Communication – We Need to be Interested

Fulcrum Associates - Leadership Training and Development, Team BuildingThe cruise was wonderful. It’s called Star Clippers and we highly recommend it. We were on a true clipper ship. More than 70% of its transit time among the Caribbean islands was done totally under sail.

There were 98 passengers on this 7-day cruise, enough time to get to meet most of them. Introductions to new people tended to happen at the dinner table or on one of those shore tours/excursions. They were nice people and a great many were retired.

What struck me, however, was that with so very few of them was I able to have an interesting (at least to me) conversation! They seemed to want to talk only about their own stuff, their work (current or pre-retirement), their own hobbies, their families, etc.

Now, wouldn’t you think that a married couple (us) who have run a successful leadership development firm in two countries for over 22 years–without getting a divorce in the process I might add–would strike up some curiosity in our shipmates?

Well, it did with six of them. They asked us questions. They wanted to learn more. We spent a lot of time with these folks! As the cruise went on, however, there emerged for me a growing number of other people whom I would steer clear of on deck, at the bar, and at meal time. I chose to pull back and disconnect from them because I perceived they weren’t interested in me and what I did.

So, along with a passable tan, this cruise gave me my New Year’s goal–to work on:

Giving others permission (in my mind) NOT to be interested in what I do, how I live, or what I say. At the same time, not avoiding them…too much.

We wish you a fulfilling and prosperous 2011!

Ian CookBest wishes,

Ian Cook


Communication In the Spotlight this Month

CORE COMMUNICATION SKILLS provides the platform of skills managers need to interact effectively with good emotional intelligence, particularly with their staff.All effective leaders find a way to connect with those they lead. Many who possess those vaunted “technical skills,” however, still don’t know how to ask questions, listen with focus, build rapport, speak assertively and confidently, and deliver both expectations and feedback around employees’ job performance.

Core Communications Skills delivers the interpersonal fundamentals that underpin good management. The material can be customized for a seminar length anywhere from two hours to two days. Equally, it can be embedded into the front end of a leadership development program. In addition, it provides a terrific, practical, interactive session for individual contributors in your organization.

Click here to check it out. Then give us a call to set it up.


Ian Cook, MILR, CSP, is a presenter, facilitator and executive coach. He works with managers who want to increase their effectiveness as a leader and build a stronger team. To book Ian for a training seminar, team facilitation or keynote presentation, call toll-free at: 1-888-FULCRUM (385-2786) or e-mail: Ian Cook.