Back in the 1970s and 1980s, when you could wait at the airport gate for passengers, I loved sitting in the terminal and listening to people talk. It was at the airport as a boy that I learned one of my first communication lessons: what people say to each other doesn't always make sense, but that doesn't stop them from talking.
The second lesson I learned in the terminal was that people communicate in a wide variety of styles. Each person my family received at the airport had a unique way of interacting. My thoughtful grandmother was different from my exuberant uncle who was different again from my eccentric cousin. It dawned on me that I probably shouldn't talk to everyone the same way if I wanted to forge unique relationships with them. So I started experimenting with my own communication and paying attention to the results.
I had no idea, back then, that my affinity for thinking deeply about conversations and my willingness to experiment with communication and pay attention to the results would become the cornerstones of my professional life. But that's basically what I do for a living today: I listen closely as people describe problems, we formulate changes, and then we see what happens when the change hits the problem.
And the third lesson I learned as a boy in the airport is that communication is more than just something we do; communication is how we make our life. Good communication = good relationships = good life.
* CEO of Mouthpeace Consulting LLC, President of On-Demand Leadership, and Board Chair of Critical Skills Nonprofit.
* PhD and MA in communication from the University of Texas at Austin. BS from West Point.
* Formerly a faculty fellow at the University of Texas at Austin's RGK Center & a Cátedras Laboris fellow at University of Monterrey, Mexico.
* I teach and consult widely throughout North America; my writing has appeared in journals, textbooks, newspapers, and online.
* My dissertation title: Communicating negative feedback in performance appraisal interviews: An experimental study.
* I served as the Assistant Director of the Center for Ethical Leadership at the University of Texas at Austin after I got my PhD. I served as an infantry officer in Hawaii's 25th Infantry Division after I graduated from West Point.
*Somehow, I managed to graduate from the US Army's Ranger School, even though I still get lost all the time.
Want to contact me? firstname.lastname@example.org
On the web:
Stop Talking, Start Communicating
- Counterintuitive Secrets to Success in Business and in Life, with a Foreword by Martha Mendoza
- By: Geoffrey Tumlin, Martha Mendoza - foreword
- Narrated by: A. T. Chandler
- Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
Play dumb. Be boring. Don't solve problems. And above all, don't be yourself. Not exactly what you'd expect to hear from a communication expert....
Must Read! (Listen)
- By Laura Isbell on 02-11-17
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