“Maybe” Adds to Uncertainty To An Already Uncertain Workplace

Have you ever made a request of someone and they responded with a “maybe,” or a “may be?”

Such as, “I maybe can get there before the meeting starts.” Or, “I may be able to get that to you before your deadline.”

“Maybe” reeks with uncertainty.

“Maybe” provides wiggle room for someone who doesn’t want to hold themselves to a commitment.

This is “Unpower Communication.”

There will always be times when we’re going to be uncertain.

The world is an uncertain place.

There is much more uncertainty in the world than certainty.

Too many of us default to “maybe” when we could easily make a commitment.

Often we choose not to because we want that flexibility.

Most of the time we use ”maybe” as a qualifier because its better than saying, “that’s not a priority for me and I’m not going to help.”

This is much more truthful, but it puts us in a position of not fulfilling someone’s request, which, in the moment would make the person not like us.

Using “UnPower Communication” comes from low self-esteem.

Using “UnPower Communication” allows us to set the expectation bar low so we can step right over it.

We under-promise in hopes of delivering the minimum expectation.

What if you stepped up and spoke the truth when you can’t commit, letting the other person know upfront they can’t count on you, instead of having them wait and hope?

What if you stepped up and committed to something and held yourself accountable to fulfilling that promise.

Making promises you can’t keep is not a good way to operate, and offering uncertainty without a commitment by using the  “UnPower Communication” of a “maybe” is just as bad.

Please, leave a comment.

One more thought, after reviewing last year’s Power Word Series I decided to re-release it in a year long weekly series call 52 Power Words. You can subscribe for free at http://www.52PowerWords.com.

“Maybe” is “UnPower Communication” #4 in this new series. If you have any words you think belong in my UnPower Communication Series email me at Skip@WorkplaceCommunicationExpert.com and I’ll write about them, if appropriate.

’til next time make it a great weekend & “Communicate With Power!”

Best Regards,


P.S. To have 52 Power Words sent to you weekly for the next year, go to http://www.52PowerWords.com  to subscribe today!

Posted in The Conscious Communicator | 1 Comment

“Lack of Listening” Is Misplaced Blamed for This Workplace Communication Problem

“Lack of listening” is often among the top complaints about communication in the workplace.

Just as often it is misplaced blame.

This “lack of listening” is identified as the reason people do not follow through on requests.

Parents, you know what I’m speaking about, don’t you.

When our children don’t do what we tell them to, we tell them to “listen to us this time.”

Chances are they “listened” last time. Or at least they heard us.

They just chose not to act.

You have to stop blaming a lack of follow through and action on a “lack of listening.”

Chances are your employees or team members heard you, too.

They, too, just chose not to act.

If this is a problem for you, this is a problem that needs fixing.

The only way to solve a problem is to find its cause.

The cause of people not following through on your requests is not a “lack of listening.”

  • The cause may be a lack of trust and respect.
  • The cause may be an inability to effectively fulfill the request.
  • The cause may be fear of reprisal for making a mistake.
  • And, it could be a few other potential causes.

If this is a problem for you, how can you identify the cause?

If this is a problem for you, what do you have to do to build higher levels of trust and respect with these individuals?

Something to think about?

Have you ever blamed “lack of listening” for someone not following through on your request?

Leave a comment below to continue the discussion.

’til next time, Communicate With Power!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

Posted in Champion Leadership Communication, The Conscious Communicator, Trust in the Workplace | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fixing Another Workplace Communication Challenge, “A Lack of Listening” Isn’t Always What You Think

Last week a client wrote to me…

“What am I supposed to do if people don’t want to listen to me, which is a choice (I saw a clip of one of your seminars online), then they are not going to, right?”

It’s great when clients actual take to heart suggested strategies.

And it is very true.

As I say, “listening is choice, not a skill.”

So, what do you do if others are not “listening” to you?

Have you ever had a feeling others weren’t listening to you?

If so, you have two choices.

  1. Try other strategies to get their attention
  2.  Seek to understand the reasons behind the lack of listening.

The first option is dealing with symptoms.

The second option is dealing with cause.

Fixing a problem can only be accomplished by knowing the cause.

Therefore, if this “lack of listening” is a problem for you, which of the two options above would you choose?

There is a cost and benefit to each:

Option 1 costs include:

  1. Wasting time on strategies that will exacerbate the problem,
  2. Continuing to erode the relationship making it worse.

Option 1 benefits are:

  1. It can be implemented quickly,
  2. You may get short term compliance to move something forward.

Option 2 costs include:

  1. Investment of time and energy to understand the individual’s position,
  2. Having a difficult conversation about another’s behavior comes with uncertainty and fear, and it, too may make the relationship worse if not done properly.

Option 2 benefits include:

  1. Fixing a problem so you won’t have to deal with it any longer,
  2. Building a more positive, productive relationship and work environment.

It’s your choice, always.

Which would you choose?

What strategies do you have to fix a “lack of listening?

Please leave a comment below.

Next email in this series look for more specifics around addressing this “lack of listening” with Option 2.

‘til then, make it a great week!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

Posted in Champion Leadership Communication, Champion Leadership Tips, Trust in the Workplace | 2 Comments