Do you know when to zip your lips?

In many situations, the wisest response is to keep your mouth shut. As the Dalai Lama said, “Silence is sometimes the best answer.”

But that’s not what I’m talking about.

When I say “shut your mouth,” I actually mean “keep it closed.” Literally. Obviously, there are lots of times when it’s good for your mouth to be open. For example:

  • You need to put something in your mouth, like food. Food is…

Avoid these phrases to promote clear communication and healthy relationships.

Hopefully, you work in a healthy workplace culture and live in a strong, positive family where people are free to state their needs, opinions, and feelings directly and no one, including you, would ever dream of being passive-aggressive.

But over email and instant messaging communication can get a little muddy. Without the benefit of body language and facial expressions, words can easily be misinterpreted. And let’s face it-whether over email or in person, even the most direct and straightforward person you know (it could be you?) …

Here is how to spot inauthentic behavior in yourself and others and what to do about it.

What does it mean to be real?

Well, I can think of a few things being your real, true, authentic self doesn’t mean. For example, being real doesn’t mean:

Fearlessness. Courage. Different traits. Both essential.

What keeps you up at night?

While many people do face real threats to their physical or psychological safety on a daily basis, most of the time, your worries are not about life-and-death situations. Yet these issues do produce fear-or one of fear’s milder and more prevalent cousins, such as stress, frustration, anxiety, antagonism, dread, worry, or hostility. There’s nothing wrong with these emotions; they exist for a purpose. Specifically, fear exists to keep you safe, to keep you away from things that might hurt or destroy you. That’s a good thing!

Sometimes, though…

You know you’re supposed to look people in the eye, but do you know when not to?

One of the most common “body language” tips out there is Look People in the Eye. Make eye contact! I have said it, too. Eye contact demonstrates that you are present and listening, it can show respect and empathy, it conveys confidence, and it can create connection and rapport. When you’re with another person, be sure to look them in the eye from time to time. On video, look at the camera.

However, like most things in life, there is a time and…

You probably already know step one and two…

Everyone has limiting beliefs. These erroneous ideas about yourself, your relationships, the world, or life itself create your thought patterns, direct your choices and actions, and shape your life.

I’m guessing this isn’t news to you.

You probably already know that the painful repeating patterns you see in your life — knee-jerk reactions to certain people, working too hard, eating too much, feeling guilty over setting boundaries or ignoring them, never finding the money to do that thing you keep saying you’re going to do, etc. — stem from faulty belief systems…

Don’t let one piece of the puzzle distract you from the whole picture. Here’s how to maintain focus instead of fixating.

Once, back in the days when we were still having in-person presentations, a client hired me to observe her deliver a speech and provide feedback. As she stood up to speak at the event, the heel of her shoe caught on the hem of her pant leg. For a horrifying split-second she wobbled. Then, the hem tore, freeing her foot. Phew!

No biggie! She didn’t fall or hurt herself. Most of the people present hadn’t even noticed. …

Sometimes you need to interrupt. Here’s how to do so with confidence and respect.

In general… don’t interrupt. In one-on-one conversations and group settings, listen attentively and take turns talking. Don’t monopolize conversations, speak over others, or impatiently finish their sentences.

Sometimes, though, you do need to interrupt — the key word being “need.” Interrupting is appropriate and even helpful in certain circumstances, especially when done respectfully. For example, please do interrupt in these cases:

To Correct an Error

Don’t go around correcting everyone on every little thing. That’s super annoying! (At least, that’s what friends tell me when I correct their grammar, ha.)…

Yes, lead by example! But there are times when your example is not enough…

One thing I’ve learned as a presenter, teacher, business owner, and parent is that being a good example doesn’t make you a good leader.

Don’t get me wrong: Being a good example is necessary. Vital, in fact. Human beings (including very young ones) are quick to notice incongruity. If there’s a discrepancy between what you say and what you do, they go with what you do. “I know you said to do XYZ… but you don’t do it yourself!” …

What does your presence say about you? Or… do you even have “presence”? What do people mean by “presence,” anyway?

Your presence is simply how you show up nonverbally to others — how you present yourself.

You do actually have to present yourself to have Presence. I sent someone a “friend” request on Facebook awhile back and he jokingly told me, “I’m a Facebook stalker. I never like or comment on anything, but I see the posts.” He has no social media “presence” because you don’t know he’s there. You have to let yourself be seen and known to have…

Rachel Beohm

Exploring relationship skills, communication (especially nonverbal), and how to live a full life. Promoter of kindness, gratitude, and joy.

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