cats you go first

There’s no harm in asking.

Always ask. There is no harm in asking. Whether it’s for a letter of reference or for help carrying files from your office to the car, it makes sense to ask for help. Most people are helpful by nature but may be distracted or unaware of what you need. A simple direct request for help is easily fulfilled more often than not.

Know there’s no guarantee.   If You Wanna Win, You Gotta Play. It’s like the lottery. You might not win when you play, but you certainly will not win if you don’t.  When you ask something of another, be prepared.  You may get turned down. They may say no. But the simple fact that you asked for what you need, immediately raises your chances of getting it. Now they know what you want. Take a shot. Your odds certainly improved by asking. Few people are good at mind reading! Just ask.

Keep Your Energy Unattached. If you make your request from an unattached and neutral place, you’ll be ready to deal with either response, a “yes” or a “no.” You will also know it’s ok either way. One prerequisite for asking is accepting this rule as truth:

 EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO SAY “NO” TO YOUR REQUEST,

EVEN WITHOUT OFFERING A REASON.

Deliver Your Message with Clear Intent. When making a request, check yourself. Be certain you’re good-spirited, direct, and clear about what you’re asking. Know in advance what you would like and how best to ask for it without demand, powerlessness, or expectation. Regardless of the response you get, be sure to express gratitude for their consideration.

There are many gifts to adopting this way of thinking. One is the number of times others will step up and provide exactly what you need. Another gift of the process is that by freeing up your mind to always ask and to accept a yes as well as a no, you will realize the process works in reverse, too.

You will be able to graciously receive requests from others, because you too are free to say “no” just as they are.  It’s a win-win mind shift.

Begin asking for what you need rather than hoping others will figure it out, or feeling victimized and powerless because they don’t. The difference between hoping and waiting vs. asking and knowing is powerful.  I can’t wait to hear your experiences!

 

Ladies, Are You an Apology Addict?

Women apologize too much. It’s true. Just observe your female friends for a few days or weeks and you’ll notice without a

women apologize too much

doubt, many women apologize too much. Not only too often but for too many things. Some women even make apologies for things beyond their control.

Think about it. Ever heard an apology for bad weather that ruined an outing or for the actions of someone else the apologize had nothing to do with, or for being bumped into? The list of unnecessary apologies is lengthy. Let’s just suffice it to say it is not uncommon for women to over-apologize, and that is a problem for all of us.

Let’s look at the impact of that habit:

1.       It creates a self-deprecating pattern for the apologizer, believing they are always at fault.

2.       It releases others from owning their part in conflict or confusion.

3.       It teaches people to expect others (apology-addicts) to take the blame.

4.       It moves -the focus from the person who was wronged to the person delivering the apology.

The benefit of an apology is for the person on the receiving end. It’s so they will feel better.  So they will know there was no bad intent.  It’s to set things straight. To clear the air.  Although there is a certain release for the person making the apology, it’s not really about them. It’s about the receiver.

But all of that changes with multiple, repetitive apologies.  Imagine this scenario.  At a gathering of friends, one person says they can’t stay for the entire event and will be leaving early. Their apology is made in advance. No problem and the gathering continues. Then at many points in the visit, the early departer reminds the group they must leave…each time with another apology. Sometimes they even share the reasons why they must go. This continues until it’s time to leave.

The apologies begin again….to the host and hostess, maybe to the entire group.  At this point, no one can count how many apologies were delivered, but everyone knows there were too many.

Instead of being an expression of sincere apology, these communications become an attention grabber, not necessarily intentionally, but an attention grabber all the same.  In an effort to curb the apologies, others reassure the apologizer saying things like:

  • “It’s all good. It’s not a problem.”   
  • “Oh don’t worry. It’s ok.”
  • “Oh forget about it. It’s not important.”
  • “It’s alright.”
  • “I understand. Don’t feel bad. I’m fine.”
Not altogether...but apologize no more than once or twice.

Not altogether…stop apologizing more than once or twice.

Instead of being a self-less act, the apology becomes self -focused.  The receiver feels obliged to make the apologizer feel better.

Who is this apology about anyway?

Ladies, if this sounds like you, make a change. Rarely do those who over-apologize intend to make it “all about them.” Unfortunately, that is the end result.

If this sounds like you…intentionally or unintentionally, stop. Learn to limit yourself to one, no more than two, apologies. One at the onset of the issue, and possibly a second one as you depart or end the conversation to show your good intentions.

For tips on how to deliver heartfelt apologies without over-doing it, stay tuned to next week’s blog post. And of course, share your thoughts and experiences with comments.

 

Four Un-Romantic Thoughts to Share on Valentine’s Day

valentines beary muchRemember Valentine’s Day as young children?  Everyone in class got a card….everyone!  The goal was to be inclusive, to make everyone feel good. It was less about romance and more about friendship and kindness, about relationships with the people (kids) we spent every day with. Of course we had our favorites, but no one was left out.

The romantic relationship in each of our lives is important, but today, I’d like to focus on all the other ones.  Male or female, young or old, personal or work, family or business, these friendships make a huge difference in our day-to-day experiences. They connect us, ground us, and make us feel like we matter.

What I’m wondering is this……just how expressive, appreciative, and grateful are you in these relationships?   I’m not asking what positive thoughts you have about these people. I want to know if you share those thoughts with them…out loud.

Do you tell your friends what they mean to you? Or do you think “they just know?” Are you uncomfortable expressing your positive thoughts, or just wonder what to say, or if you should say them at all?

To some, this might qualify as a difficult conversation—one where you say the pleasant, nice things you think or feel about these individuals.  In actuality, it’s not difficult at all. It might simply be a conversation you never got accustomed to having. Or maybe you wonder what words to say. It’s simple. Say what’s in your head.

With each passing year, I am more certain that sharing these positive thoughts make all the difference in the quality of our relationships of all types.  Not just the romantic ones. I’m talking about partnerships. Friendships. Family connections. Social groups. Long-distance friends. Electronic friends. Business network connections. Neighbors. Our service providers. Our employees, and co-workers. They ALL matter. Each connection enriches our lives in some way. Some very greatly.

What if you started telling these people the good thoughts that come to mind and the good feelings you have about them?

Let’s talk about some of the things we could (and maybe should) say more often to those around us:

thanks, etc.Express Gratitude – Most of us automatically and frequently say “thank you” during the course of each day.  Take it further, consider saying more. Elaborate. Give. Say, “Thanks that was really kind of you” or “I so appreciate all of your extra efforts for me,” or “Thanks, you are always so helpful.”

Share Compliments – Seems most of us think compliments far more often than we speak them. What is that about? Why not just verbalize those thoughts?”  Every day we should share the complimentary thoughts we currently keep locked up in our minds.

Don’t just think, “Wow, you look great today.” Say it. Tell your UPS guy, “You’re always so friendly. Thanks.” Say the nice thoughts that come to you. There’s no cost, but the payback to such honesty is priceless.  Everyone is uplifted by a compliment–the giver and the receiver. Whether it’s your gardener, your dry cleaning lady, your mailman, your neighbors, or your employees, share your positive thoughts.

Show Your Respect – Many of our daily interactions are with other professionals. Imagine these professionals respect you and your output, but never tell you.  Doesn’t feel right, does it? Why not “go first?”  Open up communication. Express your respect for the great job your doctor’s office does. Tell your employee you find him to be the ultimate on follow-through and detail. Share with your hairdresser how much you love her timeliness. Tell your colleague how their feedback helps you in your job.  Whatever nice thing crosses your mind, don’t hold it hostage. Don’t keep it. Give it away. It will come back to you.

Offer Support – At one time or another, each of us struggles with a personal or professional challenge.  And more often than not, we attempt to minimize that struggle and “suck it up.” In the midst of those difficult times, a few words of encouragement are invaluable. Whether it’s a co-worker, a business colleague, or a friend, reach out with even a few simple words of support. Tell them you understand. Offer your help, if appropriate. Provide an ear to listen, or if it makes sense, share your similar experience so they know they aren’t alone.  A few words of support go a long way in strengthening your connection.

heart candies

Honest, authentic communication is a great habit, a useful tool, and a wonderful way to live your life. Why not spread the love around a little wider this Valentine’s Day (and every day)?  Start sharing all the wonderful, grateful, kind, supportive thoughts you often think of others in your life. It will enrich not only the lives of those around you, but yours as well. It’s hard to say who will benefit more.

What to Say….. When You Forgot What You Were Saying

Ever been in the middle of a conversation when suddenly…..huh? …..  what? You’re lost. Sometimes it’s age-related. But it can also be a result of fatigue, anxiety, or even food allergies that affect mental clarity.huh

Whatever the cause, it’s helpful to have ready-to-go responses for those moments. Rather than struggle with embarrassment or self-criticism, it’s important to keep in mind, this happens to everyone. The more anxious we become over these moments, the slower our minds clear and “reset.”

Imagine this.

You’re on a phone talking business about an important project. Suddenly you’re blank. You experience a momentary loss of memory. Most of us stutter and stammer, unsure of what to say, unsure of how to deal with the gap.  A better alternative is to have some ready-responses, even if they have to be written down in front of you for just such an occasion. After all, if you’re on the phone, who will know?

Choose from these ideas, or use them to create your own response:

  • “I hope you won’t mind if I take some time to think this over. I’d like to give it just a bit more time and call you back to finish our conversation.”
  • “Let’s review for a moment….can you recap for me?”
  • “Sorry, I have a call I’ve been waiting for and need to take. Can I call you back?”
  • “Tell me, what are your thoughts here?”
  • “So, in your mind, what’s next?”
  • “Do we have time to think this over and talk later today or tomorrow?”
  • “Someone just walked into my office, are you available to talk about this more later?”

Obviously, not all of these are appropriate for every situation. It will be different if you are speaking with your boss vs. a team member, if you are in front of a group, or one on one. But each of the above responses should give you food for thought to come up with your personal favorites.

Let’s suppose your short-circuit moment is in a personal conversation. Depending on who you’re talking to, it might be best to say, “Can you remind me where we were? My mind drifted for a moment.” Or even, “Tell me that again. I’m not sure I got everything you said.”

I forgot

Or, try one of something like this:

  • “Ugh….someone just interrupted me, where was I? “
  • “Ok, let’s backtrack a moment. I need to review. Where were we?”
  • “Give me a hand here, I got so ahead of myself in thought, I lost track of what I was saying. Can you refresh my memory?”

The less fanfare, the less apology and overreaction to these mental skips, the faster your mind will reboot and come back to the topic of conversation.

Everyone occasionally loses track of themselves, with no memory of what was just said. But in business situations or pivotal moments with an employee or boss, it might not be best to share that. Instead, take a breath and find a graceful way to resume the conversation. You’ll be able to move on without embarrassment and without missing a beat.

Check out our next post this week for more ideas on how to handle a mental gap in your conversation.

“The Way to Say It” on Facebook: 10 Things to Keep in Mind When Posting

Facebook is a Love-Hate thing.  We find it entertaining. Annoying. Too much to keep up with or TMI (just too much information).  Whether we are users or not, most of us have an opinion of Facebook. And it’s not often neutral.

A friend recently asked me about Facebook.  Her exact words were, “OK, miss-way-to-say-it, if you’re such an expert in how to say things, what guidelines should we follow when posting on Facebook?”

I decided to answer her question in this post. Now, I know we won’t all agree on these, so I’ll put it out there now….tell me YOUR thoughts. What are your guidelines or pet peeves about Facebook? Why do you love it, or hate it? Use it or avoid it like the plague?

Here are ten thoughts I have as a communications specialist about using Facebook with some restraint, class and consideration:   

  1. Don’t Make Me Ask If everyone who sees the post can’t understand the meaning of it, it shouldn’t be public. Consider sharing these posts individually through private messaging or with a specific group who is in-the-know.
  2. It’s Not a Book. Remember, sharing your thoughts or experiences on Facebook is a “post”, not a book, nor a tell-all-memoir.  Practice restraint and have some boundaries on the length of your post.
  3. Keep Your Dirty Laundry at Home. If you’re angry, fed up, frustrated, arguing, or at odds with a Facebook friend, this is not the place to air your issues. Have some class.  Ideally, talk it through. At the very least, use private “message” so only the two of you can see it.
  4. Practice Food Restraint. We all enjoy knowing what our Facebook friends are up to. What experiences they are having, what’s new. Generally that doesn’t include seeing or being updated on every meal. Practice some restraint. Only share photos of a meal when there is something unique, special or interesting to tell with that photo, or on Instagram. Besides, it makes me hungry to see all these yummy foods!
  5. Not a Place for Intimacy.  If your post includes a “pet name” for someone, or an inside joke or something intimate, please, keep it off public pages. Find a private way to communicate your intimate messages. They are great—for the insider.
  6. Take A Breath Before You Post.  When you have negative feedback to share, take a breath to think it through.  Those few moments may make all the difference between what you share with your Facebook followers, and what you don’t. The urge may pass or you may elect to keep that negative feedback for the individual or company it relates to.
  7. When It’s About You.  If a friend posts something about you, or to you, that you don’t like, put on your way-to-say-it attitude and talk it out. Call them to explain why it’s unacceptable to you and ask them to remove the post. Ask what they meant by it. If you don’t have their phone number, handle it in a private message. Skip the public response.
  8. No One’s Perfect If you have offended someone on Facebook…inadvertently or intentionally….have the guts to clean it up with them. Apologize and then remove the post.
  9. Mixing Business with Personal.   If your Facebook page is predominantly for business, all the rules of face-to-face networking apply. Keep your politics and your religious views to yourself.  You don’t want to mix business with personal and risk offending clients.
  10.  Share the Glory. When you post something wonderful, sweet, or complimentary about one of your contacts, be sure to insert their Facebook name so they, too, will see your positive words.

So to my friend who asked, that’s what I call the way to say it on Facebook.typing at keyboard

And to my Facebook friends…sorry, I know you won’t all agree with me, so tell me what you think.  What are your thoughts? Feel free to disagree. I’m ready to hear what you think about Facebook posting, as well as my comments.

For more suggestions on Facebook posting and behavior, see 14 Do’s and Don’ts to Being a Good Facebook Friend.