Making Your Words An Asset Not A Liability: How To Improve What You Say and How You Say It

Making Your Words An Asset Not A Liability: How To Improve What You Say and How You Say It
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Resources
Recorded on: 2019-11-20
Unit 1Slide Deck: Making Your Words An Asset Not A Liability
Unit 2Workbook: Making Your Words An Asset Not A Liability
Unit 3Recording: Making Your Words An Asset Not A Liability

Everyone needs to communicate, even those who refuse or are unable to talk utilize non-verbal form of communication to convey their preferences or emotions. Communication is critical in any relationship – be it with loved ones or in the workplace. Ineffective communication brings conflicts, misunderstandings, or failure – things that we want to avoid in order to ensure the success of our relationships and efforts.

Dr. Kimberly Miller aims to provide us with specific guidelines to improve communication. One of Justice Clearinghouse’s regular instructors, Dr. Miller is a renowned resource speaker, consultant, and trainer for over 15 years. She is best known for her relationship-based approach when she provides workshops, coaching and organizational intervention to improve the employees’ skills and the organization’s productivity.

Some of the points Dr. Miller brought up on this course are:

  • The importance of communication specifically in the workplace setting.
  • The power of words: How communication is determinant of an individual or organization’s success.
  • The five critical parts of communication and how each contributes to effective communication.
  • Difficulties in communication caused by our biases, ego, beliefs, habits, assumptions, and complications brought about by technology.
  • The most common reasons for miscommunications and how to address these
    • Differences between people communicating and generalizations based on these differences.
    • Assumptions, expectations, and definitions formed by individuals subjectively based on their experiences that are not clearly communicated.
    • The baggage we carry and masks we wear that affect our communication.
    • Non-verbals and emotions that are incongruent with what we communicate verbally.
    • Inappropriate timing, medium or location to communicate.
    • The power dynamics of the people involved.
    • Our inability to follow up and check if the recipient of our messages understood it correctly.
  • Pointers on how to improve our communication skills through:
    • Proactive preparation by reflecting on our limitations and triggers, strengths and abilities, and seeking feedback on our communication style.
    • Getting ready by assessing our energy, mindset, relationship with the audience, and establishing our goal.
    • Prepping a backup plan should things go off tangent and how to respond appropriately if such happens.
  • Techniques to better ask questions that values curiosity and creates understanding instead of hostility or judgment.
  • Examples of questions to allow people to be more open to communicate and share emotions and thoughts.
  • Tips on how to send a better message and communicate effectively by picking our words, aligning verbals and non-verbals, soliciting feedback, and apologizing sincerely.
  • More reminders that stress the importance of practice, clarity, relationship, feedback, as well as not blind-siding people in communication.
  • Questions raised during the Q&A were about:
    • Effective communication when talking in a much larger audience.
    • Handling individuals who are challenging to communicate with.
    • Salvaging relationships where communication has broken down.


This is part 1 of a two-part series.  Click here to watch for Part 2 “Turning Conflict into Conversation.”


Audience Comments:

  • “Outstanding presentation Dr. Miller! Excellent information that is very helpful and will be used.” — Barbara
  • “Liked the tips and strategies for better communication and things such as body language, facial expressions to be aware of.” — Burma
  • “Dr. Miller was wonderful. She’s very knowledgeable, gave great ideas to try at work/home and kept me wanting more information. Thank you so much!” — Alexia
  • “The paper and the practice need to be the same”. One of the biggest problems I’m faced with is fellow leaders who receive the paper and don’t agree with it (most often I find they are not strong enough to support it) and therefore water it down to their liking. I see it causes confusion and issues. As always great from Dr. Miller. I also noticed she slowed down her pace, really nice, went really well!” — Darren
  • “A good reminder of being self-aware… How you are perceived through not only your words but your tone and body language. Also, The Importance of Being prepared when communication doesn’t go as expected.” — Kelly
  • “Excellent presentation with a lot of good ideas that I can start implementing right away. Already looking forward to Dr. Miller’s Dec 2019 follow-up webinar.” — Matthew
  • “The topic addressed was very helpful in opening lines of communications and to be prepared to look inward when it comes to communication problems. Thank you.” — Sabine
  • “Dr. Miller was wonderful. She’s very knowledgeable, gave great ideas to try at work/home and kept me wanting more information. Thank you so much!” — Alexia
** This webinar has been certified by the National Sheriffs' Association and may be eligible for Continuing Education Units through your POST. Please consult your local certification processes for additional details. Paid subscribers that attend will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Sheriffs' Association logo.
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